By Charles Kan
We all know sleep is essential to every human being, yet city dwellers are not fully aware of the implications of not having a good night’s sleep. Constant yawning and dragging your feet are just the smallest symptoms of sleep deprivation.
“Sleep is important to us from various aspects, but is often neglected or trivialized by most people,” said Dr. Shirley Li, an assistant professor at the University of Hong Kong’s Department of Psychology.
She continued, “inadequate sleep is not just about sleep deprivation. Sleep problems, such as insomnia, can also impair sleep continuity and sleep quality.” She also linked such sleep difficulties to the increased risk of psychiatric disorders and suicidal thoughts.
So, you can see how important sleep is, but you may not know enough about it. We would like to present you with five interesting facts about sleeping.
There is a popular misconception that if you burn the midnight oil cramming for the final exam, you stand a good chance of improving your grade. However, according to the Science Daily, Dutch researchers have proved that not having enough sleep may badly affect your academic performance. They found that students who suffer a chronic lack of sleep score significantly lower in their final exam (an average of 0.8 marks lower) and have a significantly lower average grade than students who have enough sleep (an average of 0.5 marks lower). It is believed that insufficient sleep decreases the power of concentration and weakens memory.
Lack of sleep affects your mood. The next time a well-tempered colleague of yours shouts at you for no reason, you should drop the cliché, “Did he get up on the wrong side of the bed?”. Dr. Michael Breus, a clinical psychologist, said that lack of sleep results in the shortage of a type of neurotransmitter, which in turn causes the depletion of a calming hormone. Besides, he pointed out that spending many sleepless nights may raise the stress-increasing hormone.
Time is precious, and sleeping for one hour more makes a difference. Health researchers from the University of Warwick found that people who do not have the ideal period of sleep (six to eight hours) are 12% more likely to die than those who sleep enough. So from today you should make sure you set your clock at the right time and sleep sufficiently.
For those who are on their weight loss “crusade”, they should spend some time reviewing their sleeping patterns. According to research conducted by New York Obesity Nutrition Research Centre, there is a connection between weight gain and sleep deprivation. It has been suggested that if you are ill-rested, a hormone responsible for regulating hunger may be adversely affected and causing you to eat more eat more.
The driver who had just slept for three hours dozed off, and then his car had a head-on collision with a truck. The rest is just history. This kind of accident is all too common in society and is always ignored. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in the United States estimated that fatigue causes 100,000 vehicle crashes a year.
The following video talks about the importance of sufficient sleep in a sleep-deprived world.
Edited by Hayley Lau