Optimal thought and optimal fitness through reason, logic, science, passion, and wisdom.

Sleep Again!

Saying something I’ve been saying for years, something that needs to be said, Jill Duffy wrote in “Why Six Hours Of Sleep Is As Bad As None At All” (Fast Company, 03.07.16):
Not getting enough sleep is detrimental to both your health and productivity. Yawn. We’ve heard it all before. But results from one study impress just how bad a cumulative lack of sleep can be on performance. Subjects in a lab-based sleep study who were allowed to get only six hours of sleep a night for two weeks straight functioned as poorly as those who were forced to stay awake for two days straight. The kicker is the people who slept six hours per night thought they were doing just fine.

One of the most alarming results from the sleep study is that the six-hour sleep group didn’t rate their sleepiness as being all that bad, even as their cognitive performance was going downhill. The no-sleep group progressively rated their sleepiness level higher and higher. By the end of the experiment, their sleepiness had jumped by two levels. But the six-hour group only jumped one level. Those findings raise the question about how people cope when they get insufficient sleep, perhaps suggesting that they’re in denial (willful or otherwise) about their present state.

Fast Company & Inc © 2016 Mansueto Ventures, LL

I didn’t know that for a long time. Too long. I don’t know what damage I might have done to myself.

But the 7.7 hour number Kathleen Davis recommends in the video is not for everyone. It is not optimal for every adult. Good for Ms. Davis for recommending people get more sleep than they usually get or think they need. But she is going on statistics not science. Not her fault. That’s the way we were taught in education and in the culture.

Science is about causation. It is an integrated, inductive knowledge of causation. The sleep we need is individual to us, and depends on what we eat, how much we move, how much we think, whether out bodies are fighting inflammation or foreign invader, how much stress we are under, how sleep deprived we may have been in our past, and more. Einstein used to get 10 hours a night, from what I heard. Pete Sampras got 12 hours a night when he was in training. Sometimes, I need 10; sometimes, I’m OK with 7.

Goes to show that we all need an education that teaches us to induce and integrate.

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