Is good sleep a simple matter of length, the longer the better? If you've ever needed a nap after sleeping too much, you know it isn't that simple. Let's examine the problem through an easier question to answer: what is bad sleep?
Learning to wind down at the end of a day without a laptop, cellphone or tablet assaulting our retinas is a modern-day challenge. But give it a try. If you can unplug your electronics at least an hour before bed, you might get a night of good sleep.
It's all too common for people to shrug off their episodes of insomnia, to do their best to function and cope. This kind of "power through" strategy is rampant in our busy world, but there's no real escape from the consequences that insomnia can bring.
Joseph Emet's Buddha's Book of Sleep: Sleep Better in Seven Weeks with Mindfulness Meditation is a book which those who do have trouble sleeping will find eminently useful -- if they approach it with patience and a willingness to do the necessary work.
As more and more Iraq and Afghanistan veterans are realizing their post-war health problems, and because many Vietnam veterans are getting older, the number of veterans applying for OSA-related disability benefits will only continue to rise in the coming years.
For those that are living always "on" in an always-connected, overwired world, there simply is never enough time. Especially for sleep. All too often, when there is time for sleep, we can't. Our minds are too busy to turn off.
We often sacrifice sleep because of long workdays that spill over into our "leisure time," because we're watching late-night TV, and sometimes because that is the only time that we have to ourselves after we put the kids to bed.
Over the past century there has been a dramatic increase in the incidence of depression, sleep disorders and obesity. New data suggest that at least part of this increase could be due to the ever-growing exposure to light at night.
I think the sleep revolution is one major endorsement away from exploding into popular culture. The foundation is in place. We just need one athlete to speak out about how he or she considers sleep to be a cornerstone for success.
We train our children, from a very young age, to ignore a feeling of tiredness and work till late at night. They go on to college and all-nighters, consuming caffeine in every conceivable form to stay awake. Working hard equals staying up at night. Right?