it does you good to get some sleep

Sleep, it does a body good

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As Americans, we pride ourselves on our ability to bust tail. I told my kids as they grew up, to make an impression. You have to make yourself a hand. Hard work and dedication will often get you pretty far in the world. This is still true. Yet, sleep is starting to have a favorable look also.

The public view of sleep is starting to change. With proof being in other countries. We also see what happens in countries like Japan when it is honorable to work yourself into an early grave. There is more to life than working, I know, it’s weird for me to say. Especially if my kids ever heard me say that. They would wonder who this man is. Yet there is truth to the saying of all work and no play.

Many people who think that napping is an indication if being lazy. My favorite figure from history was one of those people. Ben Franklin famously said

Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.

and when questioned about that and his famous life of leisure Mr. Franklin said

A life of leisure and a life of laziness are two things. There will be sleeping enough in the grave.

So sadly there the creator of the Juto Society is not an admirer of naps. If he only knew then what we know today.

People who like to nap

While there are those who believe that naping is a sign of sloth there are many very productive people who firmly believe in the power of the snooze.

Winston Churchill

Winston Churchill loved his 2 hour naps after enjoying a whiskey and coke. Though his sleep cycle was a bit off.
Doesn’t he just look rested?

The leader of England during the Second World War was famous for his 5 pm siesta. Often would drink a Whiskey and coke and take a 2-hour nap. He credits this to being able to get a day and half of the work done in a 24 hour period. OfF course that late in the day he was also known as a night owl and so his sleep schedule was a bit on the wonky side.

Nature has not intended mankind to work from eight in the morning until midnight without that refreshment of blessed oblivion which, even if it only lasts twenty minutes, is sufficient to renew all the vital forces. – Winston Churchill

Margaret Thatcher

Now the Iron Lady was known for going on only 4 hours of sleep a night but she also would make up the sleep deficit on her car rides. It was well known that she would catch a short nap in her limo.

Ronald Reagan

The Gipper was known for going to sleep when he could. His afternoons were marked Nap time
President Ronald Reagan

The Gipper was famous for his napping. Now his opponents tried to use this against him and Nancy lovingly tried to deny his passion for naps. His schedule had “Afternoon is still Naptime”.  Reagan often talked about how he loved Turkey hunts because of opportunities to catch a good nap. Reagan was known would take one to recharge when he put on his tux. When leaving the office it was joked that his cabinet chair was going to have “Ronald Reagan Slept here,” engraved into it.

Salvador Dali

You would think the man who made some trippy paintings was sleep deprived, but it was actually his style of napping that is so interesting. He did what he described as “Slumber with a Key”.  He would sleep in a chair and would hold a key in his fingers. As he drifted off to sleep. His fingers would relax to the point that the key would fall and hit a metal dish on the floor. This clatter would wake him up.

Salvador Dali had a very unique way of sleeping in the afternoon.Salvador was tapping into a special type of nap called Hypnagogic napping, This was used by monks and other creative people to tap into the free thinking that happens when one slips between level 1 sleep and level 2 sleep.

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John F Kennedy

JFK was such a dedicated napper that he would leave guests downstairs to entertain themselves while he and Jackie would sleep. During this time nobody went upstairs to disturb them unless it was a true emergency.

Johns had a sleeping ritual he would go through. After his noon exercise he would eat his lunch in bed.He would have the shades drawn and Jackie would join him for his nap. After the nap, he would wake up take a shower and continue his day.

Arianna Huffington

You may know her as the force behind the Huffington Post. She has since left the blog and is dedicating her life to the auspices of sleep. Arianna is now pushing for a sleep revolution.

She talks about how our tech addiction is a good part to blame to our lack of sleep and how so many Americans don’t get enough rest.

Thomas Edison

Yeah, this dude was a bit of a contradiction as he was in much of his life. Yet he knew how to nap. Though he did all he could to hide his napping from the public. He often was known to take a couple of 3-hour naps throughout the day. He would then nap just about anywhere he could, be it in a closet or on his workbench.

The Benefits of Sleeping

Sleeping is important. That goes without saying. There is a reason we get tired and our thinking goes crooked. If you are really tired you may say stuff that you normally never would say in public.

Sleep provides important benefits to you even when it is just a cat nap in the middle of the day. The head of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said that “a 26-minute nap improves performance in pilots by 34% and alertness by 54%”. That is quite a pick me up if you are exhausted from work or other stresses you are experiencing.

But getting a good nights sleep has other benefits too.

Many people like Martha Stewart, Bill Clinton, and Glenn Beck who are known for running on only 3 hours of sleep a night. Though that is great if you are looking at getting things done. Doing so has their trade-offs.

