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If we work so much when do we sleep?

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Find out how sleep management can improve your health.

“Sleep is a crim­i­nal waste of time and a her­itage from our cave days.” said Thomas Edison one day. Turns out a lot of people today would agree with this statement, considering their sleep program.

SleepingCreative Commons License Sleeping

It has been found that  knowledge workers—people with creative or professional jobs— can work productively for about six hours a day, and not eight hours like the job actually requires. Unlike machines, humans function on a cyclical basis, which means our energy and motivation fluctuate in peaks and troughs. Cognitive workers tend to be more focused in the late morning  and in the late afternoon. So, the 9-to-5 schedule is not exactly the ideal program, biologically speaking. Moreover, workers add hours so that the 40 hours/week, 8 hours/day schedule has become a thing of the past. Consequences: little sleep or unnatural sleep timing. Which of course lead to dozens of disorders.

Here are some consequences of bad sleep management:

1.  Going to sleep and waking up at unnatural times, can lead to all kinds of disorders from obesity to cancer, heart conditions, metabolic syndrome and diabetes. Till Roenneberg, a professor of chronobiology at Ludwig-Maximilians University in Munich, and psychologist Marc Wittmann studied the consequences of the  misalignment of biological and social time, called the social jetlag, with a study case for sleep. They found that the mismatch between biological and social sleep time, that is going to sleep and waking up at unnatural times, can lead to all kinds of disorders, like the ones listed above.

2. Going to sleep and waking up at unnatural times can influence our brain and thus our performance at school, work or other activitiesAnother study, focussing on medical-school performance, found that sleep timing, more than length or quality, affected how well students performed in class and on their preclinical board exams. It didn’t  matter for how long they had slept. What made a difference was when they actually went to bed—and when they woke up.

Also poor sleep can lead to:

3. Poor memory

4. Poor creativity

5. Increased impulsiveness

6. Poor judgement

7.Weight gain.

8. Decreased immunity

9. Stress

10.  Men­tal illnesses

11. Poor sleeping can lead even to death. Such is the case of Mita Diran, a 30 year old copywriter from Indonesia, who worked for 30 hours continuously then collapsed and died. It happened at the beginning of this week and her story immediately spread on the internet. This is what she posted in October: “The more you spend time at the office, the more you consider moving your bed here,”.  Read more about her here. 

On the contrary, a good sleep:

1. Increases atten­tion and concentration

2. Helps develop social skills

3.  Improves deci­sion making

4. Increases cre­ativ­ity and

5. Enhances over­all health

Read more about why it’s important to have a good sleep in our article written two weeks ago about Why do we sleep. 

If you’re interested in finding ways to balance your sleep, go to this article on How to change insomnia for a restful baby sleep. 



Sources: The New Yorker , The Atlantic, Gawker , Salon, 


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