Every living thing sleeps and the fact that our science hasn’t issued a clear guidance as to how much is needed doesn’t mean that we can get away with less than what our body demands.
You can’t tell your body that you slept enough when you didn’t and if it is ever begging you for more, you should consider changing your plans. After all, we all think we are “a kind person” but how kind are you really if you’re not kind to your own body?
In absence of clear scientific guideline, we have to turn to Human Condition Theory for answers about good sleep. What we see “across races, across cultures and across time” is that humans sleep at night, 8 or more hours, without having to wake up to pee. This is the case throughout written history and it makes perfect sense that this is what modern humans also need.
The reason why some people challenge this is not because it doesn’t make common sense but because of convenience. We all wish we had more awake hours – we live in Yang culture that celebrates action and never stopping. But our bodies are not designed for that and it is time we adjust or pay a high price.
Poor sleep costs us so much more than what is obvious. Aside from leaving us tired and unmotivated, we feel sluggish, our brains don’t perform at optimum, irritability and appetite increase, our immunity lowers, sex drive and fertility drops (no pun intended), skin ages faster and bodies organs don’t get the repair they need.
There is evidence that poor sleep causes brain diseases. Countries with lowest sleep averages (Japan, USA) are seeing explosion of dementia related illnesses like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. Research is showing that when human brain is active, it produces toxins that are evacuated from brain cavity only once we sleep deep and long enough.
Sleep has everything with programming and a healthy routine. Our bodies like routines, that is why habits are a part of Human Condition (every culture, every race displays habits across time). A healthy sleep habit means that we go to sleep about the same time and wake up in the morning usually at similar time.
Modern lifestyle that includes weekends off is very disturbing to this and is one of the reasons why many people the “Monday blues” as their body had to change it’s sleep pattern on Sunday evening.
As a tool for balancing Yin & Yang, acupuncture can do miracles for sleep. It creates calm and improves flow in the body and can support body’s weaknesses until good sleep is established. It also does it without the use of chemicals so there are no side effects like we have with sleep medication.