A colleague recently pointed out a interesting report on sleep deprivation and its effects. The report by Lesley Stahl on 60 Minutes was eye-opening, no pun intended.
Think about how much...or how little...you sleep. Is it enough? I think most people like me, with two small kids, know that the evening is when I tend to get anything done that's been waiting around. And that when you get that peaceful, decadent chance to sleep in--it's heaven.
I have friends that sleep a few hours a night, relatively poorly, and some that are religious about getting 8 hours.
There is data that indicates that it is better to sleep than to push yourself to learn or memorize (sayonara, college all-nighters). That a continued short sleep cycle--say four hours or less--quickly deteriorates your speed of thought, your memory, your attention span. It makes sense...but on a continued basis, it could also mean permanent damage.
The recommended amount of sleep would be between 7 1/2 and 8 hours for us humans. Lately if I get 6 1/2 I'm doing well. Hmm. I should think about that...maybe make a better effort to get in bed sooner (as I write this at 10:17pm). Test it. See if it does make a difference.
Here's a fascinating tidbit:
The study's subjects were on the road to diabetes in just six days, and that’s not all - they were also hungry. Van Cauter has made a radical discovery: that lack of sleep may be contributing to the epidemic of obesity in this country through the work of a hormone called leptin that tells your brain when you’re full.So beyond the diabetic connection they made in the study, I was thinking, jeez, if this is true...new parents don't sleep well, typically...no wonder it's hard to lose the baby weight! The lack of sleep is read as stress by our body, they say. You can make all sorts of connections here.
I'm going to bed soon. You should too.