This book emphatically makes the points that (1) getting enough sleep is absolutely essential to our physical and mental health and the quality of our life, and (2) most people in today’s world are not getting enough sleep.
How much is enough? Ideally, we should be getting at least 7.5-8 hours of sleep every single night. Even one night of poor sleep has negative impacts on our health. And “making up sleep” is a myth. We can not “make up” the loss from even one night of sleep.
What is the first step to making sure we get enough sleep? Spend at least 8-9 hours in bed every night. If we lie down in bed for only 6-7 hours, we can not possibly get enough sleep to be healthy. (You don’t have to sleep later; you can go to bed earlier. Will you really miss anything important?)
The section called “Why Should You Sleep” opens with the following:
“Scientists have discovered a revolutionary new treatment that makes you live longer. It enhances your memory and makes you more creative. It makes you look more attractive. It keeps you slim and lowers food cravings. It protects you from cancer and dementia. It wards off colds and the flu. It lowers your risk of heart attacks and stroke, not to mention diabetes. You’ll even feel happier, less depressed, and less anxious. Are you interested?”
If this were an ad for a drug, everyone would want it and Big Pharma would make a fortune. But it is not a drug. It is sleep; it is free and available to everyone. It is truly miraculous, and yet most of us do not take advantage of getting enough sleep. We are just not taking sleep seriously enough.
Question for us all: What are you doing with that extra time awake that is more important/beneficial than getting enough sleep? Whatever you are doing, it is not a good trade-off.