January 15, 2010

You can't catch up on sleep

Perhaps you've seen the previews for Harrison Ford's latest movie, with the already spoofed line of "I ALREADY WORK AROUND THE CLOCK!" but as much as I would love to give you a link to that movie's website, I can't think of the movie's name. Bang-up movie trailer guys.

Anyways, working around the clock is a bad idea, because we can't make up for lost sleep by catching up on it during the weekend.

If you think staying in bed on the weekends will make up for a weeks' worth of sleep deprivation, think again. A new study finds that going long periods without sleep can lead to a sort of "sleep debt" that cannot simply be undone with a little extra snoozing from time to time.

The study involved a small number of participants, however, so further research would be needed to verify the results.

Such chronic sleep loss may eventually interfere with a person's performance on tasks that require focus, becoming particularly noticeable at nighttime when the body's natural sleep-wake cycle isn't giving you an extra boost.

Anyone who's ever pulled an all-nighter knows how debilitating sleep loss can be in the short term. Indeed, studies show that after 24 hours without sleep, a person's performance can drop to the level of someone who is legally drunk.

College students are now banging their head against a wall because not only do they get absolutely no sleep but they're legally drunk a lot of the times too. Crap.

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