DIY Checkup: Sleep and Health

Monday, July 26, 2010

For most Americans, getting eight hours of sleep a night tends to fall into the same category as flossing and wearing sunscreen: We know it's a good idea, and we feel vaguely guilty when called on it ... but we still don't tend to do it.  (A recent study found nearly one in five adults feels moderately to excessively sleepy during daylight hours, which is one sign we're not getting enough sleep at night.)

Our sleep and our health are closely related. Do you get enough sleep, most nights? How do you cope when you don't? How important do you find a good night's sleep?

For this week's DIY Health segment, Newsweek's Kate Dailey and Dr. David Dinges, editor of the journal, Sleep, and professor of psychology at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, help us figure out what we lose when we lose sleep.


Kate Dailey and Dr. David Dinges

Produced by:

Jen Poyant

Comments [4]

Robin Dann from Brooklyn

I have had insomnia for several years. Doctors tried throwing antidepressants at it several times, thinking antidepressants are harmless, yet each time they made me sick. Finally I got the right diagnosis: hypomania. Antidepressants are bad for hypomanics. If you're happy, creative, smart, and have lots of friends, yet can't sleep, look up hypomania. For me it's been like finding the missing puzzle piece to explain my life.

Jul. 26 2010 09:44 AM
DwightBobson from DC

I normally sleep 4-5 hours per night and have done so for about 60 years. Only when I am feeling sick (rarely) do I tend to sleep longer (6 hours). I do not feel tired or sleepy during the day and have a lot of energy. Doctors have told me that I really need more sleep than this but it has had no negative effects and their advice is general, not knowing anything about how I feel. I think whatever works is OK. There are those who need more sleep and that's OK.

Jul. 25 2010 02:06 PM
Meg from Montclair

My son got sick shortly after he was born, so I was awake night and day with him, never sleeping for more than a few minutes at a time, and it was awful, to be sleep deprived for months on end. I truly believe that the majority of people do not know what it is like to be sleep deprived and how much sleep (or lack of it) affects your physical, mental, and emotional health.

Jul. 24 2010 08:06 PM
M Hunter from Dearborn

My motto is "When you're hungry eat. When you're tired, sleep." Little is more important to me than a good night's sleep - usually 8 hours, 9 on the weekend.

Jul. 23 2010 11:35 AM

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