Monday, August 6, 2012

Are You a Sleepaholic?


by Kate Collins

If I’m any kind of “aholic” at all, I’d have to say sleepaholic first followed by chocoholic because, in my humble opinion, there’s nothing like a good night’s sleep, and now a new study proves me right. Sleep deprivation can actually make you ill.

According to recent researched published in the journal Sleep, (how appropriate) sleep deprivation has the same effect on our immune systems as physical stress, and we all know what stress does to the body.
The article goes on to explain that the lack of sleep causes our immune systems to become hyperactive and start producing white blood cells—the body's first line of defense against foreign invaders, such as infectious diseases. So the body reacts to sleep deprivation in much the same way it reacts to illness. And that, in a nutshell, is why we feel bad.
Some people are more sensitive to a lack of sleep than others. My husband was able to get by on five hours, although not for extended periods of time. Me, not so much. I simply don’t function well without my seven to eight hours a night, although I can make do with six on occasion. I feel so much better having gotten a full night of Zzzzzs.

How about you? Do you love your sleep or are you one of those energizer bunnies who can get by on five hours?



(Source: Sleep 2012; 35 (7) pp933-940

13 comments:

FirstOfMay said...

I'm a night owl. Always have been. But lately, it's worse. I'm lucky if I get to bed before 6 a.m. these days and I'm up by 9 or 10.

Kristin said...

I need an average of 8 hours of sleep every night. My husband on the other hand, can make do on only about 5 hours of sleep. However, my husband does that pretty frequently.

Sue said...

I can survive on less than 8 hours but eventually my body will "shut down" and I will have to sleep for a very long time to catch up. Usually I get between 7 and 8 hours of sleep a night. If it's less, I find myself nodding off in my chair with a book in my hand around noon during the day.

Paula Miller said...

I tend to need a lot of sleep, because I seem to wake up every hour or so at night. I end up taking a nap most afternoons.

Breaunna Miller said...

I'm with you Kate, I must have 7-8 hours of sleep. Although I can get by on less if needed, I am a much happier person if I get a full night of a good deep sleep!

Melissa said...

I need an average of 7 or 8 hours a sleep every night..otherwise my eyes start feeling tired the next day (and I want to do is take a nap.. ) =)

Kate Collins said...

Good to see I'm not alone. I really enjoy sleeping. Paula, try taking 10 mg of melatonin. That helped me immensely.

JJM said...

Eight hours, even though this means I go to bed well before ten at night. (Darn those bus schedules.) I learned the hard way what lack of sleep can do to you some years back when I struggled to hold onto a job for which I was monumentally unsuited (but we needed the income) while being my mother's principal caregiver when she developed Alzheimer's. If I was lucky, I got as much as four or five hours of sleep on any given night. It really cuts down on your ability to make sane, rational decisions. Not a good thing. Believe me, life goes south very quickly ... :(

Dru said...

I normally sleep 5 to 6 hours. If I sleep more, I'm more tired.

Anonymous said...

I wish I could get 6-8 hours of unbroken sleep. I wake up every 1 1/2 to 2 hours to go to the bathroom. I am usually up after 6 hours but start running out of energy after about 5-6 hours and must take a nap. this is one of the reasons I retired early and cannot work more than 4 hours a day which makes it very hard for me to get a job to supplement my disability.

Me said...

I NEED 8 to 10 hours of sleep just to function properly. Even as a youngster, I slept more than the average child. I can get by on as little as 6 hours occasionally, anything less and I can't do anything. I prefer to think of sleeping (and napping) as a hobby. I strive to emulate my cat - he's got the whole sleep thing dialed in!

Adrienne said...

Oh I love to sleep! I'm a napper, too. Probably because I don't get enough sleep, ya think? I love the quiet after everyone is in bed so I end up staying up too late (like now!) and then I pay for it the next day. No question, however, that if I turn out the light by 11pm and get up at 7:30, I do feel better. But that means I can't read until 2 am!!! What a problem :-) Adrienne/Ande in MN

Aurian said...

I can function on a few hours if really really necessary, but I do want my 7 or 8 0r 9 hours of sleep if possible.