What If You Sleep 2 Hours Less Every Night | For many people, sleep is a burden which they would love to do away with I mean, imagine how much more you could do in a day with 2 extra hours. But, what would actually happen if you cut out 2 hours of your sleep every night? First, we need to understand how much sleep our body and brain actually need. The vast majority of research on the topic has concluded that around 8 hrs of sleep is optimal for the average person.
Today, almost 50% of people get 6 hrs or less each night. Now, the first night of less sleep may actually trigger the mesolimbic system, releasing dopamine and giving you a sense of adrenaline. But your brain slowly begins to shut off the areas associated with planning and making decisions, and, even though you may still feel fine getting 6 hrs, the truth is actaully much darker and worrisome that you might realize.
Scientists use a technique known as PVT to understand the impact of sleep deprivation on humans in studies Simply put, it’s a reaction test. A red button randomly turns green and people have to push it as fast as possible. Not so surprisingly, those who get 8 hrs of sleep over a 2 week period, show very few lapses in attention and no cognitive decline. But those groups that recieved either 6 or 4 hrs of sleep see declining PVT results on almost a daily basis for the entire 2 week period. Of course, the 4 hrs group performs the worst but these results don’t just show a loss of concentration, they show full lapses in awareness called microsleeps. In other words, their brains aren’t just slower, but shutting off for moments at a time. When looking at the results deeper, scientists concluded that getting 6 hrs of sleep for 10 days in a row was the same as not sleeping for 24 hrs straight. That’s the same cognitive decline as being legally drunk. And, if you get 4 hrs of sleep for 11 days, it’s like you haven’t slept for 48 hrs straight. These studies also show that participants were not at all aware of their cognitive declines. In other words, when you’re tired, it’s like being that drunk person at a party who insists that they can drive home fine. Other tests show that your ability to memorize and retain information, or even do simple math or problem solving, decline at similar rates. and that you don’t feel any worse, just remember that every single day your cognitive abilities continue to decrease, costing you much more that you may have bargained for.
Be sure to check out our latest video, where we challenged ourselves to wear every single piece of plastic. we used for 7 days while living our normal life in public, which was insanely embarrassing. We really wanna make more content that can affect people’s lives and the planet and this one has a ton of cool science in it the bus wasn’t seen by that many people, so we really appreciate you checking it out. And if you wanna learn more about sleep and pushing yourself our latest podcast is about Hustle Culture and touches on a variety of studies related to stress, sleep, and how much you should be working to optimize results.
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