Sleep. It's probably the most talked-about subject around here, because nobody gets enough of it.
For every story we do on the negative impact of sleep deprivation -- WATCH VIDEO for today's story, featuring an interview with Terri Trespicio of Body + Soul magazine -- none of us seems willing or able to make changes to our own lives.
Why? Well, a lot of us here at TODAY have to get up hours before dawn to come to work.
That includes Matt, Meredith, Al and Ann, as well as producers and crew members, many of whom arrive here either late at night or in the wee hours of the morning to get the show on the air at 7 a.m.
And it's obviously not just people who work on morning television shows. We're all told that we're supposed to get eight hours of sleep or we're opening ourselves up to an array of health problems. But do you know anyone who gets eight hours of sleep every night?
I fell asleep around 11 p.m. last night and got up at 4 a.m., and that's a pretty good night for me. I've been doing this for more than two years, and I have no doubt that my brain doesn't function the way it used to. I'm always reminded of the line in the Beatles song: "I'm so tired/My mind is on the blink."
Sometimes I feel like I've been sleepwalking through the past two years of my life. But I also realize I have a great job that just happens to require me to be awake at 4 a.m. And if I really wanted to sacrifice my lifestyle at the altar of my career, I could force myself into going to sleep at 8 p.m. every night -- I'm just unwilling to do that. So should I complain about not getting enough sleep? Probably not.
A recent story in Body + Soulmagazine breaks us up into different groups of problem sleepers, including: the Power Thinker (thinking too much, can't fall asleep); the Human Alarm Clock (can't sleep through the night); the Mystery Sleeper (gets plenty of sleep but is still tired); and the Procrastinator (gets tired but feels wide awake at bedtime).
I'm almost always a Procrastinator and sometimes a Power Thinker. If you're the kind of person who doesn't get eight hours of sleep, do any of these categories sound familiar?
Are we putting too much emphasis on success at work and not enough on our health? And if so, how, in our culture, do we break this cycle?