• Joanna Rawbone

Sleep Banking

I was recently

watching the van Tulleken twins, both doctors, talking about their current series ‘The Twinstitute’, which I’m finding fascinating by the way.

Anyway, one of the things they compared in their twin studies was the effectiveness of ‘cat-napping’ versus ‘sleep-banking’. Now, I’d never heard of that term, but it means to sleep for a few extra hours for a few nights in advance of needing to pull an ‘all-nighter’ or a big night out. The idea is that you build up a reserve of sleep ready for when it’s not possible. Their studies show that banking is more effective that cat-napping apparently.

So, it occurred to me that this might be a useful technique for Introverts to deploy when they know they’ve got the business networking event to attend or the big meeting that’s discussing their project.

I appreciate we all have our own methods of recharging and replenishing and snoozing has certainly been on my list of go-to methods, but my overnight sleep pattern is not that healthy. I rarely sleep through the night and often wake in the morning still tired. I’d tried to tell myself that I was naturally a bi-phase sleeper, but I know I’m better when I get more hours without my head turning on. You see when I do wake in the middle of the night, I’m full of great ideas that develop into wonderful plans. I wonder how many of you experience this too?

We have been consistently advised of good sleep hygiene recommendations over recent years, as sleep deprivation is a recognised problem in today’s ‘always on’ society. I’ve now decided that when I have an event coming up that would normally drain my introvert batteries at super-speed, I’ll turn in earlier for a few nights beforehand. This is definitely the better option for me as it’s rarely possible for me to sleep longer in the morning. With spring and the longer days approaching, I may need to hang some black-out blinds and I’ll think about what else may help.

Watch this space – I’ll let you know how it goes!

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