“Well you’re never gonna get it!”
So say the Barenaked Ladies, the Canadian band famous for their catchy and clever lyrics. Definite song-tongue-twisters. A band perhaps more famous these days for their theme tune for The Big Bang Theory, but some great albums.
Anyway, this is not a post about them, or music. I came across an article on the BBC Website, which can be found here, all about the benefits of an extra hour’s sleep.
I didn’t realise that the great folk of GB’land average a measly six-and-a-half hours’ sleep a night. That is what the Sleep Council say at least. Who knew there was a Sleep Council?
I probably manage about seven hours a night so feel less like complaining about it now!
The article got me thinking. Sleep can be a driving force to our characters and how they journey through our stories. A chronic insomniac is likely to be cranky. From my many years as an insomniac hoping for a an hour or two a night, I know how lack of sleep made me the cranky mad-man from Sheffield. Character idea! :)
Add medication into the mix, your main protagonist could over-sleep, miss that important interview/appointment that changes their life story. Endless possibilities from a variety of sleep habits.
Extending your sleep pattern to more than six-and-a-half hours’ sleep is beneficial as we step back to the article:
… when the volunteers cut back from seven-and-a-half to six-and-a-half hours’ sleep a night, genes that are associated with processes like inflammation, immune response and response to stress became more active. The team also saw increases in the activity of genes associated with diabetes and risk of cancer. The reverse happened when the volunteers added an hour of sleep.
So the clear message from this experiment was that if you are getting less than seven hours’ sleep a night and can alter your sleep habits, even just a little bit, it could make you healthier. “Have a lie-in, it will do you good” – that’s the kind of health message that doesn’t come along very often.
Food for thought. Why don’t you sleep on it and see how you feel in the morning. ;)
Thanks for reading.