Sleep

Date: 2006-Jan-24
Author: Mike Orr <sluggoster@gmail.com>

A good night's sleep is necessary both for alertness and muscle regrowth. So power naps are as important as power lifting. I'm a light sleeper, and I used to have trouble getting to sleep although it hasn't happened as much recently. So I find sleep research interesting.

The Enchanted World of Sleep by Peretz Lavie is the best book I've found for those who are curious about sleep or have sleep problems. Dr Lavie is a sleep researcher in Israel, one of the foremost sleep experts in the world, and describes what we know and don't know, and his clinical and research experiences. One thing he said that helped me was that often when people think they don't get enough sleep, they actually do, they just think they've slept less than they have. They remember the "long hours" of lying awake and think they only slept a few minutes, but actually the "long hours" were shorter than they thought, or they drifted out of consciousness and back without remembering it. Lavie also discusses dreams (which appear be just random firings to test the neurological connections, no something psychologically significant), sleepwalking, teeth grinding (which is a form of sleepwalking), sleep apnea (where you stop breathing for a second and partially wake up to recesitate--very common), and people whose biological clocks run longer than 24 hours (night owls) or shorter (who are always tired trying to keep up with society's schedule unless they can adjust their own schedule to accommodate their sleep needs).