We are a fairly health conscious group. We have our Fitbits. We every so often do monthly walking challenges. We eat (for the most part) well. We have standing desks, treadmill desks, and balls instead of chairs for those who prefer them. The next area to think about may be sleep. A recent article from Fast Company, here, cites a study that shows how bad lack of sleep can be. “Subjects in a lab-based sleep study who were allowed to get only six hours of sleep a night for two weeks straight functioned as poorly as those who were forced to stay awake for two days straight. The kicker is the people who slept six hours per night thought they were doing just fine.” The study is from the Journal Sleep.
These results are compounded by the fact that people just aren’t very good at knowing how long they do sleep. Estimates are usually off, sometimes significantly so. And, as the study showed, when people don’t sleep enough they do overestimate how well they are doing. Getting enough sleep isn’t always easy but we certainly don’t want people functioning as though they have been up for 48 straight hours! Our next area to emphasize for better health may have to be sleep.