The most significant lessons you learn throughout your life are often the simplest.
One of these groundbreaking ideas that I learned of in a Stanford class is a term called "sleep debt" or "sleep deficit".
Classically defined by wikipedia as:
the cumulative effect of not getting enough sleep. A large sleep debt may lead to mental or physical fatigue.
There are two kinds of sleep debt: the results of partial sleep deprivation and total sleep deprivation. Partial sleep deprivation occurs when one sleeps too little for several days or weeks. Total sleep deprivation means being kept awake for at least 24 hours. There is debate in the scientific community over the specifics of sleep debt, and it is not considered to be a disorder.
The bad news?
We all have acquired sleep debt. It pretty much happens as soon as we are born, actually. Sadly, it is one of those harsh realities of life that are as apparent and prevalent as the skin that covers our bodies and the air that fills our lungs with each breath we take. Time is particularly unkind to this debt as well, as it only increases as we age, quite naturally.
The good news?
You now know what it is and you have the awareness of this term and the basic concept behind it. No more excuses! It is a battle you can fight, although you may not necessarily "win" the war. That is good news, because you can now monitor and modify your sleeping habits and schedules and work to gain back as much sleep debt as you can for the rest of your life.
There is plenty more where this came from. Stay connected to Body & Soul on Ice to get more information on the importance of sleep, ways to battle sleep debt, and more!
For now, let me know: what are some ways you battle sleep debt? Share your knowledge in the comments section below.
Four time All-American, WNBA Champion, Edutainer and Coach