Thursday, January 14, 2010

Sleeping In Won't Make Up for Chronic Sleep Loss: Study

Source: Healthzone.ca (Summary by NIM)

Think hitting that snooze button or catching a few extra hours of Z's on Saturday will be enough to make up for the sleep you missed all week? Think again. A new study has shown that an ongoing deficit of sleep is not that easy to shake off.

I'm sure many of us can speak from experience in that an ongoing lack of sleep, meaning 4-7 hours per night, hampers performance and the ability to stay alert. In fact, according to the study, the longer you stay awake through the normal sleep cycle i.e. at night time, the more quickly performance starts to deteriorate. Ever tried pulling an all-nighter or writing a report late at night? Guilty! Not a good idea. In fact, the researchers have added that the effects of sleep loss are cumulative and may even pose a safety risk in the workplace.

When it comes to acute sleep loss - that is staying awake for 24 hours one time - lead researcher Dr. Daniel Cohen of Boston’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital said “We know that staying awake 24 hours in a row impairs performance to a level comparable to a blood-alcohol content beyond the legal limit to drive,”. On the bright side, the researchers found that the effects of acute sleep loss may be remedied with one good night's sleep, however this is not the case with chronic sleep loss. In fact, even 3 good night's sleep may not be enough.

Find out why you should make sleep a priority by reading the article "Sleeping in? Don’t be fooled – you're still tired: study" from Healthzone.ca (Jan. 13, 2010).

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