An extra hour of sleep can have a significant positive impact on health.
A single hour can make the difference between a productive day and a waste of time. Whether it’s an extra hour of sleep, an extra hour of exercise or an extra hour of work can have a big impact on our work productivity and well-being.
Most of us wake up early to exercise, but, we sleep late working or watching Netflix non-stop. In one way or another, we tend to postpone sleep or downplay its importance. However, if you want to be healthy and have a healthy lifestyle, you need to prioritize your sleep time. Because with one more hour of sleep you give your body you will feel better, look better and be more productive in your day to day life.
However, an extra hour should only be the beginning. The real benefits will come once you establish an optimal sleep schedule.
Why is it important not to skimp on sleep?
According to Rachel Salas, associate professor of neurology specializing in sleep medicine and sleep disorders at John Hopkins University in the United States: “When you get more sleep and make it a consistent part of your routine, you will feel better, you will have more energy, you will have better ideas, you will contribute to your team or organization in a better way. Your mood will improve and you’ll have more reasons to participate and share ideas. In addition, adequate sleep will also reflect on your physical appearance because when you skimp on sleep you can “gain weight and look tired with bags and dark circles under your eyes”.
Several studies have shown that students who slept eight hours a night performed better on final exams. A study from the University of Michigan in October revealed that lack of sleep affects memory and work performance in areas as varied as baking and surgery. They have also found that two nights in a row of sleeping less than six hours can make you feel drowsy for the next six days. A Swedish study published this year, which looked at 40,000 participants over 13 years, found that those who slept short periods had higher mortality rates than those who did not. Especially among those over 65 years of age.
Sometimes bad habits accumulate over time and can lead to health problems such as weight gain, migraines and constant fatigue. You can also develop sleep apnea or even “microsleeps” when your brain shuts down briefly during the day for a few seconds.
Importance of consistency
Many of us wonder, which is better, an extra hour of sleep or a consistent sleep schedule? According to Dr. Salas, we should be doing BOTH. Reut Gruber, associate professor of psychiatry at McGill University’s Sleep Laboratory in Montreal, says that while there is no magic number of hours we should achieve, there is a way to calculate how many hours of sleep is ideal for each person.
When you are on vacation or have no commitments the next day, go to sleep at a reasonable time and wake up naturally (no alarm clock or alarm). Take note of how many hours you slept, when you fall asleep and when you wake up. This will help you set your new nighttime goal. Once you have determined all this, stick to it at all costs and schedule everything so you can go to bed on time and stay on the schedule your body woke up naturally.
In some cases this may mean only an extra hour, but for many it could be more. According to experts, many people are sleep deprived and don’t even know it. If you’re getting four hours of sleep a night, chances are you need many more hours to function naturally.
Gruber also recommends that adults get at least 150 minutes of aerobic exercise a week to get more rest. “To be healthy you need to be active.”
Taking the time to determine how much sleep your body needs and sticking to it could be one of the best investments you make. Showing commitment and sharpness at work is fine, but being healthy and alive is even better.