The less you sleep, the shorter your life expectancy: the truth you need to know about sleep

You may be tired of politicians or entrepreneurs bragging about how little sleep they need each day. But did you know that sleep deprivation is very harmful to our bodies and brains?

Matthew Walker, a professor of neuroscience and psychology at the University of California, Berkeley, explains why you shouldn't envy those "night owls". He also wrote the book "Why We Need to Sleep", which may change your lifestyle or help you live longer.

Lack of sleep is very harmful to our body and brain.

Walker understands that people are busy, with only 24 hours in a day, and their schedules always want to be packed to the brim. But, looking at the evidence, it's a bit unbelievable that we don't try to get a few more hours of sleep each day.

Why is sleep important?

Epidemiological studies of millions of people tell us the same thing: the less sleep you get, the shorter your life expectancy.

Therefore, if you want to live a long life and stay as healthy as possible for as long as possible, you should get more sleep.

Sleep should be the health care system of our dreams: it's the most democratic, it's free, and it's not a bitter pill to swallow.

In fact, sleep is so beneficial that Professor Walker is already lobbying doctors to prescribe it.

However, sleep works best when it occurs naturally. Many studies have linked sleeping pills to increased risk of cancer, infection and death.

What will happen to our body and mind if we don't sleep?

Many diseases are associated with lack of sleep. For example, Alzheimer's, cancer, cardiovascular disease, obesity, diabetes, depression, anxiety, and even suicide.

Sleep can give our body and mind a complete "overhaul".

How much sleep do you get each night to stay healthy?

In short: seven to nine hours.

If you get less than seven hours of sleep, your immune system and your cognitive abilities will begin to suffer. After 20 hours of continuous wakefulness, you are affected as much as if you were drunk.

One of the problems with sleep deprivation is that you don't realize the damage it's doing to you at the time. It's like the drunk guy who picks up his car keys and leaves the bar, insisting, "I'm not drunk, I'm really not drunk.

Why are we sleeping less and less?

If we look at the data from industrialized countries, we see a clear trend: over the last 100 years, we have slept less.

If we sleep less, it will be more difficult for us to enter the REM (rapid eye movement) stage. Interfering with REM is very harmful because it is essential to our creativity and vital to our mental health.

There are several reasons why people are getting less and less sleep.

1. Insufficient knowledge. The scientific community knows how important it is to get a good night's sleep, but so far it has not been effectively communicated to the public. Most people don't understand why sleep is important.

2. Rhythm of life. Generally speaking, we work longer hours and spend more time commuting. We leave home early and come home late, and we want to spend time with family and friends, watch TV ...... In the end, our time is eaten up at the expense of sleep.

3. Attitudes and concepts. Sleeping has an image problem. If you tell someone you slept nine hours, they may think you're lazy. So many people brag about how little sleep they get each night. However, no one would say that a baby who sleeps all day is lazy because we know that sleep is absolutely necessary for their development. However, as we get older, this concept changes.

4. Environment. Now we live in a world that lacks darkness. However, we need darkness to release a hormone called melatonin, which helps us to sleep peacefully. Unfortunately, one of the side effects of social progress is that we are constantly affected by artificial light. With the birth of LED screens, this situation is even worse.

5, Temperature. Another unexpected side effect of social progress is: we no longer experience the natural transformation of cold and heat in 24 hours. We all want a warm home environment, but we also need a little cooler to get us into sleep mode. Our brain and body need to lower our core temperature by about 1°C so that we can relax and sleep in a natural way. Most of us overheat our heating: if you want to sleep well, you should set your home to 18ºC at night.

About Jerry

There are only 24 hours in a day, so why not spend it in a healthy and happy way? So, I choose to spend it happily
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