Home » Circadian/Nature »Resources » Currently Reading:

How much sleep do you need?

April 18, 2011 Circadian/Nature, Resources No Comments

Americans sleep

Most Americans as you can see sleep less than 8 hours a night – many a lot less. How about you?

Are you OK if you do sleep less than 8 hours a night? The quick answer is no you are not. Here is the research:-

Every two hours during the day, the researchers tested the subjects’ ability to sustain attention with what’s known as the psychomotor vigilance task, or P.V.T., considered a gold standard of sleepiness measures. During the P.V.T., the men and women sat in front of computer screens for 10-minute periods, pressing the space bar as soon as they saw a flash of numbers at random intervals. Even a half-second response delay suggests a lapse into sleepiness, known as a microsleep.

The P.V.T. is tedious but simple if you’ve been sleeping well. It measures the sustained attention that is vital for pilots, truck drivers, astronauts. Attention is also key for focusing during long meetings; for reading a paragraph just once, instead of five times; for driving a car. It takes the equivalent of only a two-second lapse for a driver to veer into oncoming traffic.

Not surprisingly, those who had eight hours of sleep hardly had any attention lapses and no cognitive declines over the 14 days of the study. What was interesting was that those in the four- and six-hour groups had P.V.T. results that declined steadily with almost each passing day. Though the four-hour subjects performed far worse, the six-hour group also consistently fell off-task. By the sixth day, 25 percent of the six-hour group was falling asleep at the computer. And at the end of the study, they were lapsing fives times as much as they did the first day.

The six-hour subjects fared no better — steadily declining over the two weeks — on a test of working memory in which they had to remember numbers and symbols and substitute one for the other. The same was true for an addition-subtraction task that measures speed and accuracy. All told, by the end of two weeks, the six-hour sleepers were as impaired as those who, in another Dinges study, had been sleep-deprived for 24 hours straight — the cognitive equivalent of being legally drunk.

So what can you do? Well first of all – know that you have a problem. Secondly here are some tips for a better night’s sleep.

In May I will be launching my project on how we can all take back control of our health. Sleep is of course a major part of this. For sleep is more than rest. It heals us and also is an active part of our cognitive and learning process. How often have you had a problem that you could not solve and yet woke up one morning with it solved?

Sleep is part of the 3 part continuum of of ideal settings for a healthy life.

  1. Diet – eat what we are evolved to eat
  2. Social – live in social settings and have the kinds of relationships that we are evolved to do best in
  3. Natural Environment – live as we are designed to be – this includes align with our circadian nature (this is where the right kind of sleep is key) and also be Active (exercise is not enoughy – we have to design our lives to moce around a lot – why I have a standing desk now)
Share and Enjoy:
  • Digg
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • del.icio.us
  • Google Bookmarks
  • StumbleUpon
  • Tumblr
  • Print
  • RSS
  • email

Comment on this Article:







Contact Form

Subscribe by Email

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Facebook

Comments

  • Caroline Cooper: Hi Rob, Nice to see you're writing again. I have been thi...
  • Patrick Meadows: People, can and have lived solely on meat. Eskimos go months...
  • ike: Maybe you veggies need to eat meat so your brains can develo...
  • robpatrob: Of course - but we are talking much more recently here about...
  • Rob: "I come from Northern European stock. My genes are the most ...
  • Gemma: Don't forget regular exercise! Prevention is better than cur...
  • Daniel: Nothing can live on just meat. Carnivores such as cats and s...
  • robert: Your retarded, so why is it most vegans need pills as vitami...
  • Dario McNut: It is true that erectile dysfunction can be associated with ...
  • robpatrob: Google Richard Wrangham - His book is on Amazon - much more ...
  • A Question: Thanks for this video! Half of the urban women who had a raw...
  • robpatrob: Great questions - thanks. Just as 300 years ago a few misfi...
  • Garfield: I really like the parallels too...I live like this also. Twe...
  • nj: Rob, check out the chart here for a broader perspective on a...
  • robpatrob: Not what was said...

What is the Missing Human Manual All About?

Do you want to age well? Most of us do. If you are my age, 60, this is more important a question that if you are 30. But most of us would not wish to have heart disease, cancer, dementia when we get old.

Most of us think it is normal that we will get ill like this.

But science today tells us that this is not "Normal". Our evolutionary past designed us to be active and fit until we drop dead. Why? Because raising human children takes so long. Mature adults had to do most of the hard work enable us to invest up to 25 years in our kids.

We are designed by our evolution to reach a plateau of fitness in mid life. So why do most of us not live like this?

We don't because, we have strayed away from the best way of living that fits our evolution best. Our culture has got too far ahead of our biology. We eat foods that make us ill. We have lost our social identity and power and that makes us ill. And we have lost touch with the circadian rhythms of the Natural World, and that has made us ill too.

We have lost our fit with our true nature.

This site will be a Manual. It will show you what the best fit is. It will show you the science behind this. It will share with you some methods for getting your fit back with your true human nature.

So welcome to the "Missing Human Manual" . I hope that we can help you and I hope that you can help others as a result.

Featured Posts

Disability – the cost of modern life

  This chart shows the shift in the nature of disability in America since the early 1960′s. What is hows is that the stress of how we live is crushing millions of people. The images in this post come from an excellent article here. Back pain is strongly linked to …

Share and Enjoy:
  • Digg
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • del.icio.us
  • Google Bookmarks
  • StumbleUpon
  • Tumblr
  • Print
  • RSS
  • email

Your baby’s gut health – the platform for good or poor lifetime health – what to know and to do about this

It is clear now that a child’s gut flora drives many allergies – including eczema – Here is a short and illuminating article on this that joins the growing literature on the importance of gut health generally and how, in infants, gut health drives lifetime health. This is yet one …

Share and Enjoy:
  • Digg
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • del.icio.us
  • Google Bookmarks
  • StumbleUpon
  • Tumblr
  • Print
  • RSS
  • email

Your Waistline – The key measurement for predicting Heart Disease

A fat tummy is a sign of visceral fat which is the #1 predictor of heart disease. We have posted about this before here. But here are some charts that help us see the range. It’s not just men either. More here on Mercola’s site: Share and Enjoy:

Share and Enjoy:
  • Digg
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • del.icio.us
  • Google Bookmarks
  • StumbleUpon
  • Tumblr
  • Print
  • RSS
  • email
%d bloggers like this: