The professionals say that we need 7 to 8 hours of sleep everyday to function better in the world. When we do not get that magic number of hours for some time, we panic, we scare ourselves into wakefulness and then we run for a sleeping pill. Research shows that older people have a harder time sleeping. I remember. What if we did not know this information, we might not worry so much about it. We would just sleep when we are tired and do something fun or worthwhile while we are up.
I remember my mother once telling me that it is natural for an adult to have bouts when they cannot sleep because they have to think about things. That sort of set me for life. I never worry when I go through periods that I cannot sleep, I see it as natural. Sometimes I get 4 hours, five hours and sometimes I get more than 8 hours. I do not think about it, or think I’m losing or gaining anything I see it for what it is. Whether what my mother told me is a meme (a virus of the mind) it is better than getting paranoid about not sleeping. As we know what we think about expands, it’s no wonder people get into this cycle that pushes them into taking anxiety or sleeping pills.
The idea is to stick to a schedule that maximizes your “sleep efficiency” — the amount of time in bed you spend sleeping, instead of tossing and hoping that sleep will descend. That involves four rules: Reduce the time spent in bed. Get up at the same time every day. Don’t go to bed until you feel sleepy. Don’t stay in bed if you’re not sleeping.