On the way to one of our Yin Yoga Teacher Training programs in Thailand, I read a great book that I picked up in the airport, "Why We Sleep" by British sleep scientist, Mathew Walker. It was fascinating to read. There I was about to enter a few days of sleep deprivation as I landed, jet lagged in Thailand reading about how critical sleep is. I hardly slept on the plane it was so good.
I love the book. It is a perfect compliment to Yin Yoga theory. We all really do need to spend much more time than we think resting, calming down, and yes, sleeping. It's not a waste of time, a lost few hours, an inconvenient biological hangover. And we need to figure it out in our lives.
Walker convinces that sleep is critical to everything from memorising facts, healthy growing up, sex and avoiding cancer, dementia and obesity and depression. Below you can see an interview with him. He argues that anything less than 8 hours a night is crucial to you functioning just the basic you. 8 hours! Do you get that? If not, have a read, it should get you cuddling up to your pillow and getting more shut-eye.
I loved this page turner because it ties into Yin Yoga theory so well. It says what the Yogis of old have intuited. And in a world where our sympathetic (fight or flight, do things, go places, achieve, now, not later) nervous system is always being stimulated and pushed, here is a guy arguing that Red Bull, adrenaline, coffee and bright lights, big Instagram accounts are not all. Here is a scientist saying we don't need to suffer from illness and unhappiness... and how? Just get into a Yin pose and hold for 8 hours....
So get your timer out... and turn the alarm off.
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