Blog Post

Do You Get Enough Sleep?

sleepinessA recent podcast from CNet featured Michael Breus, a psychologist and sleep specialist.   Dr. Breus discussed some common misnomers regarding sleep and its effect on those around us.

Getting adequate sleep is foundational to being successful in today’s world.  Consider the following important factors regarding sleep:

  • Staying healthy – to remain in good health and avoid illness, your immune system requires you to get enough sleep each night.  In fact, trying to “catch up” on sleep by sleeping extra can actually cause additional harm to your body.
  • Being a effective employee – in order to remain sharp, we must be alert and capable of learning and applying new knowledge.  Plus, being able to deal with stressful situations requires brain capacity and emotional intelligence, which is enhanced by sleep.
  • Participating in social situations – Who wants to carry on a conversation with someone who is constantly sleeping and who acts un-interested in your topic?  Also, in the podcast, Dr. Breus said that most sexual issues he comes across with couples are related to at least one of the partners not getting adequate sleep.

Contrary to the popular belief that we all need to get 8 hours of sleep each night, Dr. Breus tells us that 6.5 to 7 hours of sleep is best for most people, depending on your individual needs.  He heavily discourages the use of a snooze button as it promotes a very ‘negative’ type of sleep.  Also, in terms of naps, the good doctor says that a 20 minute power nap is the most effective.  His way of power napping includes slugging a lukewarm cup of coffee, then napping for 20 minutes, then “you’ll be good to go for another 3 or 4 hours.”

Do you feel you get enough sleep to be effective in your day-to-day life?

8 Responses to “Do You Get Enough Sleep?”

  1. I’m a 14 year old girl and i usually go to bed at about 11:30 each nighf and wake up at 5:30. Is this harmful to me? I don’t feel tired in the daytime and I have a hard time falling asleep at night, that is why I fall asleep so late. I go to ‘bed’ around 10. I often have back problems late at night. I don’t ever drink energy drinks or coffee or pop/soda. I haven’t had a dream in about 5 years. Can anyone tell me if this is bad? Email: [email protected]

  2. Sometimes I slept about 2 hours a day, and made my bedtime from 3 to 5 AM. For that, I often got sleepy at work. Do you think I can payback my sleep by doing some 10 minutes power nap?

  3. Funny this topic should come along at this time. Tomorrow (May 14th) I have an appointment with a “sleep specialist” to find out why I have so many problems with sleeping. I’ve been struggling with sleep issues now for a couple of years and I can tell you it’s no fun. Probably my biggest headache being a web worker is the desire to go back to sleep because I’m just so tired I can’t focus. Trust me folks, if you have a sleep problem talk to your Dr.

  4. hisherness

    i sleep every other day for 3 hours or so … i seem to have a natural 48 hour cycle. it worries my friends, but beyond removing me from a usable temporal frame of reference, i don’t have any complaints. i get lots of work done.

  5. I definitely do not get enough sleep. However, I will start a new commuting pattern June 2 (no more web work for me :( ) and I will be forced to go to sleep at a ‘decent’ hour and wake up early!

    Hopefully this change will mean that I get more sleep and better quality sleep.

  6. I power nap almost 3-5 days in office. And I do just that, gulp down some coffee, put my head down, and snooze. I usually ask a co-worker to wake me up in 15 minutes.

    If I sleep more than 20, then I wake up with a broken neck, a spinning head, and in no mood to work…