As you may know, too much sleep "can be risky for your health". But conversely, sleep deprivation also causes changes in our bodies. Indeed, science tells us that a lack of sleep mimics the effects of alcohol consumption.
Having a Good Day? Sleep Might Be Playing an Important Part
An appointment in osteopathy always begins with an in-depth questionnaire. Before they come to the table, I need to know why my clients come to see me. While their pain is important to me, what is even more important is their lifestyle.
Osteopathy considers the human being as a whole.
Therefore, before putting my hands on their body, I need to learn a little more about them: their medical history, their diet, their stress level ... their lifestyle in short. And among all this information, for some of them, I realize that the relationship to sleep proves to be particular.
Whether it's for a teenager in school, a busy adult at work, new parents and their first child, sleep is often seen as a lot of bonus hours. All too often, we use the hours intended for sleep to do or finish tasks that were first planned for the day: school, work, household chores, etc. In the end, we end up with a sleep debt.
In order to explain to my clients the importance of sleep for the human body, my mind usually goes back to 2011. At that time, I was on the benches of the Toulouse Institute of Osteopathy (in France). During a course dedicated to neurological diseases, I had discovered the effects of lack of sleep on the body, and in particular its similarities with the effects of alcohol.
More recently, I came across a reading dated June 20 (2020) that reported the same conclusions: sleep deprivation (or a lack of sleep) causes similar effects to alcohol consumption.
Sleep Deprivation Effects: Same as Alcohol?
Science teaches us that spending a certain amount of time without sleep influences our body in the same way that alcohol consumption does:
24 consecutive hours of sleep deprivation would correspond to more than 2 pints of beer in the blood.
This comparison between alcohol and sleep deprivation is an excellent example to understand, and to make my clients aware of the effects on the human body when we are "light" on sleep. We have all noticed that we are not in the best of shape when we are drunk at night. It quickly becomes difficult to perform an "intellectual" task.
You only have to reread texts written after a few drinks to realize this...
Drunkenness will cause:
- a decrease in attention;
- an increase in reflection time;
- a decrease in concentration;
If we place alcohol (and its effects) on the scale of a typical day, it is easy to understand that in order to carry out one's daily activities (doing homework, working, taking care of the children, practicing a sports activity,...), adding alcohol does not help in the equation.
Sleep deprivation is not too different.
Lack of sleep can be compared to drinking alcohol!
Being aware of this makes it easy to realize the importance of getting regular sleep, and above all the importance of not being in debt for sleep.
Would you go to work or school after a few drinks? No, that would not be wise to be effective during the day.
The conclusion is the same for sleep deprivation.
So next time you're tired and need to finish an essay, send an e-mail, or put away baby toys lying around the living room, think twice before staying up. Instead, try to find Morpheus' arms quickly.