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Travel And Sleep - New Research And Thinking

Sun Sep 23, 2012 4:01 pm

An article in today's New York Times about sleep got me thinking about sleep, travel, and interrupted sleep.

Many of us grew up with the concept that 8 hours of sleep was critical.

Clearly, as we travel a lot, our sleep patterns get disrupted quite a bit.

The author contends that the 8-hour model may be obsolete and cites some interesting sources. He also points out that the 8-hour block of sleep time is a relatively new development in the course of history.

I try to adjust my sleep pattern in advance of a trip so I am partially on the new time zone, and I also try to fly TATL flights that leave as late in the evening as possible when going eastbound.

I'm curious what everyone else here thinks - and what other strategies people here have for getting a restful night's sleep.

Rethinking Sleep

SOMETIME in the dark stretch of the night it happens. Perhaps it’s the chime of an incoming text message. Or your iPhone screen lights up to alert you to a new e-mail. Or you find yourself staring at the ceiling, replaying the day in your head. Next thing you know, you’re out of bed and engaged with the world, once again ignoring the often quoted fact that eight straight hours of sleep is essential.

Sound familiar? You’re not alone. Thanks in part to technology and its constant pinging and chiming, roughly 41 million people in the United States — nearly a third of all working adults — get six hours or fewer of sleep a night, according to a recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And sleep deprivation is an affliction that crosses economic lines. About 42 percent of workers in the mining industry are sleep-deprived, while about 27 percent of financial or insurance industry workers share the same complaint. ...

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