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Why Sleep Deprivation Is Anybody’s Enemy

Why Sleep Deprivation Is Anybody’s Enemy

NewsObserverI was recently interviewed by Virginia Bridges of the News Observer in Raleigh about the consequences of sleep deprivation for entrepreneurs. The information I shared can serve all of us in our health promotion efforts as we work with all kinds of people who need better sleep hygiene. Here’s her full (but short and sweet) article.

Many entrepreneurs work around the clock, sacrificing sleep to meet deadlines or finish proposals.

Some even believe tiredness demonstrates their commitment to their business, said Marie-Josée Shaar, author, founder and owner of Smarts and Stamina, a Raleigh company that offers wellness workshops, trainings and speeches, as well as continuing education and licensing for health promotion professionals.

“When I hear someone brag about their sleep deprivation, I don’t conclude that they are busy, needed and successful,” MJ said. “What I really think is that they are temporarily and reversibly mentally impaired, but too groggy to realize it.”

Here are MJ’s edited comments on the importance of sleep.

Each night, most adults need between 7.5 and 8.5 hours of sleep, which helps the brain and body perform a number of important mental and physical functions.

Sleep increases serotonin, the neurotransmitter that facilitates self-discipline, and increases dopamine, which makes us feel more energetic, capable and motivated to persevere when facing difficulties, MJ said.

Enough sleep leads to a decrease in cortisol, a stress hormone that can make us feel impatient and irritable, cause insomnia and high-sugar, high-fat food cravings.

The brain uses sleep time to consolidate the day’s learning and memories. Sleep adequacy also impacts decision-making as it increases the ability to receive, process and act on information.

Those who are pulling all-nighters for the sake of important deadlines should consider taking a nap.

A 45-minute nap can give as much as an extra 6 hours of productive time, said Dr. William Dement, author of The Promise of Sleep: A Pioneer in Sleep Medicine Explores the Vital Connection Between Health, Happiness, and a Good Night’s Sleep.

To see the original article directly on News Observer, click here.

MJ Shaar – in 20 seconds

MJ is one of the most sought-after experts blending positive psychology and health promotion. She spent over 15 years coaching, teaching, speaking, researching and testing smart health habits. Marie-Josée Shaar received her undergrad at McGill University in Organizational Behavior, followed by a Master of Applied Positive Psychology at University of Pennsylvania. She's certified as a Wellness Culture Coach, a Personal Trainer, and a Nutrition and Wellness Consultant.

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