The benefits of getting enough sleep have long been undervalued. And that’s a pity, because sleep is the key to happiness and creativity. In issue 15, you can read five insights about sleep. Here, we give you one in advance.
No one is a true night owl
“What happens in practice is that we turn ourselves into night owls,” says sleep expert Hans Hamburger. “We confuse our biological clock by spending the evening hours looking at the bright light of our iPads, computer screens, televisions and smartphones. The play of light on the sensors in our eyes sets our body clock to wake mode rather than sleep mode, so we can go on for hours and get to sleep later and later.” For every hour of sleep you miss, you should really go to bed one-and-a-half hours earlier the next evening.
“Sleeping in on the weekend is not always enough to wipe out the accumulated debt of sleep,” says Hamburger. “Sometimes you need a few nights to catch up.” If you can’t manage that, you can always go for pre-sleep. A few nights before a ‘short night’, go to bed earlier. Or take a nap during the day. A nap of 30-60 minutes is good compensation for any sleep deprivation and gives you extra energy.
You can read more about sleep in issue 15, which is available in our shop.
Text Fleur Baxmeier Additional Reporting Nina Siegal Illustration Anastasia Beltyukova