Want to be healthy? Get your Z’s

Want to be healthy? Get your Z’s

If you work long hours or take a Red Eye to save precious work time, you probably look forward to catching up on your sleep over the weekend.

Research increasingly re-confirms that sleep, once lost, is very hard, if not impossible to make up for.

In a recent Penn State study, 30 healthy men and women aged 18 to 34 spent 13 nights in a sleep lab. After 4 nights of a full eight hours, they spent the next 6 nights sleeping only 6 hours. The last 3 nights were 10-hour sleep nights.

The participant’s brain function dropped after the nights of sleep deprivation and did not return to normal until after the third day of 10 hours of sleep, even though they said they felt refreshed after the first night of extra sleep. If you are counting on weekends to catch up on sleep, you are fooling yourself; you are just getting started!

Next time you have the choice to travel early to that meeting or take a Red-Eye, go early and get your sleep. Negative effects of sleep deprivation include decreased problem solving skills, innovative thinking, and alertness. Additionally subjects exhibited inappropriate responses, difficulty controlling their temper, and even showed un-ethical behavior that they normally would not have exhibited. Taking a Red-Eye can easily defeat the trip’s purpose.

Additionally, studies increasingly link chronic sleep deprivation with weight gain as well as an increased risk of heart disease and diabetes. Need more reasons? A recent study in Sweden found that subjects who did not get a full night’s sleep were consistently perceived as less attractive as when they had slept soundly through the night.

To look your best, feel your best, and perform your best, get your sleep.

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