On the contrary: Getting proper sleep keeps you young.

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?”

“5:30”

“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?”

“10:30.”

“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:

Too little sleep can increase risk of stroke or heart disease.

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:

How sleep deprivation affects your heart

And since I am personally interested in staying sharp, I did another few clicks and found this:

The Science of How Sleep Changes Your Brain, from Infancy to Old Age

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.

 

 

 

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4 thoughts on “On the contrary: Getting proper sleep keeps you young.

  1. For the record, two of my older girls for certain get more sleep than I do on a regular basis. In other words, they exercise more wisdom in this area than I do. I’m getting better, but that’s only because the man is getting better at getting shut eye, but it’s required a major overhaul. We put the younglings down earlier than we used to so we can shut away earlier than we used to and still have time to talk, catch up, etc and -hopefully- get 6.5 hours of sleep.

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  2. A former pastor of mine noted that sometimes the most spiritual thing a man can do is to take a nap. Sleep is at once a good medicine, and a good diagnostic. Snoring indicates the factors that lead to sleep apnea, the thing that killed Reggie White.

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  3. True, Bike. Restful, restorative sleep (or lack thereof) can be an indicator to watch for front both a spiritual and a health standpoint.

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  4. Another perk of having a lot of adults in the family (or at least being the parent of several adults that you gave birth to relatively young) is you get lots of incredulous responses when you say they’re all your kids.

    When me and all my girls walked into a boutique yesterday (Benevolent Dictator worked), the very cute salesgirl -She could have been a Katy Perry look-alike immediately pegged us as related. Happens a lot. When I told her they were all my kids she went on for the better part of two minutes: “Oh my gosh! Really. I never would have thought you had grown up kids. You look too young, yada yada yada…”

    I pointed out the gray hairs coming in the front (I have every intention of coloring them soon just haven’t gotten to it yet, LOL). She said she never even noticed that because my face was distracting once she realized that the young women with me were my kids.She said she hoped she would be so fortunate when she has babies.

    I didn’t have the heart to tell her that a large part of the trick was that I already had 3pre-school aged kids by the time I was her age (since I know full well that this isn’t 1994 and these factors are a lot more beyond her control now than they were for me).

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