A lot of people will gladly fast, sometimes for days at a time, and they are able to adapt fairly well, maintaining their productivity, spirits and overall well-being at a fairly high level. Some people can even fast for a week at a time with little ill effect.
But try going a week without sleep. There’s a reason our enemies use sleep deprivation to weaken us and get us to talk and compromise our beliefs.
Former Israeli Primer Minister Menachem Begin, himself once a captive of his enemies, observed: “In the head of the interrogated prisoner a haze begins to form. His spirit is wearied to death, his legs are unsteady, and he has one sole desire: to sleep…. Anyone who has experienced this desire knows that not even hunger and thirst are comparable with it.”
Amnesty International, recognizing this, lists sleep deprivation as a prime form of torture. Yet many of us gladly go on torturing ourselves in pursuit of a promotion at work, the almighty dollar, or even a “good time” with our friends, and then try to shrug off the tiredness we experience. We often force ourselves into thinking that being tired all the time is normal.
How much sleep do we need? Researchers who put people in a room without windows or a clock and asked them to sleep whenever they felt tired found that 95 percent would sleep between seven and eight hours a day, the other five percent either longer or shorter. In other words, only 2.5 percent of us, according to research, can get by on fewer than seven hours a night of sleep, yet most people report sleeping less routinely. That’s one in 40 people.
Artists, models and performers know the value of sleep, most of them getting eight or more hours a day. They routinely report that they perform better — and feel better — the more they sleep.
Thus sleeping even eight or nine hours a day can actually improve your performance — and make you feel immeasurably better.
What if you’re trying to get a good night’s sleep but snoring is disturbing your effort, and after even eight hours, you’ve slept only a small portion of that time in normal, restorative sleep mode?
This is not uncommon, with 30 to 40 million or more Americans suffering from disruptive snoring and either not realizing the effect it has on their daily lives or (and) not doing anything about it.
On many occasions, we’ve written about the ill effects of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), which causes scores, even hundreds, of bouts of interrupted sleep each night — actually, scores or hundreds of times when people just can’t breathe for seconds at a time each night.
If you have a snoring and a waking problem (feeling fatigued or even less than optimal in your waking hours), then you need to see a sleep professional immediately and undergo an evaluation.
You can function quite normally when restricting your food intake, but when your sleep is restricted, your whole life is shortchanged. Get your sleep fixed today!