The Stupidity Behind the Latest Fad: Sleep Deprivation

As summer ends and everyone gears up for school, I’d like to take a moment to reflect on my college days – so bear with me, I do have a point.

Long, long ago, at a magical university, there were fools who bragged about their “all nighter’s” and decent grades. (If you don’t recall this, you may have been this person). Why was depriving themselves of sleep not met with stigma but respect?

I got a full eight hours of sleep this week.

Sleep

Up until the 1950s, most people believed sleep was a passive, almost dormant part of our lives. Sleep was thought of as something that people “just needed”. It wasn’t until recently that studies have found that we are very active when asleep. Sleep allows our nervous system to repair neurons and exercise important neuronal connections that might otherwise deteriorate from lack of activity.

See why Mana Ionescu, the president of the Lightspan Digital, is a big fan of shut-eye.

Sleep Deprivation

In today’s fast paced world, it has become the norm to steal time away from our sleep. An average person should get seven to eight hours of sleep, give or take a little. Do you see yourself not giving your body enough time to recuperate? So do 40 million other Americans every year. These people suffer from chronic, long-term sleep disorders, and an additional 20 million experience occasional sleeping problems.

With such a large number of American’s suffering from sleep problems, it is a wonder it is not interfering with work more. Sleep deprivation causes you to be drowsy and unable to concentrate the next day. It can also lead to impaired memory, hallucinations, and mood swings. Given a good number of tired employees, an organization’s productivity will eventually account for the lost sleep.

So before you go robbing yourself of sleep, think of how it interferes with work, family and even social activities. Sweet Dreams!

Sources: National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Australasian Sleep Association.

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