Study: Sleep Deprivation Is The Same As Being Drunk


We need more sleep. We all know this, and yet the perfect 8-hour stretch eludes us. Despite the myriad research that has been done on this topic, the majority of us are not getting enough quality shut-eye. Is it down to gender? Should we be taking naps at work? (yes please) Or is our smartphone consumption to blame? It’s likely a combination of all of these factors, general life drama or, quite possibly, our tendency to binge-watch like there’s no tomorrow. Regardless of the why, a new study has revealed that skipping your hours of slumber is as bad as when you’ve had one too many on a night out; yes, new research indicates that walking around in a sleep-deprived state means that you’re effectively drunk, without having touched alcohol.

A new extensive sleep study conducted in the UK by the University of Oxford and the Royal Society for Public Health brought to light more health risks associated with skimping on Zs. It covered what groups of people are most prone to sleep disorders, how disruptive sleep patterns increase cancer risk, cardiovascular disease, mental health and how sleep is the second most common health complaint after pain.

One standout finding is that a lack of sleep affects the body the same way drinking alcohol does. The research found that after 17 hours without sleep, our alertness is similar to the effects of a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.05%, which is considered “impaired” on the legally drunk scale. After 24 hours without sleeping, the body is in the same state it’d be in at a BAC of 0.1%– well beyond the legal limit to drive.

Sleep deprivation impacts in serious ways,” sleep expert Lisa Artis told The Telegraph. “Tiredness can affect driving ability, reaction times and judgement and causes poor concentration, thinking, memory, increased irritability and hostility – all similar side effects to being drunk. Sleeplessness leads to hallucinations and sensory dysfunction. Noises become louder; vision is affected and sufferers start to isolate themselves. Sleep deprivation can lead to a mental meltdown.”

And a broken sleep is just as bad. “Broken or interrupted sleep can leave you feeling as sleep deprived as if you’d just had four hours rest a night because you are disrupting the natural sleep rhythm,” she added. “It may mean you do not reach the most restorative, deeper phases of sleep.”

So when it comes to picking your poison, try and opt for some sleep instead.

Via The Telegraph

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