Better sleep on it

How much do you sleep at night? Seven or eight hours? More, or less? If less, could be you’re in sleep debt. If more, you could be risking your life.

The Financial Times has a story which quotes from a report by Nytol, GlaxoSmithKline’s sleeping tablet brand:

Sleep debt is a growing trend and phenomenon as our determination to keep shaving time off our sleep cycle leaves us exhausted, unfocused and cranky. It said people should aim for 8 hours of pure sleep.

I don’t know about you, but my average over the past 30 days has been about 6.5 hours per night. Clearly not enough according to that report.

The FT also quotes a recent editorial in Nature attacking the “misperception” that, because successful people can get by with just a few hours sleep a night, sleep is a waste of time. The tendency to sleep less – perhaps 20 per cent less in industrialised countries than a century ago – has serious consequences for public safety, Nature said.

Yet, the FT says, a growing number of leading sleep researchers are speaking out against what they see as commercially-motivated misrepresentation of sleep debt as a relatively new phenomenon.

So how much sleep should you aim for per night?

Large-scale population studies by researchers show that 7 to 7.5 hours sleep per night is associated with the lowest levels of mortality, the FT says; death rates increase significantly as sleep rises above 8 hours.

Looks like I need to grab just another 30-60 minutes, no more. And, appropriately, listen to music from Awake is The New Sleep, an album from Australian rocker Ben Lee (check out his first podcast).

I can sleep on that!

Financial Times | Dangers of a good night’s sleep

About Neville Hobson

Entrepreneurial business communicator with a curiosity for tech and how people use it. Early adopter (and leaver) and experimenter with social media. Co-host of the weekly business podcast For Immediate Release: The Hobson and Holtz Report. Also an occasional test pilot of shiny new objects. Follow me on Twitter and Google+.