The first time I heard Dr. Kirk Parsley he said that parents will lose six months of sleep in the first two years of their child’s life. As a parent of three, the math seems about right and a bit disturbing. When we are younger we can ‘get away’ with more. This likely makes a case for having children younger in life, like our ancestors.
I grew up in a family that sleeping in or napping was a rarity. Sleeping less was almost seen as heroic. Since sleeping less you can always achieve more, right? The harder you worked the better, right? Sleep when your dead? During my schooling, sleeping two to four hours per night was a fairly common (but not normal!) practice.
The potential effects of all this sleep loss is personally unknown but consider some of the research:
Sleep restricting young healthy students for only four days results in insulin and blood glucose levels consistent with obesity and diabetes.
Chronic sleep deprivation increases disease risk for every chronic disease (cancer, heart attack, stroke, diabetes, etc.), accidents, suicide and costs in absenteeisms and reduced productivity in workplace.
Sleep deprivation is a silent killer as we ‘feel’ fine but self-awareness is also impaired with sleep loss.
When we sleep, the brain repairs body, fights infection and disease, prepares the body to be in the optimal physiological state to thrive the next day.
Being awake for eighteen hours equals a blood alcohol level 0.05. An ‘all-nighter’ is equivalent to 0.08-0.1.
Take a few minutes and watch Dr. Kirk Parsley: Sleep: America’s Biggest Problem