Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Not much when there's much to do

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How much sleep does a middle-age man require or, to be more specific, how much sleep does this middle-age man require? That’s a good question and I’ll give you my answer shortly.

We all grew up being taught that the average person needs eight hours of sleep a night; at least I did. It’s probably sacred in most our minds as a default answer although those of us who get manic now and then about fitness, family and work get by on far less. I am at this moment to no known short-term detrimental effect; or so I think.

There was a time when I would “cry like a baby” if I didn’t get the allotted sleep my mind had been conditioned to believe my body needed. Then I got a life and discovered that so long as I’m generally well-rested and well-fed, it’s no big deal to wake up seriously short in the “good night’s sleep department”.

Over the long haul, our bodies and minds need an average amount of sleep and if we don’t obey Father Time and Mother Nature, we’ll pay the price. As the saying goes “you can pay me now or you can pay me later”. Coming up short, now and then for a day or a small number of consecutive days is not the end of the world and doesn’t deserve to be elevated to a serious crisis to moan about to anyone who’ll listen.

This week I’ll average four to five hours of sleep a night and I don’t feel one cent deprived. It’s because my mind is in high gear and there’s a greater payoff to be alert and awake to wrap up my busy work season than to spend time in “Mr. Sandman-land”.

So back to the question of how much sleep does this middle-age man require? Not much when there’s much to do.

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum

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