Sunday, April 24, 2016

It's all about that Sleep, 'bout that Sleep...oh, and the sex, apparently

I'm having a bit of trouble sleeping at the moment. Actually I've always had trouble sleeping, which I'll expand on, but the current trouble is to do with the sciatic post-op ache which seems to happen as soon as I lie down. It's like a slow burn rather than anything more dramatic, but it has woken me up and is a bugger to ignore once awake.

So it was with some enthusiasm that I agreed to review Arianna Huffington's latest book on sleep, (for which I received a free copy).


As I said, I've always had sleep problems. As a child I remember still being asleep when my parents had gone to bed. The loneliest feeling in the world to me, for some reason. Silly really as they were in the bedroom right next to mine and I could even hear my dad snoring. As an adult I find that I'm such a light sleeper, someone walking past my house and talking too loudly can wake me up. If the Ball & Chain gets up to go to the loo it wakes me up. The obvious answer I know, would be to wear ear-plugs, but like many mothers, I bear the "safety" burden in this house as that same Ball & Chain can sleep through anything, and two of my three kids have literally slept through an earthquake. Useless, all of them. There has to be someone in the house who can save the rest of the family from whatever danger is lurking.

Ironically, I've also always been a big sleep proponent. According to my kids when they were growing up (and the 12 year old now) their bed times were at least three hours before everyone else's in the entire grade at school. (A quick survey of a few mothers told me otherwise, btw). Minor ailments or a bit of childish sadness was always best cured by a warm bath and an early bedtime in my house. And Arianna agrees with me. I've always liked and respected her. If you think you don't know her, you probably do. She is the founder of the Huffington Post, and although well known in the USA, actually started off her illustrious career after graduating university in England, where she was known as Arianna Stasinopoulos.

It was after collapsing from exhaustion (and breaking her cheekbone) that Arianna finally realized the need to slow down and make lifestyle changes. She began researching sleep and discovered that, according to a recent Gallop poll, 40% of all American adults are perpetually sleep-deprived and get less than the recommended seven hours per night. Seven hours? I need eight at least, to feel good in the morning. What about you?

"The Sleep Revolution'; Transforming Your Life, One Night at a Time"..." is a sweeping, scientifically rigorous, and deeply personal look at sleep.... Every week, new research reveals how vital sleep is to our health, happiness, job performance and relationships." The book is full of facts about how little we sleep and the harm it can do; from dangerous driving (where we might as well be drunk) to politicians boasting about surviving on four hours per night (she's looking at you Trump) - lack of sleep has its consequences.

The book is full of information about how adequate sleep can benefit everything from cognitive ability, to athletic performance to libido. Yes! Get this ladies -

"In a 2015 study, researchers measured the duration of women's sleep and compared it to their level of sexual desire the next day. They found that every additional hour of sleep brought with it a 14 % rise in the likelihood of having some kind of sexual activity with her partner."

You're welcome.

12 comments:

  1. I may have to look into that book for The Husband. And the surgery. He also suffers from sciatic pain and bad sleep. I myself don't have a problem with sleep (thank goodness). And to answer your question, 8 hours is good but 9 is better!

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    1. I would suggest that the sciatic pain has to be really disabling before looking at surgery because it isn't guaranteed. My doc is telling me that it takes a while for the nerve to settle down but it's actually getting worse every day.
      But yes, sleep. It's a great book for people who are resistant to any sleep "methods" because it contains tons of empirical evidence of the need for decent sleep. There are a quite a few suggestions for getting oneself to sleep, including a new one (backed by research) saying that is you actually try to keep yourself awake, you'll make yourself more tired. My mother, who wakes up in the middle of the night, even said she could see the sense in that. It's like when you're trying to keep yourself awake to finish a chapter.

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  2. I remember sleep... Vaguely.

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    1. I know. I don't think I've slept through the night since my kids came along.

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  3. Took me years — and a bedroom separate from my snoring husband's — to regain the ability to get a good night's sleep after the sleep-deprived years of my children's early childhood. I wake to noise that no one else hears, too, though I'm still gobsmacked when there's a thunderstorm right overhead, and my husband claims he didn't notice anything. I wake to noises, familiar and strange, but I've stopped worrying about that, which allows me to drift back to sleep. Like Gigi, I do better on 9 hours. Everyone finds their own rhythms, though I do think it's easier without youngsters in the house!

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  4. I forgot to add this, especially referencing your kids' sleeping through an earthquake, Toni... We lived in a rental house when we first moved to town, and its backyard was right up against a 200-ft sandstone cliff. One moonless night, at about 3 am, huge rocks detached themselves from the cliff and fell, creating an all-mighty racket and shaking the house like an earthquake. I prowled the house, unable to see anything. It really was pitch dark out there. My husband and toddlers slept heedlessly on. Next morning, I could see that one rock, the size of a single-car garage, had rolled onto our next-door neighbor's lawn, stopping a few yards from their garage and pool.

    We bought a house a couple of blocks down from the cliff face (the views are nice from here).

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    1. Yikes. I'm not sure I would have ever slept again after that!

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  5. Have always slept pretty well and also have the capacity to get back to sleep quickly if woken - which I think is a real blessing. It was especially useful when Dougie was on call from home - that telephone ringing in the middle of the night was awful but manageable if you can get back to sleep again.

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    1. I can imagine that would be helpful. I usually find my pulse takes quite a while to come back down after a night call.

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  6. Hope your recovery continues apace and that you are at least getting some sleep. I read an extract from this book and was impressed. I am an eight or nine hours a night woman. Give me much less and I blunder around in a fug. Give me that much and I am quite achieving. Only problem is that work and family made that not too easy. When I realised the answer I adopted a seriously early bed. These days I can sleep later and am grateful for it!

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    1. My sleep definitely depends on noise levels so I should probably start experimenting with ear plugs of some kind. I'm not happy with blocking out all the sound as the dog has alerted me to would-be intruders before and I wouldn't want to sleep through that....

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  7. Hoping you continue to recover well from your op.
    I went through a phase of sleeping for 4 hrs that went on for years. Now I'm on my own, I sleep a good 6hrs a night, though it took me a while to achieve this. It just started to improve slowly.
    (That puts the sex bit in the bin doesn't it!!!!!!)
    Maggie x

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