Why You Need To Sleep 8 Hours A Day: This Book Convinced Even Bill Gates To Go To Bed Before Midnight

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Video: I Decided to Sleep for 4 Hours a Day, See What Happened 2023, February
Why You Need To Sleep 8 Hours A Day: This Book Convinced Even Bill Gates To Go To Bed Before Midnight
Why You Need To Sleep 8 Hours A Day: This Book Convinced Even Bill Gates To Go To Bed Before Midnight

- When did you last get enough sleep?

- Where did you get enough sleep?

This joke has become a kind of anthem for the current generation. Lectures on how to do everything and be super productive are gathering entire stadiums. Incidentally, mentioning that I managed to take a nap for only a couple of hours is to show others how in demand and successful you are. But talking about lying in bed until lunchtime is already bad manners. Otherwise, you can cause a wave of envy and condemnation: "You will sleep like this all your life."

Meanwhile, the results of 20 studies prove that the night schedule and disturbed sleep rhythms increase the risk of developing cancer, including cancer of the breast, prostate, endometrium and colon. Scientists also deduced a relationship: the shorter the sleep, the shorter the life. People over 45 who sleep less than 6 hours a night are 200% more likely to have a heart attack or stroke compared to those who can bask in bed for 7 or 8 hours.

After the publication of this frightening data, even billionaires started thinking about their lifestyle. If earlier they boasted that they could stay awake for two days working on a project, now they are more and more in favor of a normal rest.

So Bill Gates, are regularly published in his blog GatesNotes list of books that are worth reading, advised subscribers to reflect on the chart. And he recommended to study the work of Matthew Walker, professor of psychology and neuroscience at the University of California, founder of the Center for the Science of Sleep, on New Year's holidays.

“This year I have read several books on human behavior, but this one is the most interesting and deep. Jenn and John Doerr (Gates' daughter and his friend, a famous venture capitalist - Ed.) Urged me to take on her. And I'm glad I did it. We all know good sleep is essential. But what exactly can be considered it? And how can you achieve it? Walker convinced me to change my habits. If you also want to feel better, these tips will help you "- this is how one of the richest people on the planet recommended the book " Why do we sleep. A new science of sleep and dreams.


It turned out that she conquered not only the genius from Silicon Valley, but also the world. Within a few weeks it became one of the best-selling books and entered the list of "Top 10 best popular science books" according to The Guardian and the Daily Mail.

The BeautyHack editors also read the bestseller and highlighted several important points.

Why We Sleep Less

More recently, in 1942, only 8% of the population slept for 6 hours or less. By 2017, half of the planet turned out to be like that. Almost every second. This is due to electrification: light allows you to read books, watch TV, and work at a computer. And in general, it worsens sleep, even if it is just a glow from a floor lamp or a screen. Plus the sprawl of cities makes the road to work longer. People are reluctant to sacrifice their family or hobby time. Therefore, they go to bed later and later. Stress, caffeine, and alcohol also play a role. These are all enemies of sleep.

According to Professor Walker, the world is in the midst of a "catastrophic epidemic of insufficient sleep." And the statements of successful personalities, like the founder of SpaceX and the mastermind of Tesla, Elon Musk, that they only need to spend 5-6 hours in bed, only exacerbate the situation. The Wall Street Journal even coined the term "sleepless elite" for them. But the truth is that such a regime is only suitable for people born with a genetic mutation, the so-called "Margaret Thatcher gene". It allows you to get enough sleep in a short period of time and be active at the same time. Alas, there are about 1-3% of carriers of this gene on Earth. True, and it can come back to haunt them. The book cites facts that the constant ignorance of Morpheus' hugs increases the risk of developing Alzheimer's disease. Both Thatcher and Reagan, known for their ability to sleep for a short time, faced this ailment.

Than it threatens

Provocation of cancer cells. After just one night of 4-5 hours of sleep, our killer cells that attack the cancer cells that appear every day are reduced by 70%. The World Health Organization names any night work as a possible carcinogen.

The road to obesity and diabetes. After a short sleep, we wake up more hungry than after a normal sleep. The body is trying to make up for the lack of energy. Sweet cravings increase by 30%. At the same time, you want to move less. The cells become less responsive to insulin, which removes glucose from the bloodstream. As a result, there is a higher risk of gaining weight and developing type 2 diabetes, due to which life expectancy can decrease by 10 years.

