Feeling Sleepy? Six Findings That Reveal The Nuanced Effects Of Poor Sleep

By Emma Young We all know that too little sleep is bad for us. Matthew Walker, a UC Berkeley sleep scientist and author of the best-selling Why We Sleep, has gone so far as to declare: “The shorter you sleep, the shorter your life.” However, some researchers fear that our concerns about not getting enough sleep are becoming overblown — and that, ironically, they could be making the problem worse. In this feature, we take a look at evidence that “too little” sleep isn’t always the disaster that it’s held up to be. It’s not always about a lack of sleep You’ll be familiar with the chronotype concepts of larks (early to bed and early to rise) and owls (late to bed, and late to rise). Most kids start out as larks, but during adolescence, many shift to becoming owls. Waking up late is fine for teenagers at the weekends, but not during the school week. Unsurprisingly, then, various studies have found that delaying the time school starts improves academic results for this age-group, and many sleep scientists and paediatricians support such a policy. It’s been assumed that this is because it allows teens to get a decent night’s sleep. But there’s some evidence that this may not be the reason. A recent study of Dutch secondary school pupils, published in Scientific Reports, found that owls did get poorer exam grades, but this effect was largely independent of sleep duration. This suggests that even when owls g...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: Tags: Feature Sleep and dreaming Source Type: blogs

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