Are you sleep deprived? Do you need an alarm clock to wake up? Then circadian neuroscientist, Russell Fosters, says yes, you are sleep deprived.
Everyone knows Microsoft, but do you know that the recently appointed CEO, Satya Nadella, sleeps for 8 hours a night?
There’s a detrimental, yet universal notion running in the wind that less sleep means more productivity.
Recently, new voices on this puzzle, including Satya Nadella and Jeff Bezos, reflect the unparalleled consequences of skipping out on your night’s sleep to fulfill your day’s tidings and last-minute cravings.
If your excuse for chomping down your hours in bed is along the lines of “there’s always something I need to finish up,” then compare your daily schedule to the CEO of Microsoft.
Uh oh. I’m sleep deprived. Is it my fault?
You’re not entirely at fault for your frequent, sub-8 hour nights tucked away in dreamland.
In the present day, we get 1½-2 hours less shuteye (time asleep) as a population compared to just a few generations ago. In fact, we can go so far as to say that two-thirds of people in developed nations do not get sufficient sleep.
I’m not a teenager, I don’t need 8 hours. Wrong!
Teenagers need 9 hours of sleep, which is more than their adult counterparts who still need 8. Although sleep does fragment as you grow older, your body’s requirement for 7-8 hours of sleep stays the same. With studies continuing to link a good night’s sleep to memory capacity and effectiveness, I’d think twice before dodging your hours.
Here’s how to make it happen
- Reduce your exposure to light 30 minutes before you plan on sleeping. Yes, this includes smartphones and tablets, especially. You can use your laptop with the addition of Flux, a plugin that automatically dims your screen when you near bedtime.
- Your bathroom counts as light exposure too. Brush your teeth 30 minutes before bed.
- When you hop into bed 30 minutes before you plan on sleeping, use a dim lamp to do your reading, journaling, etc.
- Make your bedroom a haven for sleep- that means, get it as dark as possible and keep the temperature cool.
- Skip out on caffeine if its less than 6 hours before you plan on sleeping. Yes, you read that right. 6 hours.
- Try your best to follow the natural light cycle for your night of sleep. Nighttime still suits us best when it comes to sleep. That doesn’t mean you should be up at the crack of dawn, but your sleep should generally follow the sleep schedule of the sun.
What does sleep deprivation do to you?
Evidence suggests that sleep deprivation results in the following:
- Lack of clarity in your moods and emotions, including regulation of stress. You may deal with the occasional, seemingly “irrational” flare ups.
- Degradation in your ability to solve problems- often described as a “mental block.”
- A detrimental effect to your memory, especially concerning short to long-term memory.
*See research sources at the bottom of the article.
Personally, I found myself able to relate to all of the above scenarios following just a few days of less than ideal amounts of sleep.
Now that you’ve spent a couple minutes reading this article, its time to try this out for yourself. Give it a few days, and I hope your sleep brings you to a new definition of the word, “refreshed.”
Side note: It’s true that the CEO of Yahoo, Marissa Mayer is said to sleep for just around 4 hours a night, along with the CEO of Apple, Tim Cook, but there is an amount of sleep everyone needs (7-8 hours for most), and you can use these tips to better hit your goal.
Best of luck.
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