“I’ll sleep when I’m dead”! In the video “Sleep is Your Superpower” by Matt Walker, the common phrase is highlighted. From the factory worker to the average student focused on the career of their dreams, the saying is heard often and by anyone that finds it detrimental to labor until they drop.
Ironically speaking, those dreams happen in deep sleep, scientifically known as the REM (rapid eye movement) cycle of the sleep process, which a lot of students are not getting enough of. If one is thinking of pulling an all-nighter for the next exam, they should know that there will be a 40% deficient of the brains ability to retain the information they attempted to cram while lacking sleep.
The neurological scientist conducted an experiment where two groups were observed: one that had proper sleep and another that was sleep deprived. The numbers collected over ten years and from millions of human beings were used to give us all some very interesting facts. Then experiment eventually lead to published evidence that a lack of sleep is linked to Alzheimer’s and dementia.
A 24% increase of heart attacks were found to happen every year during daylight savings as people everywhere lose an hour of sleep. Sadly, Walker mentioned that an increase in numbers were found in car crashes and even suicide rates. Yikes! A 70% drop in natural “killer-cell activity” in the body, also known as immune deficiency, happens if sleep is lacked. Scientist also found the reproductive system is greatly affected when one does not get proper rest as well. Walker says, “A man’s lack of sleep can age him by a decade”.
During another observation, 711 genes were found distorted in the DNA from a lack of sleep. The genes fell victim to being “switched off” and some even turned tumorous. Working overnight disturbs the sleep-wake rhythm and, according to Mr. Walker, the World Health Organization looks at every form of working third shift as a carcinogen.
On a more optimistic note, there is a reverse effect that happens when sleep is gained. For example, heart attacks are reduced at 21% during daylight savings in the fall when an hour of sleep is reclaimed.
“Regularity is king!” Matt Walker stresses. Let’s prioritize a good night’s rest.