Page last updated at 16:24 GMT, Wednesday, 11 February 2009

Scrubbing up: Your comments

Read more of your comments on this week's scrubbing up article by sleep expert Neil Stanley.


I agree completely about the adverse affects of getting too little sleep in the long term. I go to bed at 2am and get up at 8.30am. For me this is too little sleep, but traffic noise and being a very light sleeper means I cannot go to bed earlier. Not to mention I hate wasting my life sleeping and would rather surf the net. I become aggressive, short-tempered, my memory is hazy and I feel constantly physically tired.
Sara, Southend, Essex

I do get enough sleep and will rarely sacrifice my sleep for other things. However, too many people see it as time wasted, and time when they could be doing something related to work or entertainment.
Suzannah Lipmann, Canterbury, UK

It is becoming increasingly difficult to insulate oneself against negative influences from the local environment. I can recall when the roads were quiet compared with today's traffic between midnight and morning, allowing for an undisturbed nights sleep. Since every available space is being filled with vast warehouses and distribution centres operating round the clock, there is a constant noise nuisance.
Paul Jennings, Long Lawford, UK

This is so right! I exchanged my late night internet chats for a quiet evening and turning in early. This not only improved my mental performance in at work but also made me feel much happier and more lively throughout the day. As soon as I had a late night, I was back to grumpy, stressed and not as mentally agile.
Tony Kenny, Expat, Poland

I agree wholeheartedly with this article. It would help, in my mind, if at night we could have proper darkness and quiet as well, to help us sleep. We are so caught up with providing everything on demand for anyone who wants it we are losing sight of what is and isn't natural, there is no rhythm to life anymore, and we are all suffering as a result.
Jonathan, Colchester, Essex

I sleep five hours a night, at most, during the work week. Every now and then I feel like I really need a nap around 1800, but it passes with activity. My personal solution is to sleep for about 12 hours one night a week, usually Friday night. I'm more worried about the total time available to me in my life than about sleeping eight hours a night. I can't really do much while I sleep.
Carl, USA

"Reclaim the night"? Great, try telling that to my shift-working neighbours who think it's OK to start playing music when they come in at three am, and to the unscrupulous landlord who let out the flat to them without laying down the rules - or any sound-proofing for that matter.
A very ratty, sleep-deprived person

I have two jobs to make ends meet. On Tuesday and Wednesday I start my day at 0645 and am still working at 2315; finally getting home at 2330 and needing an hour to wind down after work. Right now I am completely washed out and still have another nine hours to go!
Carlos, Worcester, UK

I try to get at least eight hours of sleep a night. As a young person with a busy and active social life and the stresses of finances keeping me awake, this sometimes isn't always possible. But I do recognise the benefits of an excellent night of sleep and preach its benefits to my husband and friends. My husband realises he doesn't get enough sleep and sometimes will go two days without sleeping. Mulling away at the computer doing various kinds of things. But his habits are hard to change. I think modern technology is not compatible with a long night's sleep at all.
Kayla Crosby, Stoke-On-Trent, UK

I agree, we need to sleep, but we also need to live. Most of our waking lives are spent at work, essentially doing things we don't want to do in order to keep ourselves alive. And by definition, there's no pleasure in working. So the only chance that I, and I daresay most of us, get to experience life as it's meant to be lived is to try and cram living in wherever possible - even if that means foregoing sleep. Why didn't we listen to Bertrand Russell? He was right when he said that a four-hour working day was more than sufficient to keep the country running.
Existential Tom, London

I am now 37. My sickness record at work over the last year has become a joke. I haven't slept properly for years. It seems to be getting worse. Almost to the point that my body seems to have forgotten how to 'fall asleep' when I go to bed. I also went to my GP a few weeks ago at my wits end for some help. Fourteen sleeping pills and two website addresses, no referral, and definitely no mention of a "Sleep Clinic".
Tim, Brighton

I constantly operate on a sleep deficit. I know that I need a good eight hours but I very rarely get more than seven hours sleep a night and I can't remember the last time I had an undisturbed night's sleep. Waking up feeling alert and refreshed would be wonderful - but doesn't seem possible in my day-to-day life.
Charlotte, London

I have worked varying shifts the worst being midnight - 8 am. I am fortunate that I am able to sleep anytime without great difficulty, and with the aid of earplugs and eye mask - essentials for any nightshift worker. However, I would like to speak about the shift I currently work: 1600 - midnight. This is without doubt the best shift I have ever worked. I am home and in bed by 1245 am, and I get a lie-in as late as I want every day of the week. It seems better sense to me that we should all work these kind of hours. My partner wakes at 6am with the alarm shocking her into action every day, while I sleep until I naturally rise at 10 or 11. It is also a good shift for having plumbing/building work done, dentist appointments, etc... Not to mention the increased shift allowance!
JR Greenaway, London, UK

How do the Spanish manage? They have a quick nap in the afternoon, and then go out at a time when we in this country are going to bed, often accompanied by their children, until two or even later in the morning. The children are up again for school at seven in the morning. From what I've seen both adults and children in Spain are better behaved and more contented than us in this country, where we seem to think we should be tucked up in bed by 11pm with our cocoa, maybe having consumed a unit of alcohol, no more of course.
Dave Proctor, Leeds

As a doctor doing residency training in medicine at a tertiary care hospital and one of the country's best institutions, I am deprived of sleep on call days for 30 long hours. In the medical profession it is important to take decisions carefully, and being unable to sleep properly on call days impairs this ability and it is about time that residency programmes recognize this aspect of training.
Noreen, Karachi, Pakistan

I always try to follow my Grandmother's saying "an hour before midnight is worth two after". It is worth getting a good nights sleep so we can function properly.
Samantha Cammack-Harding, Sandown, Isle of Wight

From my personal experience, nothing can beat a good night sleep (at least 8 hours) to energize your body and uplift your mood. Put your own health first. Without it, how can anyone enjoy what life has to offer?
Wen Zheng, Washington DC USA

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