Can I Get By with Less Sleep?

March 16, 2013 by Carlos Schäfer leave a comment

A common lament: ”I don’t think 24 hours is enough for me!”

How many of us complain of lack of time to do all the things that we wanted? How many of us feel 24 hours is not enough? How many of us cut back on sleep to get things done? And, how many of us feel burnt out and don’t realise it is due to lack of sleep?

Poor sleep has been linked to several heath problems, especially insulin resistance and poor blood sugar management. On the psychological front, inadequate sleep can make you dull and irritable. A lot of cognitive and behaviour problems have poor sleep at the core. Research indicates that poor sleep leads to higher cortisol levels. Consequently, with less sleep, you are more stressed out. Also, your brain cells get regenerated (due to IgF-1 production) during the early hours of sleep. Naturally, the later you go to bed, the more you are at risk for declining brain function.

“I can’t sleep!”

How to Sleep Like a Baby

How to Sleep Like a Baby

Many people complain that with the things that they need to get done, they are so strung up that they are unable to go to sleep. Here are a few ideas that you can try to help you sleep:

Take magnesium supplements a couple of hours before going to sleep. Magnesium helps with muscle relaxation and can help you relax all those overworked or stressed out muscles.

Eat a banana or a light snack before bed. Now this might sound contrary to the popular belief that eating before going to bed can make you put on pounds. Many people are unable to fall asleep because of low blood sugar levels, and a light snack can actually help them sleep.

This trick is an old one, and it actually works for me: Take a book to bed with you, and you will be hard pressed to keep your eyes open.

“Is there any way I can get by with less sleep?”

The answer is no. We all need a good night’s sleep to wake up fresh the next day. If you are still wondering why humans cannot evolve into getting by with less, watch this video: