How much is enough sleep?
We tend to sleep according to what the doctor says is good, or according to the clock. But as an individual, each one requires a different amount of sleep and it varies with the kind of work one does, what diet one has, the exercise routine one follows, how active/inactive one is... Thus, there is no ‘one size fits all’.
Our body is always talking to us: about eating, about sleeping, about everything. Unfortunately, we rarely listen to it. Our body might be telling us, “ I am tired” but because we have more “important” things to do, we delay going to bed. As a result, we struggle to wake up and have to rush through our morning chores. Because of the exhaustion from lack of sleep, we have several cups of tea or coffee to keep us going through the day. Consequently, when the caffeine stimulants lose their effect, we “crash”. Had we simply listened to our body and slept when we felt tired, this vicious cycle of going through the day propped up by stimulants and crashing at night would not have occurred.
Once we get into this kind of a cycle, eventually the aging process gets accelerated: skin becomes pasty, blood circulation drops, there is hair fall… all because we have been pushing ourselves all the time. Instead, if we sleep when our body tells us to, our quality of sleep will be more restful and the following day more productive. And when we sleep “on time”, we wake up refreshed, thus improving our quality of life.
Our bodies also repair themselves during the sleep period. Damage caused during the day, either by dehydration, unsuitable diet, air pollution or stress is repaired during the sleep cycle. Therefore, the question is not about the quantum of sleep, but rather the quality. If we sleep when we are tired and wake when we are fresh, that is all the sleep we need.