The Importance of Sleep

Sleep is an important part of healthy functioning, and an even more important part of recovery from injury. Over at Fast Company, I recently saw an interesting report on a study about sleep deprivation. What stood out right way was this (emphasis is mine):

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.

While those who slept for four hours per night had similarly poor function, their overall performance declined more quickly and it seems they were more aware of it, as well.

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.

As something of a self-described night owl, I suspect I do not get enough sleep myself. As the article hints, changing habits is difficult, but it’s something I’m working toward.

If you want to see more about this study, you can find the research article here.