A few days ago, I came across an article on the Internet that recommended sleeping three consecutive hours and then taking three 20-minute naps throughout the day. This sleeping pattern was indicated as a model for obtaining success inspired by great world managers or businessmen, in particular they referred to Elon Musk. 

As a person who has trouble with sleeping, I can tell you that science warns that too little sleep affects cognitive performance, behaviour and metabolism. With this strategy, you may be successful at the price of your health.

Sleeping is also productive. To get enough energy and focus to devote to work or another productive activity such as studying, you need to sleep at least 7 and half hours.  

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One of the functions of sleep is to process and consolidate learning, focus and memory. Sleeping implies continuing to work, because the brain clears up the bombing of information accumulated during the day that is generally very intense due to the different sources available today. Our biology is prepared for short periods of sleeplessness in stressful or urgent situations.  

Several studies have revealed that the habit of dedicating a few hours to sleep reduces cognitive performance, causes focusing deficit and loss of the ability to make decisions, as well as increases states of stress, anxiety and depression. Humans are ‘circadian animals’, programmed for 24-hour sleep-wake cycles. Sleeping for a few hours is a physiological assault on our body and, in particular, on the brain. If sleeping little is your choice, know that this alters the neuron-hormonal pattern which can cause:

1. emotional problems;

2. difficulty in acquiring new learning;

3. problems in storing new information;

4. increased nervousness and anxiety.  

Thinking that sleeping is a waste of time is wrong because it has health consequences. Sleepiness and loss of focus are evident the next day, while other problems could arise in the long term, such as an increased risk of cancer, cardiovascular disease, hypertension, neurodegenerative disorders and metabolic disorders. Actually, sleeping for short time also increases appetite, with obvious consequences on your weight. Lack of sleep, in fact, leads to have frequent snack and drink sugary or caffeinated beverages.  

Another important question is whether these negative health effects also occur when you wake up very early. Studies show that getting up too early does not necessarily cause alterations, as long as your sleep has been restorative enough. Remember that it is very important to complete five or six sleeping cycles every night (a sleep cycle lasts an average of 90 minutes).

What about you? Do you sleep enough to be productive?

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