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Is Lack of Sleep Impairing Your Thinking?
Henry S Lodge, MD posted:
Is a lack of sleep making you feel like your brain just isn't working at full throttle? Huge amounts of research have shown that being under-rested, even by a half hour, has about as much of a hit on daytime productivity as being out of shape, and even an hour or so of sleep deprivation can lead to impaired cognitive function, about the same as if you had two glasses of wine with lunch, and then went back to the office. When you do the math, you lose about two hours' worth of productivity for every hour of sleep you are short on. So you might want to re-think the habit of staying up late surfing the internet or watching mindless TV.

Since it is actually hard for a lot of people to find the energy to get off the couch and go to bed, my suggestion to a lot of my patients has been to set an alarm for the time that you would really like to get into bed, and a separate one for the time you need to get up. Most people need between 7 and 9 hours of sleep, depending on individual genetics, and to some degree, life stress. Most people know intuitively what their ideal amount of sleep is. My suggestion: Go for three weeks getting that amount every single night, see how you feel, and then make a decision about how to live your best life.
BradleyinCA responded:
Yes, in fact I was making some bad sleep choices and over time it REALLY affected my ability to work. I would commute, work hard, come home to have dinner in the recliner, fall asleep watching tv then just sleep there. over several months of this my ability to do fine work with small tools was impaired, ability to focus really impaired and I developed a stutter while talking...

Finally got smart and chose the couch instead, having a place to extend my legs and stretch out flat made a big difference. but over time, I noticed that this wasnt effective, would have bad dreams, wake up not very rested and again my ability to concentrate was impaired.

Kept putting off doing the repair work on the bedroom to add insulation to the walls/repaint etc, sleeping on the couch was hoped to make me get it done. on the contrary i adjusted to being on the couch.

finally got a bed and its only been a couple of days but the difference is incredible. Im also using the alarm clock and put more effort than ever in enforcing the 9pm bed time rule.

we tend to know about the importance of sleep but then knowing this we somehow also find a way to mentally ignore the importance of this. We need to find a way to emphasize the points in this article, perhaps a computer program that can record sleep hours per day and calculate some money to go into a special play account, where if you sleep more you reward yourself by putting more $ into some acct that you can use; but deprive yourself of sleep and it takes some of it back?

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