How Long Should You Sleep?
There is no rule for how long you should sleep. Individuals vary in the amount they need. Regularity is more important than the length of time. If you wake up in the morning refreshed and ready to go, undoubtedly you are getting enough sleep.
The amount of sleep needed varies with age groups. A baby usually sleeps 18 to 20 hours a day. During childhood, the sleep period is reduced to 12 to 14 hours a day. The average adolescent and adult sleep 7 to 9 hours. Old people often require only 5 to 7 hours.
Insomnia – The Most Common Sleep Disorder
Do you know how it feels to be completely worn out and anxious to get sleep, ye to lie awake and toss? When the lights go out in your community tonight, more than one in twenty people will begin a period of restless tossing and worrying because they can’t go to sleep. In the morning, they get up tired and grouchy. Tomorrow night they probably worry more because they lost sleep the night before. Insomnia becomes a vicious circle. Worry and tension bring it on. Worry about insomnia makes it worse.
If you should ever insomnia, remember that your body is benefitting from the rest you get just lying quietly in bed. That thought should prevent you from getting panic about the loss of sleep. If you continue to lie awake, it may be because you don’t have enough ventilation. Open a window, and while you’re up, do a few setting-up exercises to tire you out physically. You will soon relax and fall asleep. Sleep becomes pleasant and of greatest value only when you learn to drop the cares of the day when you retire.
Researchers in the British Ministry of Defense have able to tweak the body clocks of soldiers so that they can wake up to 36 hours without any fuss. In a special spectacles project, tiny optical fibers are embedded, projecting a white light identical spectrum to sunrise around the edge soldiers’ retinas, tricking them into discerning they have just awakened. The system was first introduced to US pilots during the Kosovo war.
Who Are Fussy Sleepers?
Many people keep themselves awake wondering if conditions are right to go to sleep. Are the doors all locked? Is the cat out? Will it rain in an open window sometime in the night? Is the alarm set? What was that noise? With all of these things on their minds, how could they possibly relax and go to sleep? If these fussy sleepers do finally go to sleep, they probably wake up feeling as tired as when they went to bed. A night of troubled sleep is almost as bad as no sleep at all.
Dreams And Nightmares
Remember the period of light sleep and the waking-up period which follows it? These are often times of strange happenings in the mind. Dreams are fragments of the conscious world darting about in your unconscious mind. They happen when the unconscious mind is still asleep. A vague sensory impression, such as noise, sets it off. Often, dreams are weird because the conscious mind doesn’t control them. They are constructed from the memory of past experiences, jumbled beyond recognition. They aren’t omens and in no sense do they foretell future events. Nightmares are unpleasant dreams, which often jolt the conscious mind into sudden activity, such as when you wake with a start and are relieved to find that the nightmare isn’t true. You aren’t really falling off a cliff, although you may have fallen out of bed. Any sensory impression during the period of unconscious activity may cause a dream or nightmare. This includes impressions caused by a digestive system working overtime with a late evening snack.
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