The good news keeps coming for those of us stumbling through life at 3:30 in the morning. As my wife has tired of reminding me, medical science apparently has picked sleep deprivation as the silent killer of the 21st century.
From nodding off behind the wheel (been there, done that) to forgetting things and being irritable (check and check) to becoming obese (no comment) to plummeting into depression or dropping dead of a stroke or heart attack (so far, so good—see, optimism), the dangerous effects of lack of sleep keep piling up. Adding a rising risk of Type 2 diabetes, as reported in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, is no surprise.
I don’t take the fatalistic “I’ll sleep when I’m dead” view; instead, I have an intellectual curiosity.
What if we’re each biologically programmed to have only so many waking hours in our lives? Is it better to get eight hours of sleep a night and stretch those waking hours over an extra couple of decades? Are those hours better spent in exhaustion from lack of sleep at age 42 or in exhaustion from long life at age 92?
Wake me up by posting your thoughts in the comments below, or use your well-rested brain to take today’s discussion in an entirely different direction.