“I’m an insomniac – I just live with it”. Sound familiar? It’s quite common to hear people say comments such as “I live on four hours sleep, I’ve just trained my body to deal with it” or “I’ve had insomnia for years, it’s just how I am”. Margaret Thatcher (the Iron Lady!), Bill Clinton and Madonna are all well-known for saying they function on just four hours sleep per night and this created a movement of people following in their path, believing they could be highly productive and healthy with little sleep. However, there is a plethora of research that reveals we need to have around eight hours per night. Sleep is not something we do just for the sake of it. Sleep plays a crucial role to our physical, mental and emotional well-being.
Are you a Sleep Bulimic?
So, whose fault is it that so many of us are struggling to reach the golden 8 hours per night? Factors such as medication, diet, weight, chronic disease, anxiety and depression are well-known players in the game of sleep. Of course, the biggest culprit is a term we’ve come to use in daily life – stress. In fact, stress from the working week has created a community of ‘sleep bulimics’, a term coined by associate professor of psychiatry, Robert Stickgold whereby those who sleep very little from Monday to Friday are binging on sleep at the weekend. The problem with this is that sleep is accumulative and a simple binge on the weekend won’t make up for the negative effect the week has had on your mind, body and emotions. Indeed, the body craves to be at one with the day-night cycle, known as the circadian rhythm.
How to beat Insomnia
Complementary medicine can help you reset your sleeping patterns by treating the underlying causes of insomnia such as your hormones and your nervous system and help you to deal with external stressors such as work and relationships. I have written much about sleep and how complementary medicine can help, so start by reading my most popular article ‘Why You Wake Up At The Same Time Each Night’.
So, do you you accept that you’re an insomniac or someone who ‘functions’ on very little sleep? Or do you challenge this limiting belief and give credit where credit is due – sleep is an invaluable part of your health, wellness and basic survival. Without it, you sacrifice a healthy immune system, a strong mental state and a balance of emotional well-being – all for the sake of getting even more done that you’re already doing. I know which one I choose. What about you? Choose sleep and then see how much you get done! I work with all ages, so book in with me with me for kinesiology and start breaking the pattern of insomnia.