Sleep like a genius
Everyone knows that getting enough sleep is important to make sure you are on top of your game and fit for working and thinking when you most need to be alert. There are plenty of articles explaining how poor quality sleep – or not enough sleep – can severely impact our mental and physical well-being, making us anxious or depressed, dangerous drivers or unfocused workers. A good night’s sleep is essential for recharging our body and mind, making us able to face each new day with a sense of excitement and freshness.
Well, it’s a well-known fact that Margaret Thatcher could function fully on very little sleep, regularly saying that she needed only 4 hours a night to keep fighting fit and ready to rule the world. Some of the great geniuses of history have been able to manage with far less sleep than the average mum of a new-born, such as Nikola Tesla, the ‘grandfather of electricity’ who supposedly managed on two hours per night. Leonardo Da Vinci favoured a nap system, where he slept for 20-40 minutes every few hours and Churchill was also a big fan of napping. Certainly short siestas are a great way of revitalising yourself for a productive afternoon, especially if you have a comfortable day bed to snooze on. Having 40 winks can boost learning and aid committing facts to memory.
In the past, there is good evidence to suggest that people separated their sleep into two phases. Before electric light, people would go to bed at nightfall then wake after a few hours to pray, read or socialise, finishing their sleep in the early hours of the morning. Some researchers have suggested the human brain is better suited to this model of sleep and going to bed for one long period of sleep is not ideal for us.
Perhaps it is most important to find out what works for you and remember that while Barack Obama happily gets by on little more than what Mrs Thatcher used to, Bill Gates prefers to sleep for more than seven hours a night. Finding the perfect sleep formula for you is the way to making the most of life.
Always keep in mind that your bedding should be clean, dry and fresh so the skin and other shed elements are not an attraction for unseen microbes.