Heart disease. Those who are accustomed to not getting enough sleep are more often diagnosed with arrhythmia, coronary artery disease, and hypertension. The book cites the example of the inhabitants of the Greek island, who decided to abandon the siesta. True, not for long. Six years later, it turned out that the risk of dying from cardiovascular diseases in men increased by 37%, and in women - by 60%. But where the tradition of having a rest at lunchtime has been preserved, the probability of living to 90 years is four times higher than, for example, in America.

Problems with conceiving. Men who slept less than they should have had 29% lower sperm counts than those who sleep by the rules. Plus, due to constant fatigue, libido decreases.

Risk of dying in an accident. In the United States of America alone, 1.2 million accidents per year are caused by drivers who fall asleep while driving. Drunken accidents occur much less frequently. Have you had less than 5 hours of rest? The risk of disconnection on the highway increases 4.3 times. Only took a nap for 4 hours? The risk is 11.5 times greater.

Loss of performance. Go to bed at 2 a.m., get up at 7 a.m. hoping to catch up over the weekend? Do not flatter yourself. With constant lack of sleep, even two days in bed will not return the wasted resource to the body. Reducing the productivity of one employee costs companies 125 thousand rubles a year. Think not that much? 2% of GDP in 12 months is the global economic cost of sleep loss for a country. To reduce the inefficiency of workers, NASA began to practice daytime sleep in the mid-1990s. It turned out that even a 26-minute rest raises productivity by 34%, the employee becomes 50% more attentive. Nike and Google have special rooms for the same purpose.

Decreased mental alertness in adolescents. In a growing organism, the biological clock is shifted several hours ahead. That is, getting up at 5 am for schoolchildren is the same as getting up at 3 am for adults. As an experiment, several educational institutions in the United States moved classes by 9:15. And the test scores got much better, especially in math.

Fearful mood and fits of rabies. An unstable emotional state is not always a bad character. Sometimes those brawlers who swear in lines and honk in traffic jams simply cannot contain themselves, because they were unable to sleep for several nights in a row. They say that no serious mental disorder is complete without sleep disturbances.

13 rules for healthy sleep

Let's put it bluntly: the scientist has not made any breakthrough here. We have read all this before. But, knowing what a lack of rest can lead to, it is still worth taking a fresh look at the recommendations.

  • Go to bed at the same time on weekdays and weekends. Better before midnight. Spend at least 8 hours in bed.
  • Sports can help you sleep better, but all physical activity should end 2 hours before you settle down.
  • Forget tea, coffee and cigarettes. They are for sleep - like Moriarty and Moran for Sherlock Holmes, the main enemies. Half of the caffeine is excreted from the body only after 5-7 hours. And even more slowly with age. Nicotine makes the rest more superficial and short. The same story with alcohol.
  • Don't overeat late at night, even if you're very hungry. The body will spend all its energy on digesting food, and will not let you sleep peacefully. And if you still fill up the daily drinking rate at the same time, then get ready to run to the toilet all night.
  • Avoid taking medications at the end of the day that delay sleep.
  • If you go to bed after 3 pm, then set the alarm for 26 minutes. This is exactly how much it takes to take a nap and not interrupt sleep at night.
  • Remove all gadgets two hours before going to sleep. The blue light emitted by the screens reduces melatonin production by 23%. This makes us fall asleep worse, and in the morning we feel less rested. Put on music, read a book, and massage your neck and face.
  • Take a bath or warm foot bath. To make Ole Lukoye come to you as soon as possible with a magic umbrella showing dreams, it is enough to lower the body temperature by 1 degree. Swimming in icy water is optional, hot showers are fine too.
  • The room in which you are resting should be darkened. Blackout curtains, no lights and garlands before bed. Even a red dot from charging batteries can interfere with the brain.
  • Open windows, ventilate the room. It is better to stretch the blanket, but do not let it get stuffy. The temperature in the bedroom should be no higher than 19 degrees.
  • Go outside under natural light for at least half an hour every day. If it is still dark outside when you get up, turn on the lamp with all the bulbs. So the body will wake up sooner.
  • If you can't sleep for more than 20 minutes, get up and do something relaxing.
  • Get in the habit of getting up without an alarm. It deprives us of a huge part of REM sleep, the brain does not have time to complete the processing of old and new impressions and, as a result, cannot quickly solve the simplest problems.

Text: Tatiana Chernikova

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