Sleep Less and You May Live More

Who doesn’t like sleep? Is it worth giving some up? There’s nothing better than putting in a full day of work, play or exercise, then catching some shut-eye for the night? Well, I’m sure there’s somethings that are better. We’ll save that for another day.

What if we were wasting too much time sleeping? Is this something we really want to do, waste time? We are always saying “there’s not enough time in the day,” right?  Well, for the rest of this post, we’ll see if we can find some of that valuable time we’re all looking for.

Remember please consult with your Doctor before making any health choices and if he’s full of it, then do what you want, it’s your life!

Let’s just say that you live to be 82 years old, a little more than the average life expectancy in the U.S.  I’ll use the age of 82 for all references in this post, just to keep it consistent.

Take a look at the numbers below, I’ve broken it down to averaging 6, 7 & 8hrs of sleep per night in the aggregate.

82 years of life, averaging- 8hrs sleep per day                                 

Hours     239,440                             

Days      9976.7                                

Years     27.3                     

33% of your life sleeping

82 years of life, averaging-7hrs sleep per day                                  

Hours     209,510                             

Days      8729.6                                

Years     24                                        

29% of your life sleeping 

82 years of life, averaging- 6hrs sleep per day                                 

Hours     179,580                             

Days      7,482.5                              

Years     20.5                                    

25% of your life sleeping                                             

Now, we all know that we need sleep and couldn’t function properly without it, but what if we got a little creative with our sleeping pattern. How much sleep do you actually need, do you need sleep or do you need rest? You may need less hours than you think.  Why do we even have to put a number on it?

In a study, by Dr. Daniel F Kripke an MD and Professor of Psychiatry specializing in sleep research and aging. He didn’t find any statistical health-related reason to sleep longer than 6.5 hours per night.

Note:

-Sleep cycles typically last 90 minutes.

-A good night’s sleep consists of 5-6 complete sleep cycles.

-Waking up in the middle of a sleep cycle will likely make you feel tired and groggy, but waking up in between these cycles lets you wake up feeling refreshed and alert.

Data that Dr.Kripke used is from the Cancer Prevention Study II (CPSII) from the American Cancer Society even shows that sleeping about 5 hours per night is slightly better for longevity than sleeping 8, if you get good sleep cycles.

This was a massive study. It covered 1.1 million participants, and it is the first large-scale population study that correlates sleep with longevity.

Also in this study, it’s mentioned there may even be a possibility to live longer, adding years to your life by sleeping less. Doesn’t  make sense, right? According to the study it does and there’s a good possibility it will work. You’ll need to live a healthy lifestyle to make this work though-A good diet, moderate exercise and good life choices will be necessary.  So, if your eating Big Macs, smoking heaters and drinking a 6 pack a night, this most likely won’t work our for you.

The facts are, there’s so many benefits of getting quality sleep, they are well documented-from increased testosterone levels to healthy cell activity, that may prevent diseases…plenty of data to back it up, no question. We are just thinking outside the box a little.

I’m sure there are many opinions on this subject and some may call me crazy for bringing up this possibility and that’s ok with me. These are just some fun facts and “what ifs” to throw around.  Maybe you’ll look at this and decide to give it a try.  We could all use a couple of extra hours in the day, for work or for play, right?

Sweet dreams!

Image:from mother nature network

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