Eight hours of sleep is needed by most (and the variations from that are small) while currently 20% to 30% of workers get less than six hours per night during the week. That compares to 50 years ago when those who slept less than six hours was 3%. If you need an alarm clock to wake up, you’re not getting enough sleep.
People who get one additional hour of sleep make 16% more than those who do not. That’s one of the results of a recent UCSD government study — that is a bigger impact than attending another year of college. The Wall Street Journal article sorted out some of the myths about sleep and performance. They cited multiple studies, including one that said missing a night of sleep has the neurobehavioral impact of being legally drunk.
“Yeah, right!” might be a common response.Even if eight hours per night seems unreachable, adding one more hour each night has a very high payback. Most days there is nothing else you can do with one hour that has a higher payback in effectiveness, health, happiness, and income.
If you are among the many who need an alarm clock, strive for one more hour of sleep each night. Set an alarm on your phone for 90 minutes before you normally go to bed. Use the 90 minutes as a reminder to give yourself 30 minutes to wind down and an hour of additional sleep. Looking at bright screens (TV, computer, phone, etc.) shortly before going to sleep reduces your sleep. Find a calming routine. Turn off the phone and computer. Skip that TV show. Maybe read a book or magazine. Think about what you can do when you’re earning 16% more and feeling more rested. Sleep well.