Exploding the myths about sleep – and silence

The biggest story on the BBC News website for the past few days has been The myth of the eight hour sleep – surpassed by Segmented sleep – ten strange things people do at night. The first article discussed how the “ideal” night’s sleep hasn’t always consisted of a single eight-hour chunk – in previous times and cultures, people were used to sleeping for four hours, wake for two, and then return to sleep. The second profiled people who thrive on waking in the night, and show how their unusual sleep patterns can actually bring them peace, clarity, and an edge to their lives that was missing when they tried to conform to the expected societal norms of sleep.

Reading about what people can achieve during the middle of the night made me think about how we can actually achieve a huge amount in a short space of time. When some of my clients working in highly stressful jobs tell me “I haven’t got a single minute of free time to relax”, I always challenge them. They are usually the ones awake in the night, tossing and turning and obsession over their anxieties. Yet they claim they can’t spare a minute during the day to engage in an activity that would help them sleep better.

Everybody, even the Prime Minister, can spare one minute. Here are some ideas on ten things you can do in a minute of silence. And you don’t have to get up in the middle of the night to do them!

I’d love to hear your feedback or share your ideas of what you get done in your minute of rest time.

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