All my life I have listened to medical experts who said that eight hours is correct amount of sleep for human beings. I often wondered how a concrete number like that could be automatically prescribed for everyone on earth, considering that every person is different and each of our bodies has a different requirement for any number of things that nourish and help us. Nonetheless, I always assumed that the experts must know what they’re talking about, and so I got my eight hours like a good girl.
Over time, however, I noticed that eight hours wasn’t really rejuvenating me anymore. I found it difficult to get up in the morning, and nearly impossible to stay fully alert during the day. Thinking that I must not be getting enough sleep, I made my bed time earlier, and started getting even more rest than I already had been. Much to my surprise, this made the situation worse. I was even more groggy than normal, and getting out of bed in the morning became an exercise akin to pulling teeth. Clearly something was not right. I was pretty sure I wasn’t ill, so obviously something was still wrong with my sleeping schedule.
It wasn’t until I had an unexpected period of being extra busy that I discovered something both interesting and counter-intuitive. I had so much to do and so little time in which to do it, that my daytime activities started cutting into my sleep time. I was worried about this, dreading the inevitable exhaustion, but as it turned out, becoming even more tired was not at all that happened. When I reduced my nightly amount of sleep to six hours, suddenly I started feeling much better. The change was almost immediate, and it was undeniable. At the end of the first week, I couldn’t believe how much more energetic I was, both in the morning and later in the day.