I was shocked when listening to a segment of a podcast (you really are going to want to listen to it) based on the latest sleep research (see NY Times Article: Snooze or Lose). My mom was right: consistent sleep is VERY important.
Some things I recall from the podcast.
Your body thinks you need an additional 900 calories when you are sleep deprived.
It takes about five days to recover from jet lag. So if our teenagers get up early during the week for school and sleep in on the weekend, they are always jet lagged. And of course the most sleep deprived group in our society: teenagers.
An experiment was done that put people into two groups. One group was kept up for 24 hours straight and then tested to see how they were doing mentally and physically. Another group slept one hour less for a period of 8 days and was given the same tests. So one group lost 8 hours of sleep in a night and the other group lost 8 hours over 8 days. The average score on the tests for the two groups was the same except for one thing: the second group thought
they were just fine. The point is that many of us are functioning with diminished capacity because of lack of sleep but we don’t know it!
So what do you need to do to lose weight, be smarter and more productive?
Get consistent sleep. That means going to bed and getting up at the same time EVERY day.
Get enough sleep. Individual sleep needs vary. Most adults need between 7 and 9 hours per night. To find out how much sleep you need, don’t set the alarm for three days and see when you wake up.
If you know you are going to have to stay up late, take a nap BEFORE the night you are need to be up late.