Thursday, August 31, 2006

Sleep: Who Needs It?

God invented sleep. It is a good and healthy thing. I don’t get enough of it. When I have less than about 7 hours of good, solid sleep, my head feels soggy.

Most people actually need around 8-9 hours of sleep, I have read. Jane E. Brody wrote, in a New York Times article, that

A hard-working man I know once read that the brain needs only four hours of sleep a night, so he trained himself to sleep no more than that. But while you can teach yourself to sleep less, you cannot teach yourself to need less sleep. A person's sleep needs are biologically determined. Some people need only six hours a night, others need 10, but for most adults, at least eight hours a night is required to function optimally.

In fact, before widespread use of the light bulb in the early 1900s and before distractions like television and the Internet, the average adult slept nine hours a night. And recent studies have shown that when all clues to time are removed and people are permitted to sleep as much as they choose, they sleep 10.3 hours out of every 24, just as monkeys and apes do.

I guess monkeys and apes know something we don’t. At least they won’t fall asleep at the wheel of their cars because of sleep deprivation. Perhaps we could learn from them.


Brody, Jane E. “Facing Up to the Realities of Sleep Deprivation.” New York Times. 31 Mar. 1998. 31 Aug. 2006 http://www.physics.ohio-state.edu/~wilkins/writing/Resources/essays/sleeping.html




5 comments:

RLC said...

My oldest read the title of this post and said, "yeah, who needs sleep!" I went on to tell him that you were saying that everybody needs sleep. He said, "Oh...well God doesn't need sleep!" I smiled and said, "you are correct God doesn't need sleep." Isn't it awesome to remember that God never gets tired, in fact it says in Psalm 121 that he never sleeps or slumbers. Our need for sleep is a daily reminder that we are not God.

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