Welcome to the first edition of a 3-part series detailing our difficulties in tackling the weekend killer that is Monday morning. This sleepy morning we take a look at our obsession with - and general lack of - sleep, how the "Snooze Button Effect" hurts us more than helps us, and how we're racking up a huge Sleep Debt that's simply not being repaid. We investigate the reasons for our lack of sleep and methods to help us sleep at night, as well as a multitude of alarms which wake us - from intelligent and alternative methods to cell phones and cool traditional alarm clocks. Let's agree that it's about time we all got a good night's sleep.
The National Sleep Foundation says adults need 7-9 hours of sleep every night to fully function at your best during the day. A recent report by the Center for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) touts lack of sleep as a public health epidemic, linking it to occupational errors, car crashes, and diseases such as depression and diabetes. It's likely as you're reading this right now you're wishing you were back in bed, and we don't really need expensive studies and fancy reports to tell us we're tired.
The so-called "Snooze Button Effect" is notoriously bad for you, interrupting your natural sleep cycle and too short to actually contribute to truly gaining any additional rest. With a 6am start to our morning leading the ranks of wakeup times we're sleeping less and less during the week. The CDC report shows reasons for sleep difficulties range from financial and work related issues to concerns about your commute and even your hobbies. It also doesn't help when we perpetuate the behavior with the mindset that we can sleep in on the weekends to catch up on your sleep debt, although reportedly only a few hours at a time. WebMd cautions against the mindset that this catch-up method is the end-all to recovery, with only short-term gains:
"Many people have a false sense of reassurance that they can quickly recover from a chronic sleep debt with just one or two days of good sleep," researcher Daniel Cohen, MD, of the division of sleep medicine at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, says in a news release. "However, the lingering effect of chronic sleep loss causes performance to deteriorate dramatically when these individuals stay awake for an extended period of time..."
Researchers found that one long night of sleep can temporarily hide the effects of sleep deprivation and restore performance to normal levels in the short term for about six hours after waking. However, performance may worsen the longer the person is awake, and there is an increased risk of fatigue-related errors the longer the person stays awake.
It's a recurring discussion at Unplggd how technology can both hinder and help your sleeping habits and quality of sleep - whether it's gadgets lighting up the bedroom with a glow of lights, browsing the web in bed, technology can sometimes really interrupt our body's natural needs and tendencies. That doesn't necessarily mean we need to shut tech out of the bedroom, but possibly find constructive ways for tech to help us get better sleep, whether it's monitoring our sleep patterns or finding better or alternative natural methods for alarm clocks - let's figure out how to prevent tech from keeping us awake at night and use it in constructive ways to help us to better sleep.
Better Sleep: Sleep commentary, aids and tech to fight insomnia
- How I Sleep Better Each Night: No Tech in Bed
- Get a Better Night Sleep Using White Noise
- Touch 'n' Know Keeps Your Sleeping Peepers Closed
- Improving Your Sleep Is Just One Button Press Away
- Can't Sleep? Blame Your Gadgets!
- Do Your Gadgets Keep You From Sleep in Total Darkness?
- How Many of Your Browse In Bed Before You Sleep?
- 83 Percent of Millennials Sleep with their Phones
- News: Mobile Use Before Bed Wrecks Your Sleep
- Blogging Wired: Can Software Help You Sleep?
- Fitbit Health and Sleep Monitoring System
- Survey: Do Use Technology to Help You Sleep?
- Zeo: The Personal Sleep Coach
- Tech to Help You Fight Insomnia
- 5 Great Insomnia Beating Apps
- Night Cove Duo Aids Couples to Sleep & Empty Bank Account
- Night Cove: Digital Sleep Aid Increases Your Zzz's, Decreases Your $$$
- LightSleeper Will Put You To Sleep With Light?
Snooze Button: Doing battle with the snooze button
- Tell Us Your Snooze Style (and Learn How to Change It!)
- Do You and Your Honey Battle Over the Alarm?
- As if You Needed Morning Snoozing to be Easier...
Alarm Clock Roundups
- 5 Reasons to Return to Using an Alarm Clock
- 10 Awesome Alarm Clocks
- iPhone 4 Alarm Fail? Take a Look at These Alternatives
Intelligent Alarms: Sleep cycle alarm clocks
- Trouble Sleeping? Improve Your Health with Wakemate
- iPhone Alarm Clocks Knows When You're Ready to Wake
- Hot Apps: Sleep Cycle and the iPad Craze
Cruel Alarms: Clocks that make you interact with them to turn them off
- Guari Nanda's Funky & Colorful Rolling Clocks
- Tyrant Alarm Clock: Get Up or I'll Call Your Mom
- Alarm Puzzle Clock
Voice Controlled Alarm Clocks
Unique alarm clocks
- Wake Up In Style: Unique Alarm Clocks
- The Cheap & Stylishly Transformed Wooden Alarm Clock
- Darth Vader Alarm Clocks: Strong in the Force
- Cathode Ray Tube Clock
- Furni Creations Make Art Kit: Custom Clocks Designed by You
- Eco-Friendly Water-Powered Clock
Alternative Methods: light boxes and dawn simulators
- Sunrise System Natural Dawn Simulator LED Alarm Review
- Philips goLITE BLUE
- Re(al)view: Philips Wake-Up Light
- Verilux Rise & Shine Natural Sleep System
Cell Phone Alarms
Clocks as Furniture
Monday Morning Blues Tech Cures