The awareness about Sleep in relation with the pattern of circadian rhythms seems to be inadequate among many of us because of which we tend to consciously make compromises about it. Many people who consult with me go through various sleeping disorders without knowing the extent of risk they have been under. Being a physician, I can pretty much relate with expressions like ‘I sleep adequately, but only go to bed at 2 am’ or ‘I work for American clients and therefore I sleep the whole day’. In most of such cases, the concern would revolve around tiredness and not feeling freshness in spite of sleeping for more than eight hours during the day. The solution is equally simple, there is a way our human body is designed to be and the pattern of sleep plays a major role in restoring and rejuvenating the key body functions, everyday. The array of research outcomes forced on human behavior have more or less confirmed the fact that the ‘early bird pattern’ is the best way to go about when it comes to sleep.
Scientific Data and Other Interesting Facts about Sleep Patterns
A new study conducted by the researchers from Britain’s Roehampton University has some interesting findings. They questioned 1,068 men and women about their behavioral preferences and patterns in terms of eating and sleeping. They further related these respective patterns to the participant’s psychological parameters like happiness and anxiety. They also reviewed their height and weight for the records. The participants were grouped into two – early birds and night owls; early birds woke up before 7 am and the night owls before 9 am. The results clearly showed that early birds are naturally slimmer apart from being happier and healthier when compared with night owls. It’s a simple yet effective study that clearly demonstrates the importance of sleeping well at night and waking up as early as possible.
In another study designed by the researchers at Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University in Chicago, they examined 123 healthy adults who sleep for about six and half hours per night. They were examined for a week with wrist monitors based on which their motion and rest were tracked. Those who are night owls were found to have an average of only 83 minutes of vigorous activity through-out the week. It can be concluded that the inappropriate sleeping pattern is reducing their ability to focus on work which indirectly impacts their physical and mental health parameters.
Adverse Effects of Disrupted Sleep Pattern
- Influences short term memory by reducing brain’s functional capabilities.
- Impacts creativity and learning abilities.
- Induces unintended weight loss or weight gain in excess proportions.
- Increases risk for ailments like diabetes, heart diseases and cancer.
- Adversely affects the immune system.
There is a direct relationship between the duration of sleep and the time of sleep which has to be ideally at night when the sun is down. No matter what the professional challenges and constraints are, it is better to hit the bed at the earliest after sunset and wake up fresh and relaxed before sunrise. The ideal sleeping time in the present day scenario would be from
9 pm to 5 am, slight adjustments can be made without deviating much from it.