The “sleep debt”, or how we sleep less than thirty years ago

The “sleep debt”, or how we sleep less than thirty years ago
The “sleep debt”, or how we sleep less than thirty years ago

Lhe observation is clear: we sleep on average an hour and a half less today than thirty years ago. For Dr. Vincent Attalin, a general practitioner specializing in sleep disorders, the reasons are multiple. He unsurprisingly mentions the “very important” role of screens which disrupt our biological clock and delay bedtime by exciting us, but he is also concerned about the growing number of night workers since the 1990s. Some do not sleep “ only four hours a day”, without realizing that they have “wasted two hours a night for years”.

This results in a “sleep debt”, measured by the difference between the ideal sleep time – seven to nine hours for an adult – and the actual sleep time observed during the week. It can be acute, a sign of temporary overwork which can quickly be “repaid” by better nights or naps during the day, and, more dangerously, chronic. First sign of chronic debt: drowsiness, characterized by the need no longer to rest, a symptom of completely healthy fatigue, but to sleep.

READ ALSO Sleep: the latest scientific discoveriesFrom then on, a repeated lack of sleep sets in which we tend to consider as “normal” since it is “liveable”, attributing it to an intense pace of life, or work. It is, according to Dr. Attalin, similar to “the frog which does not feel the water warming up and dies in the pan […] Read more

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