Popcorn is great with a movie or possibly for stringing around an old-fashioned Christmas tree, but it’s a little less universally loved when it’s applied to the ceiling as a texture. “Popcorn
Grab your pillow and blanket — new research says a better night’s sleep can make you more money.
Multiple studies suggest that sleeping properly is better for you all around. Not catching enough Zs can lead to weight gain, moodiness and heart irregularities, while regular night sleeping might even fight breast cancer. Now, recent findings say sleeping more sparks productivity and efficiency, which, in the long run, earns you more money, according to a paper by Williams College’s Matthew Gibson and Jeffrey Shrader from the University of California at San Diego.
“After about seven days during which [people] sleep six hours a night, they perform almost as badly on tasks as someone deprived of sleep one night,” Gibson said.
Gibson and Shrader studied locations where the time of sunset causes people to sleep more, in which case they earned higher wages. The human body responds to solar cues, Gibson said, and people are likely to feel tired when the sun begins to go down. Sleeping properly — such as getting the recommended seven to nine hours a night with as little distraction as possible — makes a person better at performing his or her tasks, which affects earnings.
People who live in locations with higher hours of sleep, such as Huntsville, Ala., earn 5% more than people in locations with an hour less of sleep, such as Amarillo, Texas, Gibson said. The two cities are in the same time zone but had different times for sunsets. “Our own subjective impairment of sleep may not be a good guide on how we are doing on the job,” he said.
Restful, and regular, sleeping also helps people read others’ expressions, multitask and work better in a team, said Nitun Verma, a national spokesperson for the Darien, Ill.- based American Academy of Sleep Medicine.
Americans are increasingly leading busier lives — working, commuting, spending quality time with family or friends, running errands, exercising and spending time on hobbies — so it might seem impossible to get more sleep, but it’s important for avoiding health problems, such as high blood pressure and diabetes, said Daniel Barone, a neurologist at New York-Presbyterian and Weill-Cornell Medicine. About 40.6 million workers, or 30% of employed U.S. adults, reported sleeping six hours or less every day, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
“Just in general, we as a country don’t put as much of an emphasis on sleep as we should, with all the responsibilities and all we have to do,” he said.
Here’s what you can try tonight:
Put the smartphone, laptop and tablet down
The blue light from computers and mobile devices tells our brains we don’t have to go to sleep, therefore affecting our ability to fall asleep, Barone said. A separate study found smartphone use around bedtime led to a longer period of falling asleep and lack of quality of sleep. Barone suggests shutting off electronics a half an hour to an hour before you’re ready to go to sleep.
Make your sleep count when you can’t get in seven to nine hours
Three in 10 adults sleep less than six hours on a regular basis, and the CDC has called lack of sleep a public health problem. Sleep is broken into three categories, says Verma: quantity of hours slept, quality of sleep, and timing, such as going to bed late on a Monday or Tuesday. If you can only get five or six hours, make them count and try to avoid distractions. Set an alarm for when you’d like to prepare for bed, and participate in relaxing activities, such as reading or breathing exercises. “It is not going to fix everything, but it is going to compensate some,” Verma said.
Fix bad habits
A sunset might make you tired, but it doesn’t necessarily mean you should hit the hay right away. People tend to have dinner and then doze off in front of the television for 15 to 30 minutes, Barone said, and that can be damaging to a regular sleep pattern. Instead, try to go for a walk or find something to do until it’s time for bed. Also, try to maintain a regular sleep schedule, waking up and going to bed at the same time every day. And if you can’t get more than four hours of sleep, take a nap for 15 or 20 minutes, but only until 2 p.m. After that naps can result in grogginess, Verma said.