Deep down, I’ve always known how important sleep is for happiness and health, but over the years, I’ve made a lot of excuses.
During my teenage years, I could stay up late and snooze anywhere, determined not to miss a thing.
As a mother, sleep was a luxury for a number of years, especially when child no3 decided to sleep no more than two hours, day or night, for the first two years of her life, bless her. And then there was the Christmas Eve I didn’t sleep at all when same child decided she was putting up a stocking for Big Ted and Magic Ted, so I sat up all night knitting them scarves!
When I was poorly, I grabbed as much sleep as I could, especially when I was recovering. At this time in my life, in my mid thirties, I discovered the beauty of a power nap, and used it whenever I could. I took a lot of hurtful banter in the school playground, where other mother’s were critical of my need to have a break in the middle of the day, but if I was up at 6.30am and often didn’t finish teaching dance until after 9pm, I needed 40 minutes rest to keep going.
My family grew up, and I needed my sleep to pack in as many things into my day as I could manage – dancing, cooking, writing and looking after elderly parents, to name a few
And then we moved to Wales, and embarked on a new adventure! I’ve never needed good sleep more in my whole life! But you don’t have to believe me – believe the science! Watch this video in your tea break (just 20 minutes) and you’ll soon realise why I do my utmost to get 8 hours of sleep EVERY night! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5MuIMqhT8DM&t=1035s
Matthew Walker is an English scientist and professor of neuroscience and psychology at the University of California, Berkeley. His research focuses on the impact of sleep on human health and disease.Enjoy….and good night!