The title feels pretty apt as I am currently sitting on a bunk of a Vietnamese sleeper train while I write this. It’s not just the fact that the train is warm (although there is air conditioning thank god) but at around 2am this morning, we were awoken startlingly by a very loud message across the tannoy that we had arrived at such and such stop accompanied by equally annoying tinny music. Comfort and luxury, it is not (but it is kinda fun).
Back on UK soil, the clocks would have gone back an hour by now, signalling the end to British Summertime and the start of the winter months. What does this really mean? Well, according to the American rhyme “spring forward, fall back” – you guys (over there in the UK) gain an hour in bed. Great huh? Well yes actually as long at you make use of it. A recent survey of 2,000 people by Ibis Hotels revealed that a good night’s sleep really does make the difference between a good day and a bad day.
Another interesting stat from their survey is that a staggering 13% of Brits have woken to find they have been creative whilst they’ve slept and have created works of art or writings. Sleep and creativity have long been linked with studies looking at the detrimental impact of a lack of sleep on creativity, so if you’re feeling less creative you can blame your lack of sleep. I always wondered why on some days the ideas just flow while on others, I struggle to construct a simple sentence.
And girls, listen up, you can also blame your dreams for those periods when you’re snappy towards your partner. One in every 10 British women have confessed to being angry with their partners because of something they did in a dream.
Those who live in the capital are also pretty lucky as according to the survey, 41% of Londoners are able to get back to a dream after waking up from it.
Of course, these surveys are like most stats thrown at these days, curated in a way so they create a pretty picture but overall the less-than-ground-breaking story is just another way of telling the generation that “can’t get no sleep” about the importance of shut-eye.
We all know this but now you’ve had your extra hour in bed, perhaps it’s time to think about your sleeping routine. Are you strict about bed time? Do you have a tendency to burn the candle at both ends? Do you have a routine at all? (As much as we all love a weekend lie-in, research has shown that this can completely throw our sleeping patterns out of kilter.)
As an amateur runner/fitness fanatic/crazy adrenaline junkie, I know that sleep has a massive impact on my performance and my mood. And despite the early morning wake-up call today, I’m feeling pretty chilled as I soon fell back into my slumber and am still “in-bed” past midday.
I’m using this holiday for some R’n’R and much-needed rest but also a time to look at how I can improve my sleeping patterns back home. It’s been a crazy few months with plenty of hours but it has left me feeling, well, pretty beat.
There may be an element of truth to the slightly amended saying here:
Early to bed, early to rise, makes the young woman, wealthy and wise (and healthier/faster/stronger)
And I’m going to try and stick to it…
How about you?