Thursday, May 28, 2009

Dead tired

I’m always interested in things that can improve personal productivity and well being. That’s why I was fascinated by a TV documentary (in 2 Episodes) called Dead Tired. You can view the first episode online by simply clicking here.

 

It examines the effects of sleep deprivation and how that contributes to a whole range of aliments including obesity, high blood pressure and so on. It also demonstrates that you are twice as likely to make mistakes when you miss out on even a small amount of sleep.

 

One of the most interesting experiments they ran was with putting someone with sleep deprivation behind a wheel of a car for 2 two hours while monitoring them. They found that for 25 minutes in that 2 hours the driver was actually asleep! In some cases their brain was asleep even if their eyes were open. Scary stuff.

 

The show demonstrates how chronic lack of sleep has a direct impact on the physiology of the body including reduced heart function and increased chance of diabetes. Another interesting statistic is that 20% of the worlds workforce is composed of shift workers and these people generally fail to get enough sleep. This has direct impact on their lives AND the work they perform, which potentially affects a lot more people.

 

In many cases these days we generally overlook the effects of sleep deprivation and consider it weak to need ‘sleep’. However, studies show that individuals who have better sleep patterns are much more productive and far less error prone. So stop and think about it. If you don’t feel 100% maybe you aren’t getting enough sleep? If you want to see if more does make a difference try getting at least 7-8 hours of good sleep for a week. I guarantee you’ll notice the difference.