MAY 24, 2006

Living in a world where rest is for wimps

       Brushing your teeth while running out the door, finishing getting ready while you drive, staying late at work, grabbing a bite to eat on the way home because thereís no time for a meal with the family and then itís out the door to run errands in the evening. Arrive home and itís email time and before you know it youíve worked well into the night.
       Who am I describing? Well, it could be anybody really.
       Last fall Statistics Canada reported that an estimated 3.3 million Canadians over the age of 15 suffered from insomnia.  About 18 per cent of these people slept less than five hours per night.
       We live in a 24-hour world where people are now constantly on the go. But with so much happening, are people getting as much rest as needed to function properly each day?
       There are 24-hour news channels, most drive-thru restaurants are open 24 hours, email and the Internet are always on the go, but is all that stuff as important as a natural body function? -- rest.
       With so much to do many people often use the excuse that there isnít time to sleep. Itís also been said that, ďI forgot to sleep.Ē Maybe this isnít necessarily an excuse, but rather us telling our body that everything else we have to do is more important than resting.  Almost trying to convince ourselves that sleep is for wimps.
       In the study that Statistics Canada released it said that ďlife stress was a factor in insomnia. Nearly one-quarter (23%) of people who described most of their days as being either ďquite a bitĒ or ďextremelyĒ stressful reported insomnia.Ē
       There are many people who, when it comes to work, feel they canít be away from a cellphone or email for more than a couple of hours. Many people report that they get up in the middle of the night and check email in case something important has come during the brief sleep.
       Itís like we train or program our bodies to constantly be on the go. Why else would coffee shops have booming business first thing in the morning and during coffee breaks and during lunch breaks and be open all night? They know people need a caffeine fix to keep them going.
       Yes, work is important but pretty soon you wonít be able to work because you will be too exhausted from the stress you force upon your body.
       Iím not a doctor but I think itís OK to say that you canít handle so much at once and take some time for yourself. There is no amount any job could pay me that would have me risking my personal health so badly because after a while I know it will catch up with me.
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