Sleeping – Impact on Health

For many people, college is a great opportunity to experiment with lots of things. For me, one of the things that I was fascinated by was different work styles. I remember one semester at University of Michigan where I:

  • Worked part-time
  • Took 21 credits
  • Was president of my fraternity
  • Was the treasurer of a magazine
  • Studied for my GMAT and GRE
  • Studied Czech (non-credit) in preparation for a trip to the Czech Republic
  • Planned a 3-month trip around Europe

In retrospect, it was crazy. The only solution that I came up with was to make sure I never slept more than 30 hours per week. That ultimately translated to a minimum of 2 and often 3 all nighters (probably not the healthiest strategy). The next semester I tried getting a regular night’s sleep every night. My conclusion…I got more done in less hours by being more focused and making less mistakes. Not a true study, but as I learned, it seems to be supported by lots of facts.

At the time, someone was trying to convince me of a theory on life doubling which was basically to take a power nap every 3-4 hours and being able to go without any full nights sleep. (I was…and remain…fairly skeptical.)

If you look at sleep, here are some things to consider:

I wish I had known. It would appear that my grades would have been better, and I would have been thinner if I slept more. But, it is a serious problem. People are busy, stressed, and never have time to sleep. Even knowing all this, I can’t image sleeping 8+ hours per day.

I used to tell my team that since I slept 1-2 hours less then them every day (or 365-730 hours per year) that I enjoyed an extra year of being awake every decade (exact math not important). I love life and enjoy maximizing the day. The challenge is finding that right medium to enjoy it productively.

One Response to “Sleeping – Impact on Health”

  1. hmm. science is so unreliable… it says here:

    http://health.ucsd.edu/news/2002/02_08_Kripke.html

    that sleeping 8 hours *increases* your mortality rate!

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