Saturday, August 4, 2007

Sleep debt? You may need a time out.

We all know the feeling of sleep deficit. In a British survey, half of about ten thousand men and women seemed to desire more sleep. This fits into the general picture published in the sleep literature, a picture of increasing sleep deficits in many populations. And we all know how most people deal with this problem: They take sleeping pills.

This looks like the wrong way when we look deeper into the details of the British survey. It shows that the desire for more sleep has nothing to do with daytime sleepiness but rather with a stressful life. When offered various alternatives for coping with stress, only a minority still opted for sleep. Many preferred attractive waking alternatives in a free hour instead.

Before you take your sleeping pill next time, you may first think about stress and about other ways to cope with it.

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