Who needs eight hours anyway?

Like many people I tend to be fixated on the idea of getting eight hours’ sleep. The fact that I have probably only achieved this a handful of times in my adult life doesn’t seem to deter me. I still move dutifully towards bed by 10pm most nights, hopeful that this will be the night that I’ll achieve the magic eight.  Recognising that this repetitive, yet fruitless behaviour would be classed as madness by certain scientific geniuses, I’m going to test another theory: aiming for less sleep.

After reading an article about Professor Jason Ellis’ book ‘The One-Week Insomnia Cure’ I decided to start recording my sleep patterns. I’ve never done this before so it was quite a shock when I totted everything up today and discovered that the average time I’ve been asleep during the suggested seven day period was just five and a half hours. So not eight hours then. In fact I only managed to get just over seven hours on one occasion and that was because I’d slept for a pathetic three hours the night before and was absolutely ragged.

I’m determined not to react in panic to this figure – even when, as happened this week, I read articles telling me that women insomniacs are at a higher risk of heart attacks and strokes. Why? Why do they give these studies the light of day? Do they imagine that this information will actually help people like me sleep better?! (I’m not linking the article here. Trust me, you don’t need to read it).

But as I said, I’m not going to panic. Armed with this new information I am taking action and staying up late. Because according to the dear Professor’s theory, given that my alarm goes off at 6am (when I say alarm, I mean toddler), I should actually be switching the light off at 12.30am. Then I’ll be in bed for the precise time I actually need to sleep. Magic.

I have to admit to feeling slightly nervous about the prospect of a post-midnight curfew. I just don’t think I’ll hold my nerve that long. I’m going to try for midnight tonight – six hours’ sleep – and see what happens. Of course I’ll need to try it for a week to really see if it works. Yes, a whole week of staying up with the grown-ups. A whole week of two hours’ extra time in my life. Reading time! Writing time! I am yearning for this to work.

Watch this space – I’ll let you know how the test goes. In the meantime, as it’s already gone 11.30pm, I’d best be off.

Thanks for reading.

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One thought on “Who needs eight hours anyway?

  1. Pingback: Permission to stay up late | The Sheep Counter

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