August 25, 2008
As I head off to bed ...
Posted by Gordon Smith

Two tidbits from the CNN story about sleep and productivity:

The evidence that sleep matters is irrefutable and constantly growing. Let's start with a newly discovered link between sleep deprivation and serious illnesses such as diabetes and cancer. A 2008 research project at the University of Chicago's medical school kept young, healthy volunteers awake for all but four hours a night for six nights running. The result: The levels of subjects' hormones shifted -- in particular a hormone called leptin that affects appetite. They became ravenously hungry, scarfing down pizza and ice cream long after they would have felt full normally, and their blood sugar shot up to pre-diabetic levels -- an ominous result after less than one week of inadequate sleep. Other studies duplicate those results so regularly that researchers now believe that not getting enough sleep is a top cause of obesity and diabetes


One experiment at U. Penn's medical school kept subjects up until 4 A.M., woke them at 8 A.M., and then gave them a series of tests designed to measure memory, alertness, and the ability to react quickly to new information. The researchers were startled to find that subjects' mental acuity declined markedly after just one night and kept dropping with each successive night of four hours' sleep.

I would look up the studies, but I need to get to bed. After all, I am a morning person now!

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