One of the secrets of deep sleep, health, and happiness is the ability to enjoy a good satisfying nights sleep each and every night. One way to accomplish this is to learn how profoundly beneficial relaxation is. Sleeping is a sort of prolonged relaxation.
Relaxation of this kind could not, however, be sustained for any lengthy period: deep sleep can only be enjoyed for hours at a stretch. The close relationship between them is, however, evidenced by the fact that most people who have become at all proficient in systematic relaxation techniques find it quite easy to actually fall asleep when relaxation is prolonged beyond a fairly short period of ten minutes or so.
There is no finer practice towards establishing the habit of sound, healthy deep sleep, night by night, than a few moments spent daily in systematic relaxation. This is one of a number of methods of achieving deep sleep. It is agreed by the ablest authorities that sleep is very much a matter of habit. We tend to sleep best in those conditions, which the mind has learned to associate with sleep.
So, it is no uncommon thing to find that people who sleep amid noise - say, near to a railway station - experience difficulty in sleeping if they are suddenly transplanted to a bedroom where utter quiet reigns.
Another may demand complete darkness as a condition of deep sleep, while his neighbor prefers a dim light burning all the night. It is well to have clearly in mind the fact that it is possible to become to much a slave to mere environment.
Some have difficulty if they go to bed unusually early; others find similar difficulty if they retire unusually late. Deep sleep, in short, is very much a matter of routine.
What are the tests of good and adequate deep sleep? We summarize as follows:
If we cannot honestly answer Yes to these three conditions, sleep in not refreshing you, as it naturally should.
The question is frequently asked: "how long should I sleep?"
Sleeping, like eating, is a very personal affair. But it is possible to say that while eight hours may be considered a rough average, many people keep perfectly well and efficient with as little as six, while others really need a good nine hours.
The time of going to bed and time of rising are generally fixed for us by our work. The aim should be to get to bed at such an hour that we can easily get in the eight or nine hours of sleep necessary to good health.
A broad, commonsense, approach is much better, and more effective, than any worried attempt to fit oneself into schedules. Sleep should not be made a matter of anxious concern or of finicky planning.
Other related pages at Relax and Sleep