Tag Archives: Sleep Habits

Consequences Of Going Sleepless Even If You’re Not In Seattle*

Sleep. Ah, blessed, wonderful, energizing sleep. How I love you so.

And, yet, sleep is something I tend to try and avoid as much as possible. I’ll stay up as late as possible before heading to bed. Once there, I will sleep as little as I can possibly get away with before forcing myself awake and starting another sleep-deprived day.

Back in my day, when I worked at my first newspaper, my normal shift didn’t start until 10 am. Which meant I could stay up until 1 am, sleep eight hours and still be in on time to start work.

That was, and I use this word with complete certainty that it is the right word for the job, beautiful.

Of course, things changed and, for the most part, I started changing with them. I still remember the horror with which I faced the night before the first day of Sarcasmo’s high school. He had to catch a bus at 6:30 am, which meant we had to be up before 6 and getting ready to head out.

I hit the hay before 11 pm for the first time in a long, long time. And I never really did acclimate to the whole early-to-bed-early-to-rise thing. Benjamin Franklin was a great dude for the most part, but he had some serious issues when it came to sleep.

So, I tend to be on the lookout for information about sleep. I like to make sure that, when I sleep too little, I am at least sleeping deeply and getting the most restorative efforts for my time. So when I ran across this great infographic from my apparently new go-to magazine for post kickstarters, Popular Science, I knew I had to talk about it.

Should you stay up late bingewatching House of Cards, or finishing off that really big book? Probably not. And here's why.

 

I can’t be the only dude who sees things like chronic depression on there and starts getting nervous about his sleep habits, yeah?

Which means that, dudes, if you’re reading this at night, it might be time to sign off the old IntarTubules, brush your teeth, change into the comfy jammies and hit the sack. See if you can get a good night’s sleep for a change.

You never know. You might actually enjoy it.

Footnotes & Errata

* Wow, did that reference date me or what? Erm, I saw it on Netflix? Not in theaters? Yeah, that sounds good.

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Sleep Your Extra Weight Away

by Richard

Sorry, dudes. Didn’t mean to disappoint you. I don’t actually have a way for you to lose weight while you sleep. Unless there’s sleep exercisers, like there’s sleep eaters. Yeah, I know. How fair is it that our bodies will wander around unsupervised and do terminal damage to a diet by binging while our minds sleep, but then won’t return the favor by working out when our minds are out?

Anyway.

Turns out, though, there’s some evidence that how much you sleep does make a difference in whether you keep packing on the pounds or actually start to lose them.

According to a story on CNN, scientists looked at more than 1,000 pairs of twins and found that the amount of sleep they got made a significant determination in whether or not the genes that predispose them toward obesity would activate. Wait, let me explain.

If you’re genetically predisposed to be overweight, the amount of sleep you get each night could make a big difference in how influential those genes are, a new study suggests.

After analyzing the sleep habits and body weight of 1,088 pairs of twins, including genetically identical ones, researchers concluded that people who get plenty of sleep — at least nine hours per night — have more control over their weight through their behavior than people who sleep less.

Among twins who slept less than seven hours per night, genes accounted for 70% of the differences in body mass index (BMI), while so-called environmental factors, such as diet and exercise habits, were responsible for just 4% of the differences.

The pattern was reversed among twins who slept nine or more hours per night. In this group, environmental factors accounted for 51% of BMI differences and genes accounted for just 32%.

In other words, getting enough sleep seems to dampen the risk of your genetic factors kicking in and making your body gain weight or keep the weight on. Think about it: If you don’t get enough sleep, all the diets and exercise in the world won’t do you any good.

That’s frightening, that what that is.

Think about it. Sleep. Something that’s only tangentially related to exercise and diet, has a massive impact on your weight. It’s something I never would have thought of, had it not been for the science coming in like that. There’s already been research that links sleep and mood. So, along with this, it seems as if sleep is taking an even more important role in making sure we dudes stay trim and fit.

“The less you sleep, the more important genetic factors are to how much you weigh,” says lead author Nathaniel F. Watson, M.D., co-director of the University of Washington Medicine Sleep Center, in Seattle. “The longer you sleep, the greater the influence of environmental factors like meal composition and timing.”

Looks like I’ll be hitting the hay a bit earlier tonight. And tomorrow night. And the night after that. And the night after that. . .

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