You might be able to catch up with old friends, but sleep isn’t something you can catch up on. A common belief is that you can catch up on the hours you missed during the week by sleeping extra hours on the weekends. Contrary to this popular belief, sleeping longer than usual won’t do anything to counteract the damage you have done to your body by sleeping too little.
Sleeping more after a short night might help, but if you have constantly been getting an inadequate amount of sleep, there is no quick fix to the issues of long-term sleep deprivation.
Such chronic sleep debt can have serious consequences. They can range from diminished ability to focus, to weakened problem solving skills, and to poor reflexes. We strongly encourage you to keep a constant sleeping schedule
Cat nappers rejoice. Our modern, productivity-driven society might dismiss napping as the luxury for the lazy. But napping actually serves a biological purpose and needs be given more respect. Naps between 10 to 90 minutes in length have been shown to be able to improve one’s productivity, heighten alertness, and one’s overall mood. For instance, aNASA study shows that pilots without a rest nodded off 5 times as much as those who took a 25 minute nap during their shift.
While there are contemporary solutions available, such as coffee and energy drinks, to keep people going throughout the day, such solutions are only delaying the inevitable exhaustion. Naps seem like a much better alternative. If the above information is not enough to sway your perception of napping, some of the most productive people known today all swear by the restorative power of naps. Einstein, Thomas Edison, John F. Kennedy and Bill Clinton are only some of the names on that list.
There has been much debate over who is better off in life-- the larks (the early risers) or the night owls (the late sleepers).
While morning people have been attributed with near superhuman productivity and much admired by many, in reality, success in life is not solely determined by the time you wake up in the morning. In truth, early risers just only experience productive peaks in the early hours, before slowing down later in the day. As such, a night owl forcing him or herself to get up with the sun is unlikely to experience unprecedented productive periods in the morning.
As mentioned, the productive peak depends greatly person to person, meaning that not everyone is meant to be an early riser. It is actually genetics that determines your sleep patterns-- something in your body called a chronotype determines the sleep window inside of us. Moving forward, get enough rest and apply yourself when you feel the most comfortable and productive for maximum efficiency.
Everyone needing 8 hours of sleep every night is a common myth. The truth is, when it comes to sleep, there is no magic number. The only real rule is that everyone has different needs-- needs that change as you go through different phases in life and are shaped by your life events.
However, if you always get an inadequate amount of sleep, you might have grown accustomed to long-term sleep deprivation. It is thus all the more important to be self-aware and to pick up the clues your body gives you.
Watching TV before bed is a popular pre-sleep activity, especially in North America. Many people think that the moving pictures, flickering light, and the constant background noise serve as a sleep aid, calming down the busy minds. The main reason for which people attribute TV to be effective is probably because many of us have found ourselves passed out while watching TV on occasions.
But the truth is, studies have shown that sleeping while the TV is on can lead to health issues, such as depression, and ironically, insomnia. Additionally, TV screens emit blue light. When our bodies are exposed to the light, they stop producing melatonin, the sleep hormone. Therefore, this exposure to blue light will cause people to feel more awake.