How to live longer

On March 5, 2014, Misao Okawa, the world’s oldest person, celebrated her 116th birthday.

Japanese Misao Okawa, the world's oldest woman, poses for a photo next to her birthday cake as she celebrates her 116th birthday in Osaka, western Japan, in this photo taken by Kyodo March 5, 2014. Okawa celebrated her 116th birthday on Wednesday. Mandatory credit. CREDIT: REUTERS/KYODO

Japanese Misao Okawa, the world’s oldest woman, poses for a photo next to her birthday cake as she celebrates her 116th birthday in Osaka, western Japan, in this photo taken by Kyodo March 5, 2014. Okawa celebrated her 116th birthday on Wednesday. Mandatory credit.
CREDIT: REUTERS/KYODO

What is her secret for a long and healthy life?

“She always says the secret to living a long time is to eat a good meal and relax,” the employee added. For Okawa, that means an uninterrupted eight hours of sleep every night.
(http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/mar/05/worlds-oldest-person-116-birthday-japan )

Eight hours. How much sleep are you getting?

According to the National Sleep Foundation, the average adult needs between 7 to 9 hours of sleep a night. But this depends on individual needs and his/her accumulated sleep debt.

That means if you are getting 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night and are still drowsy during the day, you have sleep debt. The only way to reduce your debt, is to get more sleep. Simple as that.

Step one is to address your sleep debt. Imagine overspending on a credit card every month and making the minimum monthly payments. You will never catch up. Same with sleep. Make sleep deposits, not sleep withdrawals.

Step two is being aware of how much sleep you need every night. Some people need 7 hours. Others need 9. Learn your individual needs by increasing the amount of sleep you are getting and ranking you’re level of daytime drowsy.

We might not live to 116 like Misao Okawa. However, by investing in a good night’s sleep every night, we give ourself the opportunity to live a longer and healthier life.

Written by Terri Dux, copywriter/graphic artist for C. S. Wo & Sons, parent company of SlumberWorld.

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