by Matthew Walker
“Short sleep, short life”
The vast majority of people need around 8 hours sleep per night.
Not sleeping enough causes drastic effects both short and long term:
- Trouble learning (if tired whilst learning or whilst trying to recollect things)
- Weight loss (the tired brain craves sugar and fat and is more easily tempted)
- Alzheimers (evidence that long-term sleep loss makes you more prone to this)
- Heart attack (lack of sleep builds pressure in arteries)
- Anxiety (the tired mind is less able to cope with anxious thoughts)
- Attractiveness (studies show people look less healthy, friendly & attractive when tired)
- Cancer (long term sleep loss increases chances of many cancers)
- Cold & flu: one night of bad sleep lowers your immune response
Naps are a good way of topping up sleep loss but need to be short (30-60 mins) and before 3pm
Sleeping helps process the days events and even allows your mind to come up with solutions to problems (story of periodic table being ‘figured out’ after a night of sleep)
Don’t drink in the evenings: alcohol is a repressor which limits the REM sleep which is vital for a complete sleep.