How to Keep Fit by Sleeping Little?

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Sleeping little, but good, it is possible. Joelle Adrien, neurobiologist specialist in sleep, gives her advice for a short sleep but sufficiently restorative. Provided it does not last too long …

According to the National Institute of Sleep and Vigilance, 30 to 40% of French sleep less than 6 hours per night, most of them suffer from lack of sleep. The need for sleep depends on the age and genetic dispositions of each. Sometimes professional or personal events occur and you can not meet your sleep needs. Rather than suffer this untimely deficiency, there are techniques to tame it.

Aim for the right sleep window

“If we have a cart period and that it does not meet their needs, you have to calibrate only on her biological clock”, advises Joëlle Adrien, director of research at Inserm (National Institute for Health and medical research) and president of the National Institute of Sleep and Vigilance. Stalling on one’s biological clock means knowing the best time to fall asleep. “This period is called the sleep window, ” reveals the neurobiologist.

“The sleep window of most people is between 11pm and 7am, according to  Joelle Adrien. We must amputate a few hours at the beginning and at the end of this window. This is the best way to avoid suffering shortened sleep.”

Take naps!

There is no minimum number of hours of sleep to be fit. However, “the first four hours of sleep are the most restorative”, underlines the researcher. During these periods when the sleep time is reduced, Joelle Adrien advocates to make “two naps of 20 minutes in the day”. No more no less because beyond 20 minutes, sleep becomes too deep. “This is the inertia of sleep. It will take longer to wake up and recover alertness”, explains neurobiologist.

In extreme conditions, it is possible to split his sleep. It is a mode of rest where the sleep time is divided into several naps (about 15 to 30 minutes) during the day. “It’s called the solitary browser technique,” says the researcher. This method is only valid for one time, once the skippers return, they resume a rhythm of monophasic sleep. ”

A temporary solution

“It is possible to hold only three or four days at this rate” , tempers Joelle Adrien. “Lack of sleep can have serious health consequences such as hypertension and diabetes”. Reducing hours of sleep is not a long term solution. “Sleep is essential to the development, brain maturity and allows to be healthy”, says the Institute of sleep and alertness.

On an average, adults has to sleep between 7 and 8 hours per night to be fit. Which means that a human being spends about 25 years of his life with his eyes closed.


About Savi

Savi is a regular writer and social activist. She also writes for BBC, Huffington Posts and others.

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