Modern man skips on the amount of sleep needed for the body to remain healthy and functioning well.
Who hasn’t woken up in the morning, bleary-eyed after a night of too short or disturbed sleep? The experience of the entire day suffers, energy levels are low, coffee intake is too high and a certain grumpiness and edginess creep in; in a nutshell – you find yourself in a foul mood. There’s necessarily also a decline in alertness which can become dangerous in particular in public jobs, as sleep deprivation can lead to dangerous accidents.
Much of the population – in particular those living in cities – suffers from lack of sleep. People sometimes even proudly declare that they can manage on four hours of sleep only; famous world leaders such as Napoleon Bonaparte and Winston Churchill allegedly got on with very little sleep. According to the Big Sleep Survey conducted in Australia, a huge amount of us are walking around feeling tired. More than 50% of participants of the survey said they felt tired a few days each week, and women are more likely to feel tired than men – 58% compared to 47%. Not surprisingly, women are more likely to say they are not getting enough sleep. However, an alarming one third kept a mobile phone in their bedroom at night, although it has finally been made abundantly clear that mobile phones emit electromagnet radiation.
One ponders, what are the physical and mental consequences of not letting the body rest and do full maintenance during the night?
I have also always found it rather reckless that doctors in hospitals are required to do incredibly long work shifts. According to USA Today (10/1/2010), the time for one shift was reduced for first year doctors from 24 to 16 hours. The maximum shift length remains 24 hours for residents in their second year of training and beyond. This is too long a time to remain alert and deal with critically ill people! It is criminal to let a sleep deprived doctor loose on a patient and I cannot see the reason why such a dangerous rule has ever been implemented and is accepted by the general public. But I regress.
Highly important for good sleep is the right ambiance. I have long ago abandoned alarm clocks and hung up dark curtains to prevent light penetrating the bedroom. There isn’t much electric wiring in the bedroom; there’s no phone, no TV, laptop or radio and the mattress is large and firm. I more or less regularly go to bed around a certain time that suits me and wake up cheerfully about eight hours later. And should I wake up in the middle of the night out of whatever reason and find it hard to get back to sleep there’s a brilliant remedy: go within!
Related discourse by Osho: Sleep Needs to Come Back into Man’s Life
Bhagawati, Osho News