A writer for the Guardian explains the importance of getting enough sleep and how overthinking her insomnia is keeping her awake at night.
Last year a leaked government green paper stated that less than seven hours was associated with “increased risk of obesity, strokes, heart attacks, depression and anxiety”. Researchers who analysed 25 years’ worth of sleep studies described the link between insufficient sleep and premature death as “unequivocal”, which is helpful to remember at 4am when your face itches, your legs are simultaneously leaden and restless and that embarrassing incident in 2010 involving an acquaintance’s toaster plays on repeat in your whirring mind.
The problem is that sleep has become a “wellness” goal – another milestone in our quest for self-optimisation. It is ripe for data harvesting and analysis: sleep apps and wristbands monitor our cycles and help us identify patterns. It is also the ideal target for hacks and five-point plans.
The more we fetishize sleep, the harder it is to relax and let it happen.