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Truth Conquers

Who Needs Sleep When You Have Coffee
Posted by David Tirsch on Aug 7, 2005 - 7:08:00 PM

Lack of sleep can cause chemical changes in the body

The opinions expressed on this page are those of the writers; they do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Canyon News.


A lot of us in L.A. wear a badge of honor when we describe our late evenings, intense lifestyles and, in particular, how we sleep only a few hours a night while remaining productive.  I heard President Clinton would "power-sleep" just five hours a night while he was president.  Studies have shown that getting less than six hours a night can affect coordination, reaction time and judgment, posing serious risks (just ask Hillary Clinton about those serious risks!).


Back in college, sleep was my life.  I would sleep in until 11:00 a.m.-ish.   I always felt that there was something unnatural about being awakened by an alarm clock and refused to use one.  The body should wake up when it is good and ready, I would always say.  I remember marveling at those who would get up at 6:00 a.m. for work, and now I am one of them!  I know some braggingly say, "Well, I get up at 5 a.m.!," as if getting no sleep, or even having a sleep disorder, is something to be proud of. 


People often speak about getting no sleep, but when was the last time someone boasted about sleeping 10 hours a night?  Wouldn't you think they were just lazy or depressed sleeping that many hours?  Did you know that Albert Einstein said he needed 10 hours of sleep a night to function well?


What if you slept for 10 hours a night?  You may not discover the next theory of relativity, but who knows what your personal possibilities could be.  The amazing little secret that I am going to let you in on is that you can read every book out there about sleep, and even the greatest experts aren't really sure what sleep is, but they know we need it.  What if, instead of watching Jay Leno or the latest reality show, you went straight to bed?


In reality, those who sleep six hours a night don't live as long as those that sleep seven hours or more, some research has shown.  On average most of us need 7.5-8 hours of sleep. And if we get less, symptoms like slowed reaction times and a deteriorating mood appear.  A recent BBC News report showed sleep deprivation has a similar impact on the body to the ageing process and may increase the severity of age-related chronic disorders such as heart disease and diabetes.


So please, follow my motto, when in doubt, sleep more (and drink lots of water).  People who get a good nights sleep every night will tell you there is nothing better.  I am not even asking you to go to the gym and sweat for crying out loud; I'm simply asking you to relax and sleep more. Give it a try!  This has been a Truth Conquers public service announcement, brought to you by Ambien (just kidding).  


Cliffside Malibu




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