Its a typical monday morning. You wake up and wish you didn't have to go to work. You drag yourself out of bed
wishing you could have slept longer and an hour later you arrive at work ...10 mins late. ...Before you get started at
work, the kettle is on , mins later the smell and taste of coffee kinda wakes you up.... Now it is quite obvious that
you are not the happiest today...... you are irritable, tired and then all isn't good... Again, in the afternoon, you are
having another slump in your energy levels, and your pen drops, your eyes are heavy and the head is hurting. All
you want to do is embrace sleep, the enchantress.
Described above is how you could feel a day following a night you cheated on sleep. While increasingly we pay
so much attention to diet and exercise, sleep should be included as the third one in the triad. While infants need a
lot of sleep for proper growth and tissue formation, elderly adults need adequate sleep for tissue repair, and for
many healing processes that is taking place in the body which is natural to ageing.
Our sleep needs are not solely, but yet regulated by an inherent ' sleep economy' too. For every hour you are
awake, you are developing a sleep debt. This debt need to be paid off in the form of sleep. When you don't have
enough sleep opportunity or when you just don't sleep enough, despite having the opportunity, you are ultimately
running on a sleep overdraft. As a repercussion of this, sleep starts chasing you like an uninvited guest... and gets
hold of you at unexpected times.
Our body clock is also aligned with the presence and absence of natural light. When the sunsets, your body gets
naturally prepared for sleep. Yet when you resist the sleep and squeeze time out of it, you are feeding into the
Sleep is about your experience of it. How well you slept? How long it took you to fall asleep? Was sleep
refreshing? The answers of the above questions are a good yardstick of how well you slept.
So, warmly welcome sleep and follow the cues when its there, so it wont arrive uninvited.
Written by: Motty Varghese (www.sleeptherapy.ie)