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31 Reasons to Get More Sleep

Relax: this guy's in charge (Dali's Prince of Sleep)

Relax: this guy’s in charge.
(Dali’s Prince of Sleep)

1. Sleep deprivation is a torture technique used on POWs. You don’t want to live your life as a POW, do you?

2. Sleepiness is a force for evil on a large scale. You know who was sleepy? The dude driving the Exxon Valdez.

3. And evil on a local scale (like on your street), because driving drowsy is similar to driving drunk. Sleep deprivation causes about 100,000 traffic accidents a year and about 1,500 crash-related deaths.

4. Also like booze, sleep deprivation affects judgment. Who among us hasn’t gotten a tramp stamp or purchased a pannini maker off QVC when operating on too little sleep? All of us, that’s who!

5. Every minute you aren’t asleep is a minute you could be having vivid dreams about puppies and ice cream and puppies made out of ice cream—adorable AND delicious.

6. Sleepy = stupid, because cognitive processes are impaired.

7. Various sleep cycles work to consolidate memories (through brain events called “sharp wave ripples”); those who forget history or picking up a new gallon of milk are condemned to repeat history or eat dry cereal.

8. Loss of sleep can mean loss of health. Heart problems! High blood pressure! Other scary words!

9. Your body gets angry if you don’t feed it sleep, and it will release cortisol out of spite. Excess cortisol runs around causing trouble, like breaking down skin collagen and making you look old.

10. If you are not sleeping, you are not dreaming that someone knocks on your door and demands to buy every case of Girl Scout cookies currently filling your living room, paying with exact change. Live the dream, people.

11. Another way your body expresses anger at sleep deprivation is withholding human growth hormone, the stuff that gives us greater muscle mass and bone density. So you’ll feel old as well.

12. You’ll also want as much gherlin and leptin as you can get, as these hormones regulate hunger. You can get sufficient levels only by sleeping sufficient hours.

To sleep, perchance to Dream

Exhibit A: To sleep, perchance to Dream

13. It gets worse, though! “Not only does sleep loss appear to stimulate appetite. It also stimulates cravings for high-fat, high-carbohydrate foods.” And so, “people who sleep less than six hours a day were almost 30 percent more likely to become obese than those who slept seven to nine hours.”

14. Sleep deprivation kills sex drive. See #15.

15. If you don’t sleep, you can’t have dreams where you eat lasagna off Joel McHale’s abs (see Exhibit A).

16. Sleep scholars have found a link between a lowered threshold of pain and lack of sleep. Yes, you could be making yourself a wimp by staying up late.

17. Or cause a wimpy immune system: “Researchers tracked over 150 people and monitored their sleep habits for two weeks. Then they exposed them to a cold virus. People who got seven hours of sleep a night or less were almost three times as likely to get sick as the people who got at least eight hours of sleep a night.”

18. What about your metabolism? You can become insulin-resistant if you don’t get enough sleep, which will wreck your metabolism. I don’t know about you, but I need my metabolism, and I need it unwrecked.

19. Lack of sleep can cause nausea in the morning, so you might skip breakfast. If you do not think breakfast is the most important meal of the day, I do not know what to do with you.

20. If you’re not asleep, you can’t be dreaming about pizza and beer and pizza-flavored beer—unique AND delicious!

21. Oh, and cortisol also signals the body to store fat. Fuck off, cortisol.

22. You know who sleeps a LOT? Dogs. And is anyone happier than your average dog? They are not.

23. Lack of sleep can dampen motivation to create change in your life. You might not even realize how your level of motivation suffers from fatigue; fatigue works quietly and insidiously to keep you going in the same circles rather than breaking out and forging new patterns.

“Studies show that over time, people who are getting six hours of sleep, instead of seven or eight, begin to feel that they’ve adapted to that sleep deprivation — they’ve gotten used to it,” Gehrman says. “But if you look at how they actually do on tests of mental alertness and performance, they continue to go downhill. So there’s a point in sleep deprivation when we lose touch with how impaired we are.”

24. Getting enough sleep can help you literally forge new patterns of thought and solve problems. Wacky scientists gave their study participants number-based puzzles to work on, broken up into two sessions, and found that those “who slept between the two sessions were twice as likely as the others to discover the easier way to solve the problem. According to the researchers, sleeping on a problem apparently allows for a restructuring of the brain connections, ‘setting the stage for the emergence of insight.’”

25. If  you’re not sleeping, you’re not having dreams about a magical fairy who waves her wand over your house and makes it magically free of fur, and renders your pets non-shedding, and gives them the ability to do the laundry while you’re at work. And for some reason your 10th grade Spanish teacher is there; what is that even about?

26. Sleep deprivation can make you dependent on caffeine or other stimulants. There’s at least 8 good reasons to stay away from caffeine, I hear.

27. Sleep loss can aggravate depression, which can cause sleep loss, which can cause depression. Just thinking about this is depressing, and I may lose sleep over it.

28. More sleep = better athletic performance = general badassery.

29. You’ll just be more pleasant to be around if you are well rested. Even just to be around yourself.

30. Every minute not spent sleeping is a minute not potentially dreaming about leading a new life in an alternate universe where, instead of alarm clocks, you are gently awoken each morning by Joel McHale’s abs.


One comment on “31 Reasons to Get More Sleep

  1. […] 31 Reasons to Get More Sleep (features shot of Joel McHale’s abs, FYI) […]

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