Sleep

With Daylight Saving Time ending on November 6, we'll gain one hour. Sounds good right? Not always. The seemingly small one-hour shift during DST transitions can affect our sleep-wake cycle, disrupting our sleep for several days.  

A good night's sleep is essential for feeling and performing your best each day. Most adults need seven to nine hours of uninterrupted sleep to maintain optimal mental and physical health. 

Sleep plays a vital role in good health and well-being. We spend one third of our lives asleep. Getting enough quality sleep can help with your mental health, physical health, quality of life, and safety.  During sleep, your body is working to support healthy brain function and maintain your physical health. Sleeping too much is linked with many of the same health risks as sleeping too little, including heart disease, metabolic problems such as diabetes and cognitive issues.

Sleep issues are the most prevalent health risk among faculty and staff at the University of Michigan.  In 2020, an average of 40 percent of U-M employees report getting less than six hours of sleep a night. 

Studies show when you don’t sleep:

  • Judgment and concentration are impaired

  • Motor function decreases (i.e., reaction time is slowed)

  • Emotions are heightened, causing irritability, anger, anxiety and/or depression

  • There is a higher risk of chronic disease such as diabetes and heart disease

  • The immune system is suppressed

  • The release of more appetite stimulating hormones (cortisol) can result in weight gain

Studies show when you do sleep:

  • Memories are consolidated and stored, which is necessary for learning

  • The ability to concentrate is restored

  • Muscles repair and recover

  • The nervous system relaxes and restores

  • Metabolism is regulated 

  • The immune system is hard at work

  • Overall mental health is better