I wonder how much sleep is “enough”?
When Margaret Thatcher was Prime Minister it was said that she needed only four hours a night.
While sleep requirements vary slightly from person to person, most healthy adults need between seven and a half to nine hours of sleep per night to function at their best. Children and teens need even more (see Average Sleep Needs table below). And despite the notion that our sleep needs decrease with age, older people still need at least seven and a half to eight hours of sleep.
I don’t think I would want to keep a note of how long I sleep when I’m having a bad few days with the tiredness and exhaustion as it would be too depressing. However, what about on good days? How much sleep might I need then? Well, if last night and today are anything to go by, n-o-t v-e-r-y m-u-c-h. NOT VERY MUCH. Not very much.
Last night I stayed up late watching an enjoyable, rubbishy film on TV, then I watched the news on a 24-hour TV news channel, followed by a comprehensive weather forecast before doing some tidying up. It ended up being around 2.45am when I went to bed and at least 3.15am before I fell asleep. I awoke somewhere around 8.45am which meant I had something like five and a half hours’ sleep and yet, today, I have had a good day. And I mean a good day!
I have had no bouts of exhaustion today – hooray! I haven’t suffered excessive tiredness today – woohoo! I’ve been able to function (almost) normally today – wow! (OK, maybe the ‘wow’ is a little over the top 😉 ).
It has been lovely to have a bit of time today when I have felt normal, oh and my goodness, it has felt so good. It has been a while coming and it is so very welcome.
It wasn’t normal. It wasn’t what my normal seems to be now, as I wasn’t feeling desperately tired, but neither was it my old normal – I had too little energy for that. However, it was so much better than when I am drowning in exhaustion, that ‘normal’ seemed to be the most appropriate label for it.
Anyway, regardless of how today is labelled, it was a good day and I gad it after only five and a half hours’ sleep. Pretty good, huh? Well, I think so!