Tango and Sleep

After years of writing about health I have heard this before but it still helps to remind oneself of the importance of sleep. A recent study has found that up to 10 hours sleep is ideal (not the 7 to 8 that most of us aim for!). Researchers at Stanford University persuaded 11 basketball players to aim for 10 hours every night for 5 to 7 weeks  and though they only averaged an extra 90 minutes a night, the study found their performance improved markedly. And it wasn't just their basketball  - their memories improved too.
Babies, getting older, noise - and tango - all conspire against getting even the 7 to 8 that many of us crave - I certainly do! And it can be impossible to get this time with work, things that have to be done at home, social life and exercise routines... so what do the experts suggest. The good news is that too much sleep can be just as bad for overall health as too little - and we should just continue to aim for those precious 8 hours. And as we get older the afternoon nap is the way to go it seems. Research done on a population of older Chinese in the same medical journal found that sleeping longer at night was actually potentially harmful and the afternoon nap was the way to go! So I feel vindicated - I just love having a long afternoon nap before Saturday night tango - and I feel it helps me to catch up on the sleep I missed during the week.
If you haven't seen the 1969 movies 'They Shoot Horses, Don't They' it is worth hunting out on DVD. The story of dance marathon during the Depression, sleep plays a big part!

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