Like many of you, I used to feel guilty if I slept in beyond the recommended 7 to 8 hours. For a while, I even tried to function on 6-7 hours of sleep. After all, great achievers like Margaret Thatcher and Churchill were reported to sleep as little as 4 hours a night.
But thereâ€™s lots of research to show that we actually need to sleep more. Professor Stanley Coren from the University of British Columbia in Canada, author of â€˜The Sleep Thievesâ€™, says that the standard 7-8 hours sleep a night leaves us chronically sleep-deprived. Itâ€™s affecting our mental skills, our motor skills, our emotional wellbeing and our health.
Also, he says, it affects road safety. Canadian traffic statistics show that with the loss of just one hourâ€™s sleep each night after the switch to daylight savings time, there is a 7% jump in traffic accidents. When daylight savings ends in Autumn, thereâ€™s a 7% decrease in traffic accidents.
When you sleep is just as important as how long you sleep. When we sleep later, we disrupt our biorhythms which regulate our bodyâ€™s ability to heal, repair and rejuvenate. If you chronically sleep late, you create hormonal imbalances that affect your health, energy levels, mental performanceâ€¦and your beauty.
If you want to feel and look your best and get more out of life, go to bed early and get at least eight hours of sleep every single nightâ€¦even 9 or 10 hours if you need them. The earlier before midnight you go to bed, the more your body will be recharged. This is the best thing you can do to stay young and healthy, and be at your mental best.