Sleep On The Job

Those 5am med­i­ta­tion ses­sions may look good on In­sta, but they’re do­ing lit­tle for your pro­duc­tiv­ity, ex­plains Pro­fes­sor Jim Horne, au­thor of Sleep­less­ness

Men's Health (Australia) - - MH Boss -

“Week­end lie-ins, af­ter­noon naps – when­ever you catch your shut­eye, a few ex­tra hours of sleep can be even more ben­e­fi­cial to your pro­duc­tiv­ity than early starts.

“Not all of us are built for morn­ings. The cir­ca­dian body clock varies from per­son to per­son, with vari­a­tions in the tim­ing of its daily peaks and troughs. As such, some of us are ‘larks’ and at our best in the AM, and plenty of oth­ers are ‘owls’, who don’t peak un­til later 1 . What’s more, th­ese late sleep­ers are of­ten bet­ter able to adapt to changes in the tim­ing of their sleep, as hap­pens with shift work and jet lag, putting them at a nat­u­ral ad­van­tage 2 .

“We’re told the early bird catches the worm and, in 1735, the Amer­i­can poly­math Ben­jamin Franklin opined, ‘Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.’ How­ever, var­i­ous stud­ies have put this of­ten ir­ri­tat­ing view­point to the test – and failed to sup­port it. Per­haps the most in­trigu­ing was a sur­vey of 1300 peo­ple pub­lished in the BMJ. There was no ev­i­dence to show that early ris­ers were any more af­flu­ent, and it was those with later sleep­ing sched­ules who had higher on­go­ing in­comes. Plus, there were no dif­fer­ences in their cog­ni­tive abil­i­ties 3 . In short: if you’re wor­ried that the predawn­ers are out­per­form­ing you, don’t lose sleep over it.”

1

In a BMJ study, 29 per cent of peo­ple were ‘morn­ing peo­ple’, the rest ‘owls’ or no pref­er­ence.

2

Sleep­ing in works! The Uni of Penn­syl­va­nia found two ex­tra hours in bed boosts alert­ness.

3

A Uni of Madrid study found those who sleep in late score higher on tests mon­i­tor­ing rea­son­ing and gen­eral in­tel­li­gence.

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