February 18, 2011
Sleeping is probably one of the most neglected human essential. It’s as important as eating and breathing, yet many people try to have as little of it as possible. For workaholics, sleep seems like such a wasteful activity as you won’t really be getting any work done for around 8 hours. There are several myths that we can thank for this mindset, because they contribute to making people think that it’s okay to bend some of the sleeping rules. We busted some of these myths in our previous post, but there’s much more that you need to know.
Myth #3 – One less hour of sleep won’t affect your daytime activities
Some people think that sleeping for one hour less won’t have a big effect on your activities the following day. That’s definitely NOT true. I’m sure you’ve had that college experience where you have a paper due the next day. You cram the paper during the night and sacrifice a little bit of your sleep in the process. You wake up the next day and go to class. Don’t you feel sleepy in class when the teacher is discussing the lesson? When you sleep just right, you won’t feel sleepy even if the class is boring.
I run marathons every once in a while, and I train almost everyday prior to the run. When I get less than 8 hours of sleep the night before, my performance in training suffers dramatically. There are times when I feel so tired even after a light run. Sometimes, I can’t even finish that practice distance. But when I do get the 8 hours of sleep the night before, I feel great even after an intense run because my body has fully recovered through the 8 hours of sleep.
Myth #4 – It’s okay to vary your sleeping time everyday
While the human body is certainly capable of adapting to changes in the environment, it’s not capable of doing constant changes everyday. It’s harmful to your body if you sleep at 12mn to 7am today, and then 3pm to 10pm the next day, and then 4am to 12pm the day after. With such an erratic sleeping schedule, you’ll most likely spend hours tossing and turning in bed. The body has its rhythm and if you keep on destroying that rhythm, the body will eventually suffer. It’s no surprise that people who dramatically vary their sleeping time would get sick a few days later because their body couldn’t take it anymore.
More sleeping myths busted on the next post!