Sleep Deprivation May be Taking a Toll on Your Health

Most of us probably think we are pretty savvy when it comes to what constitutes a good night sleep, but if you are like 30 million Americans out there that are regularly sleep deprived chances are something is stopping you from getting your full 8 hours.  And if you’ve been telling yourself there’s no harm in cutting your nights rest short once in awhile then the following information may shock you. Not only are sleep deficits linked to cognitive issues like poor work performance, moodiness and difficulty driving but evidence suggests that physical problems like heart disease, diabetes and obesity can also be linked to regular sleep loss. Here are some common sleep myths that could be responsible for keeping you up at night.

 

I Can Get Caught Up on the Weekend


While it is theoretically possible to make up a sleep deficit realistically a week’s worth of 5 hour nights cannot be caught up in two days. Between weekend commitments and later nights most of us barely pick up an extra hour or two let alone the 8-15 you missed out on during the week. If you do have a few sleepless nights try to squeeze in a few naps throughout the week this way you will be rested enough not only to make it to Friday but to enjoy your weekend as well.

 

Naps Make Me Sleepier


We all have friends that claim that they hate to take naps because it makes them feel more tired but research has shown that taking a nap under twenty minutes in length should give you an energy boost. While it’s true that taking a nap for longer than twenty minutes can leave you feeling disoriented and sleepy naps ten to twenty minutes in length should be just enough to improve your mood, increase alertness and help you perform better.

 

It Doesn’t Matter What Time I Go to Bed


Research shows that those who stay up very late do not get the same sleep benefits as their early bird counterparts. While it is not exactly understood,  people who go to bed late are three times more like to suffer depression  as those that go to bed at a normal time plus are more likely to suffer a variety of health and mood issues. You don’t have to wake up at sunrise but try to set a regular bed time for yourself to ensure a good night’s sleep.

 

I Don’t Need 8 Hours of Sleep


While many of us pride ourselves on the ability to forgo sleep in reality there are very few of us who truly require less than the recommended 8 hours. Scientists have discovered a genetic mutation that allow some people  to thrive on less than 6 hours of sleep a night but since it’s confined to only 1% of the population it’s a good idea for the rest of us to stick to 7or 8 hours a night.

 

Sleep Deprivation has become such a way of life for many of us that it’s easy to forget just how detrimental it is to are overall health.  Missing just 90 minutes of sleep for one night is enough to impact your ability to concentrate impair you memory and ability to perform on the job and can reduce your alertness by over 30%. So the next time you’re thinking about staying up for one more rerun try turning out the lights instead your body and your mind will thank you in the morning.


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