Take Glenn Beck for instance. Now I seriously don’t care about whether you like him or hate him. It is not about what you think of his views. Glenn has taken extreme measures to get back to sleeping a normal amount of time. For over 10 years Glenn would talk about how he only had to sleep for 3 hours a night, and how great it was for his productivity. Yet that productivity was a trade-off because of all his sleepless nights his body started to attack itself. Many theorize that his Macular Corneal Dystrophy is part of his body not getting enough sleep. While others think that is why he cried so much. Was because his body was physically exhausted and his mind was drained as well.

Yet Glenn decided to change things and I believe he hired a sleep coach and changing his habits have put him back on course of fixing his assorted health problems he was having.

Besides allowing your body to heal itself there are other benefits to getting a good nights sleep.

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Sleep improves your memory

If you are gearing up to be a Jeopardy contestant, then you really want to get a good nights sleep. Unlike that college year where you crammed all night for the finals. You could have done better if you had studied all through the week and had a good nights sleep. You might be surprised at the amount you retained because you were able to get a good solid 8 hours under your belt.

Sleep reduces inflammation

How many times have you heard that a person in an accident was put into a chemically induced Coma? Why do they do that? That’s because a coma is a lot like sleeping. When you have a head injury or other internal injuries the best solution is to sleep it off. So doctors will metaphorically konk the patient over the head so that they are able to heal better.

The same goes for you. If you are not wanting to get sick. Get some sleep. If you are sick don’t go out and infect the rest of society with your zombie virus. Sleep it off. You will start feeling better faster and your co-workers will thank you. Well except Gary in accounting, Seriously What’s his problem?

Sleep Improves creativity

Ever find yourself in a creative jam? You just can’t think through that next important project you have to do. Take a nap. When you wake up you may find the spark of inspiration you were looking for.

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Sleep Improves Your Attention Span

You ever find your mind wander…

Hey, there is a squirrel over there!

Oh yeah! Sorry, sleep helps you with your focus. Often this is the first thing that goes when you are mentally tired. If you find that you can’t focus when you normally can, That is a good indicator that you need a rest. Go take a nap or heck you might go ahead and knock off for the day and go walk around the park give your brain a mini-vacation.

Sleep Helps You Lose Weight

Sounds counter-productive. Sleep and you lose weight? Take someone who is sleep deprived. They have been going on 3 or 4 hours of sleep for the last week. They are needing more energy. What they are going to use for energy is processes sugars and carbohydrates. Both of these are easy to gather. They also have empty calories.

If you get enough to sleep you won’t be craving sugars as much which helps a person lose weight. So you have the bad choices that are made. Also, when you are tired your brain will change your metabolism so that it can save energy.

Sleep Lowers Stress

Then there is the going without sleep puts your body under stress. This causes you to produce stress hormones also that slows down the metabolism. That not only adds to your weights as mentioned above. Stress also causes its own damage to your body, your heart, and mind.

So getting enough sleep is a good activity. Yeah, you can go on short bursts of no sleep but you are racking up the ramifications of those sleepless nights. So make sure you are getting enough sleep.

How to set up a good sleeping area.

Now each person is different so you may have to come up with your own way of getting ready for bed. Here are a few ways you can make it easier for you to get to sleep and stay asleep.

Get rid of the Television

Make your bedroom a place for sleeping and sex. That’s it. If you like to have a television in your room you will likely find it harder to go to sleep. That is because the blue light that is created by the television. It is more prevalent in electronics and the sun. So that light tells your brain to stay up.

Electronics should be put away

They may be helpful in everyday life but not in every nightlife. So place the phones and tablets on the far side of the room if not in another room.

Cool it down

Your body produces more heat when you are sleeping so you will sleep better when you have a cooler room.

Change the sheets

Ever notice the feel of fresh sheets? Yeah, you have a better nights sleep on clean sheets.

There are more ways you can sleep better maybe you need some white noise, or maybe you need total silence. Then there are the windows. Do you black them out or just use heavy curtains?

There are many ways for a person to get the best sleep possible. It just takes a bit of tinkering and research to find what works for you. Get a full 8 hours or more of sleep you will be refreshed and ready to tackle the day when you do so. Do you have any special sleeping rituals? If so tell us in the comments below.

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About Bryan Goodwin

I like being able to help people find their "why" and achieve the personal freedom they desire. Besides writing for Relaxed Male I also am a life coach. By helping men find the leader that is found in each and every one of us. I do this by encouraging men to get outdoors and find the balance they are missing. Realize that they need to be in contact with the outside as often as they can. It is not only good for them but for their families and relationships.

1 Comment

  1. This is a great article thanks. I had never heard of the Hypnagogic nap but it’s really fascinating.

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