This week, “Science” magazine released “Sleep Special”, from multiple perspectives, such as the necessity of sleep, the relationship between sleep and the brain, focusing on our daily avoidance behavior: sleep.Among them, an insight article focused on the sleep conditions of people in low-income areas. Academic Jingwei will carry out a series of follow-up reports on the content of the special edition, so please continue to pay attention to it.
Poor sleep and fever may be a psychological problem
▎Editor of WuXi AppTec content team
Why do people sleep? Unfortunately, scientists today are not completely clear. But through some studies and cases, we can at least understand the consequences of lack of sleep. Laboratory research results show that insufficient sleep time can lead to cognitive decline and physiological dysfunction, and trigger a catastrophic chain reaction.
The results of some social surveys are even more surprising. Many people fall short of the recommended value of 7-9 hours a day. The average sleep time of American adults is only 6.1 hours. The situation in some developing countries is even worse, with sleep time and quality lower than this value. When living in economically backward areas, humans may face various influencing factors such as noise, high temperature, light pollution, mosquitoes, and crowded sleeping environments.
Chennai, India. A group of scientists here explored the frustration and choice of human beings facing sleep in reality.
During the entire field experiment, the sleep quality of a total of 452 adults was monitored. As a result, their data was lower than what the researchers observed in rich countries. The average sleep time of these people was only 5.6 hours, and the sleep efficiency was also high. Only 70%. 71% of volunteers slept for less than 6 hours.
In the follow-up follow-up, people who lack sleep basically rely on eating more caffeine for a long time to maintain energy. Some people choose to engage in work that does not require cognitive abilities to cope with lack of sleep.
Many volunteers will actively give up sleep in exchange for things they find more valuable, such as work, exercise or entertainment. But this is actually a paradox in sleep science. You can work longer without sleeping, and longer sleep can improve work efficiency. People often choose the former when they value work.
Field observations in India also led them to discover that the length of sleep is not the same as the time spent in bed. Long time lying but low sleep efficiency is actually useless. People like those in the impoverished areas of Chennai will suffer from the various interference factors mentioned at the beginning. Take a volunteer as an example. He lay down for 7 hours, but only spent about 5.3 hours in sleep.
Studies have pointed out that the behavior of only increasing the length of sleep without increasing the quality of sleep is nothing.
In fact, there are some factors that affect sleep quality in low-income areas that can be changed. Sleep apnea is a severely underestimated symptom that lacks diagnosis and treatment. People in low-income areas rarely take it to heart, but it is not unchangeable.
In addition, Cognitive Behavioral Sleep Therapy (CBT-I) is currently recognized as the best non-drug treatment for insomnia disorder in the world, and it can provide a positive impact on the people participating in the treatment.
In the Chennai experiment, the researchers used different methods (as well as improving the living environment, encouraging sleep, and micro-reward) to intervene, and the volunteers were able to increase their sleep time by an average of 27 minutes.
In addition, taking a half-hour nap at noon can also bring significant physical and psychological improvements to local volunteers, but at the cost of losing a certain amount of working time.
Experiments in a small area of Chennai are enough to understand how people in more areas perceive sleep. Studies have pointed out that how long we can sleep is inseparable from personal attention. When a person believes that the value of sleep is lower than the value of labor, sleep will passively decrease. The local emphasis on the living environment and the promotion of the importance of sleep will also affect the overall sleep quality of the population.
Sacrificing the value of sleep, can it make up for the loss of physical fitness? This is a question that everyone needs to think about right now.