The number of hours of sleep required for good health varies tremendously from person to person. Eight hours each night appears to be average, but we have all heard about people like the famous inventor Thomas A. Edison, who got along very well on five hours, and others who require more than eight hours a night. The essential test is whether you feel rested in the morning and have sufficient energy to carry through the day’s activities. If you don’t, chronic fatigue may accumulate and contribute to what can be a serious illness. Many men and women find they really can get along on fewer than eight hours sleep a night as they grow older. If you are concerned about having trouble sleeping, it is possible that you are getting less sleep because you need less sleep.
We all know about the need for a good night’s sleep, but too few of us recognize the need for rest during the day. Businessmen, professional people, executives, and many others, who not only work hard but are under heavy stress, could live more comfortably and probably longer if they managed to rest during the day. Even a brief period of relaxation would be healthful. I suggest that you place a couch, or at least a reclining chair, in your office. If this is impossible, you could relax by having lunch in a quiet restaurant, instead of in a crowded, noisy one. Or you might bring lunch from home and eat it in a park.
Periods of relaxation which are found in pleasant recreation are necessary to most people at least once a week. More and more it is being recognized that a yearly vacation helps to safeguard good health.