One of the wonderful things about a household where there are multiple adults is that there is always good conversation to be had and myriad perspectives to consider.
Among the topics du jour this morning was the subject of sleep. Like most Americans, we struggle to get enough and when I have gotten six hours, I consider it a good night. My goal is seven hours, but I only hit that twice a week. On a good week.
Of our older daughters, one in particular is pretty zealous about her sleep, and during a discussion with co-workers about how little sleep they all get, she mentioned that she makes sure she gets 7 hours of sleep most nights. The questions started:
“What time do you get up in the mornings?”
“Even when you don’t have to work?”
“Yes, I run with my mom and sisters the other mornings and we have to do it at 5:30.”
“What time do you go to bed?”
“That’s so specific! You’re like an old person!”
We laughed at that because not only is she routinely mistaken for a 16-year-old (she’s 21), she is also pretty energetic. She’s not the only one of our daughters who prioritizes sleep and that decision doesn’t in any way indicate a staid, dull, life lacking fun or vibrancy.
They go out with friends, got to movies, go to concerts, out to dinner, and travel occasionally, things that cut into getting a full night’s sleep. In short, they live like young, single people with the exception of those norms which violate their faith and values. They’re not living like senior citizens, although I know quite a few senior citizens who don’t live “like senior citizens” either.
Of course, no one goes to dinner with friends or concerts every night, so when home, rather than stare at screens or text until the wee hours, they go to sleep. I reminded them as we discussed it to mark this day because the time will come when their good sleep and health habits will be more evident than ever as they grow older alongside some of these friends. As if on cue, I ran across this today:
This article, however, targets people who are already at increased risk to begin with (and most young people are not), so I wondered about the general population, and found this:
And since I am personally interested in staying sharp, I did another few clicks and found this:
There really isn’t anyone regardless of where you research, who would discount the importance, restorative power, and preservative nature of sleep.
So the next time someone tells you, “You can sleep when you’re dead”, let them know you have no desire to speed up the process unnecessarily just to have one more drink or catch a television show that you can stream tomorrow without the annoyance of commercials. And got to sleep.
I’m feeling like a power nap before I cook dinner.