Rest is the basis of activity. If you don’t rest long enough, deeply enough, or often enough, you will be damaging your mind as well as your body. Ask anyone who has suffered from “burn-out”. Or an athlete who has over trained. It is good to make use of and even mildly stress all our faculties and functions, this will make you stronger and more capable. But then, it is essential to take rest and recovery or else you are just digging yourself into an ever deeper hole…
Sleep guidelines from the National Sleep Foundation suggest:
“7-9 hours/night for adults, more for younger people.”
This means every night.
Trying to make up for lost sleep on weekends by sleeping in is mostly an illusion, you will live in chronic sleep debt which can lead to cardiovascular problems and promote diabetes and obesity.
There are abundant resources on line that give tips on how to get to sleep and insuring good quality sleep. Here is a very short list of some of the most important ones:
• Keep a regular schedule ie go to bed and get up at the same times every night and morning
• Keep your bedroom as dark as possible. If necessary, hang heavy drapes, etc.
• Keep it quiet as well as dark. Having a radio or television playing or even a white noise generator will stimulate your nervous system and can cause problems. If there is noise you can’t avoid, from neighbors for example, ear plugs can work wonders. I love the soft, silicone ones you can get at most drug stores. You just mash them in really well, so they stick the skin surrounding the hole in your ear and they block out sound better than anything else I have tried.
• Avoid exposure to blue light at night. Amazingly enough, blue light suppresses production of melatonin, the main hormone that regulates sleep. If you have an digital clock, be sure it is one that has red or orange numerals instead of blue or blue-green.
• Minimize electrical pollution. Electric blankets, being on the other side of the wall from a refrigerator (particularly an older model), the other side of the wall from a television set… things like that can disrupt sleep in the sensitive.
• Turn off you computer and television set at least an hour before you go to bed. The brain stimulation from the EMF’s and bright screen images, regardless of content, can disrupt sleep and even cause insomnia. No work, no news, do something truly relaxing or at the very least mildly boring.
• Be careful of stimulant intake, including “hidden” stimulants. Caffeine is not only in coffee. It and similar molecules are in tea, chocolate, many sodas (ewwww shouldn’t be drinking those anyway!), “energy” drinks, all sorts of places you might not expect. For some, ingesting even mild stimulants early in the day can disrupt sleep at night.
There’s lots more but that should give you some ideas to trouble shoot if you have difficulty sleeping at night.