English: inside one bedroom

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

According to Russell Foster this statement is wrong at so many different levels.  In his TED talk “Why do we sleep?” Russell discusses the myths of sleep and why it is important for us to take sleep seriously.

In the 1950’s people averaged 8 hours of sleep every night.  Today it is very common for many of us to get only 5 hours of sleep.  Teenagers need 9 hours of sleep every night but many get only 5 hours.  This is not enough!

This lack of sleep leads to traffic accidents, poor memory, poor creativity, poor judgement, stress, drug and alcohol use, weight gain, loss of memory and a weakened immune system.

If being tired is bad and sleep is good, why don’t we make it a priority in our lives?

Perhaps we think more like Thomas Edison:

“Sleep is a criminal waste of time and a heritage from our cave days.”  

or as Margaret Thatcher said, “Sleep is for wimps.”

I like this TED talk by Russell Foster.  I am beginning to like the concept of getting more sleep.  In fact, a short nap sounds really good right now!  Maybe companies like Google could start encouraging all employees to take afternoon naps.  A short twenty-minute nap every afternoon may actually help us be more creative and productive in our jobs.

What do you think?