We’re thinking a lot about sleep today. Maybe that’s because we got so much over the weekend, and wonder how we can get a weekend-dose of sleep on a weeknight. New research shows that even if you feel fine after a sleepless night, your health could still be suffering.
A study was done that restricted volunteers to six hours of sleep a night for two weeks (adults generally need seven to nine hours). At the end of the two weeks, the volunteers’ cognitive function was as impaired as subjects who had been awake for 48 hours straight. Two days in a row? By this calculation, we may not have been functioning at an optimal sleep level for years. We could have discovered an serum for eternal youth if we’d been getting enough sleep for the last decade.
Lack of sleep can also contribute to weight gain, diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease. Ugh. We’d better get on the eight-hours-a-night train, and fast. Check out our editor Christine’s quest for the perfect night’s sleep while trying out a “Sleeptracker” watch.