Why we need to hit Pause

The clocks in the UK went back at the weekend and if you are like me, you were grateful for the extra hour in bed to make up for being up late the night before – if you are like my mother, you got up at your usual time and used the extra hour to get more done.

Whichever, it got me thinking about sleep and rest  – how much we need it and how it’s becoming difficult to get enough of it in our busy, always on lives.  Sleep is the topic of the moment and there is a steady stream of books about it.  Matthew Walker gets our attention in his book Why we Sleep by describing it as

a revolutionary new treatment that makes you live longer”

– if that doesn’t make us want to spend more time in bed, nothing will!

Nerina Ramlakhan in The Little Book of Sleep says we are losing the ability to switch off and that being always on is making us overtired.  Before mobile phones, we would have idle moments during the day, such as while waiting at the supermarket check-out. Now, we use that time instead to check our phones.  Our brains rarely get the chance to switch off, and get the rest they need.

I felt better on Sunday after my extra hour in bed, so my autumn resolution is to pace my day better, give myself time off, look out of the window, go for walks and give my brain the chance to pause and rest.  And if the gurus are right, that should help me sleep well too.