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Is our society sleep deprived?

There’s some evidence that people in our society (that is westernised countries like US, UK, Australia, etc) are not getting enough sleep. That made me wonder at the truth of idea that we need 8 hours per night.

According to a BBC report from 2007 it is a myth that we each need a full 8 hours a night. Their take on it all is that we all need as much sleep as we need. Prof Jim Horne, director of Loughborough University’s Sleep Research Centre, says regarding the 8 hour myth:

“It’s nonsense. It’s like saying everybody should have size eight shoes, or be five foot eight inches.

“There is a normal distribution – the average sleep length is seven, seven and a quarter hours.”

But sometimes I find it hard to get to bed at a reasonable hour and I asked a buddy for some tips:

“here be my sleep tips for getting to bed/sleep before midnight:

  • Have a start time. To get to bed before midnight you need to start getting ready by 11. That means your real focus is on 11, not midnight. Focusing on midnight encourages you to overshoot your “deadline”. Focus on 11.
  • At 11, turn off your computer(s). And TV. And anything else that goes “bing.”
  • Have a routine. Clean teeth, change, cup-o-tea, whatever. It’s your “bed time” routine and should be the same each night.
  • Try and have the same conditions that you fall asleep to each night. For example: soft, non-distracting music playing; dogs sleeping in room (or not); partner in bed (or not); etc.”