You know you don’t feel great the next day after missing your sleep.
But did you know just how bad it is for your body, and even how potentially dangerous it can be?
The Dangers of Missing Sleep
1. Equivalent to Being Drunk
A single night with little to no sleep sleep puts you in the same performance category of someone with a blood alcohol level of around 0.1% – about as drunk as you’d be after 4 drinks in an hour if you’re female or 6 drinks in an hour if you’re male.
Professor Russell Foster, a neuroscientist from the University of Oxford, has also said that sleeping just 5 hours or less a night has the same effect on the brain as being drunk.
Much more on all of the surprisingly damaging ways missing sleep affects your body in this detailed article (with solutions you can start using tonight).
2. Higher Risk of Neurodegenerative Disease
Disrupted sleep can lead to serious genetic impairments. A study at Hospital du Sacré-Coeur in Montreal found that around 50% of people with disrupted sleep had developed neurodegenerative diseases within 12 years of the study.
3. Increased Risk of Accidents and Reduced Quality of Life
According to the CDC, sleeping less than 7 hours a night is correlated with increased motor vehicle crashes, industrial disasters, medical and other occupational errors, hypertension, diabetes, depression, obesity, cancer, increased mortality, and reduced quality of life and productivity.
Tips to Improve Sleep
Getting a good night’s rest is incredibly important so here’s a few simple tips to improve sleep:
WORK BACKWARDS TO SET YOUR ALARM: Most people sleep in 90 minute cycles and you’ll generally wake up a lot more refreshed if you get up around the end of one of these.
Given this, 7 ½ – 9 hours is the ideal sleeping time for most people. Add to this how long it takes you to fall asleep (15 minutes on average).
To set your alarm use this formula and work back from when you have to get up. That’s your ideal bedtime (not when the late movie finishes!).
GO DARK: The darker the better for optimal sleep. Make your sleeping quarters like a cave – hang blackout curtains or use an eye mask if needed, cover LED displays and standby lights on alarm clocks and other electronics.
CUT THE BLUE LIGHT: This quick article explains why this is so important.
GET COLD: Again, think like a cave. About 66-68 degrees F (About 19 Celsius) is the ideal sleeping temperature.
DEVELOP A SLEEP RITUAL: Just like you have a morning routine, a bedtime routine will help condition your body to relax and prepare for restorative sleep. Maybe you like to read (fiction is best), maybe you meditate or do some breathing exercises – just be consistent so you body and mind can develop the pattern.
USE MAGNESIUM: Magnesium has been shown in studies to calm the brain, reduce stress, and increase sleep quality – all of which are crucial for restoring energy in our brain cells so we can function at our best the next day.
Magnesium L-Threonate is especially good for relaxation and sleep. It has much higher bioavailability than other magnesium supplements. Take one of these capsules 2 hours before bed for best results.
Proper sleep makes a dramatic difference to your overall health and well-being. I hope these simple tips can help you get a good night’s rest.
This detailed article has a much deeper look at the dangers of lack of sleep and some little known solutions you can start using tonight.
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