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Description: How much sleep do you usually get each night? Are you sure? Do you know how much sleep you should get each night? Do you know what impact getting less sleep than you need would have on you? What about if you got less sleep than you need each night for 2 weeks (say during the end of term and over final exams)? Finally, can you tell, by paying attention to how awake and alert you feel, how deeply you are affected by a current state of sleep deprivation? Would it help to know that about 1/3 of North Americans get significantly less sleep than they need and that most people cannot tell by self-monitoring when they are serious negatively impacted by sleep deprivation. So, what do you think now? Maybe this is a good time for you to do a sleep audit. If you think this might be true and especially if you think it is NOT true you should read the article linked below and do an informal sleep audit.

Source: Why Six Hours of Sleep is as Bad as None at All, Jill Duffy, Fast Company.

Date: December 19, 2019

Photo Credit: Flickr/Mark Sebastian

Article Link:

So, have you started to figure out how you are going to do a sleep audit? It is important as while life itself these days is already challenging our sleep hygiene, things like the pending decisions in many jurisdictions to move to permanent daylight savings time is also something that could steal a significant amount of our sleep. All together this means that we first need to each figure out how much sleep we REALLY get, then we need to figure out what the quality of that sleep is and then we need to figure out what we are going to do to fix what is likely some sort of shortfall between the sleep we are getting and the sleep we actually need in order to function well. A good time to think about such things what with New Year’s resolution season fast approaching. Let’s get on it!

Questions for Discussion:

  1. How much sleep to you get most nights and is that enough sleep (no not just do you think it is enough but is it really enough)?
  2. What is the quality of your typical night’s sleep?
  3. Given that we cannot tell when we are seriously sleep deprived what should we do?

References (Read Further):

Van Dongen, Hans, et al. “The cumulative cost of additional wakefulness: dose-response effects on neurobehavioral functions and sleep physiology from chronic sleep restriction and total sleep deprivation.” Sleep 26.2 (2003): 117-126.

Lakshminarayana Tadimeti, M. D., Caruana-Montaldo, B., Wallace, B., & Mendelson, M. D. (2000). Sleep latency and duration estimates among sleep disorder patients: variability as a function of sleep disorder diagnosis, sleep history, and psychological characteristics. Sleep, 23(1), 1.

Sleep and Sleep Disorders,

Lauderdale, D. S., Knutson, K. L., Yan, L. L., Liu, K., & Rathouz, P. J. (2008). Sleep duration: how well do self-reports reflect objective measures? The CARDIA Sleep Study. Epidemiology (Cambridge, Mass.), 19(6), 838.

Ricci, J. A., & Chee, E. (2005). Lost productive time associated with excess weight in the US workforce. Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, 47(12), 1227-1234.