Sleep Deprivation No Longer A “Badge of Honor”

I would argue that for years many people bragged about how little sleep they got (as a proxy to show how hard they work).  Has that changed or will that change?  I’m not sure.  The whole concept of face time is often more normal than the work smarter not harder concept.

The question of course is whether research on the impact of sleep deprivation will change anyone’s mind.  In an article I just read, it has several key points from a recent study [by Daniel Cohen, Harvard Medical School, Science Translational Medicine journal]:

  • Studies estimate that almost 30% of Americans get less than 6 hours of sleep per night.
  • The circadian rhythm hides the effects of chronic sleep loss and gives people a second wind btwn 3-7 pm (before they fall off a cliff in terms of attention).
  • If you stay up all-night on top of sleeping less than 6 hours a night for the past 2-3 weeks, your reaction times are 10x worse than they would have been if you just pulled an all-nighter. 

“A large segment of the population may be at a high risk of committing catastrophic errors” (Eve Van Cauter, sleep researcher at the University of Chicago)

Given the risks of error, the impact on health, and other issues, it would seem like companies would want to discourage this “badge of honor” and encourage people to get appropriate sleep.

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