Monday, March 14, 2011

Short sleeps = poor concentration

Say you decide to go on a fast, and so you effectively starve yourself for a week. At the end of seven days, how would you be feeling? You'd probably be hungry, perhaps a little weak, and almost certainly somewhat thinner. But basically you'd be fine.

Now let's say you deprive yourself of sleep for a week. Not so good. After several days, you'd be almost completely unable to function. That's why Amnesty International lists sleep deprivation as a form of torture.

So begins a short article by Tony Schwartz on the fact that we need more sleep each night than most of us allow ourselves. High achievers, in particular, always want to make the most of that extra late-night hour. Others just don't want 'to go to bed so early.' But Schwartz says that the result of having too little sleep is that we work at a considerably reduced capacity. Better sleep means better focus and concentration in a shorter time.

I'm pointing to this article out of concern for the health and wellness (are they the same thing?) of ministers, many of whom have broken sleep and interrupted sleep; it's part of the nature of the job. But few of them make up that sleep. And that only leads to worse sleep patterns.

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