Sleep’s Good, Too.

February 5th, 2003  |  Published in Uncategorized

Ed pointed me at an

item about sleep deprivation on 20/20’s site. It’s got the earmarks of the sort of science reporting that aims for the breathless a little too readily, but the study it sources is interesting anyhow, claiming that there may be a link between obesity and sleep deprivation (which the scientists cited say occurs if you get less than eight hours a night). Some findings:

  • 20-year-old men allowed only four hours of sleep a night had a drop in insulin response, their capacity to process blood sugar dropped 30%, and they showed elevated levels of a stress-related hormone that impairs memory.
  • “sleep debt” can be paid off, but it’s better to do so in advance by taking a short nap in anticipation of missed sleep
  • it takes a while to make the “debt” back up. After four nights of eight hours of sleep, the subjects were still making more mistakes during tests than before they were deprived of sleep

Crazy. I get about five to six hours a night, and I’m beginning to wonder if my Charlie Rose habit is worth it.

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