2 min read


Photo by Kate Stone Matheson / Unsplash

Hey friends!

Last weekend, I went to a cubing competition. This was the longest competition in the history of the World Cube Association (WCA), running for 22 hours straight (Sat 5am- Sun 3am) with food breaks only. That Sunday I slept for only six hours, and I made an interesting observation - I felt like garbage - which prompted me to research this topic further.

Why is sleep so important and how much should I get?

As most of you know, the brain processes and sorts through all the ideas, thoughts and memories from the day while you sleep. It moves the important stuff into long term memory, while de-prioritising the rest.
Sleep also serves a role in toxin removal from the brain, as well as emotional regulation. When you don't get enough sleep, you usually wake up feeling tired, moody or foggy because your brain didn't get the chance to clear out all the 'cobwebs' from the day prior.

Of course everyone is different, but universally it is generally recommended adults get somewhere between 7 and 9 hours of sleep per night, while children need up to 10 hours.

The consequences of sleep deprivation

Sleep deprivation is frequently associated with poor academic performance, lapses in consciousness, decreased learning capacity and diseases such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, impaired immune system, obesity and Alzheimer's. Poor judgement, lack of concentration and impaired decision making can (and do) have a dangerous impact across all areas of our work and personal lives. For example, every year in the US alone around 100,000 car accidents are associated with tiredness, loss of vigilance and 'microsleeps', not to mention incorrect prescribing of medications which may be fatal.

In conclusion, most of us don't get as much sleep as we should, though it isn't necessarily our own fault. Our society rewards working and studying long hours, and being productive for the whole day. In many cases, this leaves us only a small portion of the day to socialize, spend some time with ourselves and sleep. Does your work/life balance include enough sleep?

If you'd like to learn more about deep sleep in particular, I'd highly recommend checking out this TED Talk which was one of my sources for this newsletter.

Some of my favourite things


How To Sleep Well With Michael Mosley
I recently watched this documentary, given my current interest in the topic.  It's an interesting program highlighting some of the most up to date science and technology on the topic of sleep.

Quote of the week

"Life is a succession of lessons which must be lived to be understood" - Thomas Carlyle

Have a great week!
Cheers, Toby