A recent BBC article highlighted The Worrying Effects of Working More and Sleeping Less. Here are some stats which will either keep you awake tonight or perhaps send you to bed earlier:

  • Back in the 1940s people were sleeping on average just a little bit over eight hours a night, and now in the modern age, we’re down to around 6.7, 6.8 hours a night. That’s 20% less sleep in just 70 years.
  • The blue light emitted from our digital devices puts the brakes on the release of a hormone called melatonin at night, and melatonin signals when you should sleep.
  • Technology also causes sleep procrastination. Midnight is the time when we think, well, we should probably send our last email, let me just check Facebook one more time.
  • The primary cause of modern sleep deprivation is the economic and social pressure to work more, sleep less, and be more like some famous world leaders – including Donald Trump, Barack Obama, and Margaret Thatcher – who have claimed to exist on five hours of sleep a night or less.
  • 10,000 research study papers show that the number of people who can survive on six hours of sleep or less and show no impairment is zero.
  • Anything less than seven hours’ sleep, we start to see health consequences.
  • Matt Walker, professor of neuroscience and psychology at the University of California, Berkeley. “Every major disease that is killing us in the developed world: Alzheimer’s, cancer, obesity, diabetes, anxiety, depression, suicidality. All of them have direct now and very strong causal links to deficient sleep.”

Here are God’s stats: “It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows; for so He gives His beloved sleep” (Ps. 127:2).

And here are two ways to respond:

  • “I lay down and slept; I awoke, for the Lord sustained me” (Ps. 3:5).
  • “I will both lie down in peace, and sleep; For You alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety” (Ps. 4:8).
  • Tom Hester

    Good morning David, on the The Worrying Effects of Working More and Sleeping Less, how can I (we) increase our sleep time? I have taken to shutting down all my electronics at 9pm with varying degrees of success and going to bed between 10 and 10:30pm. However, it seems I still get up around the same time every morning, which is between 4:30 and 5am. I would like to know if there are any techniques I can utilize which will increase my sleep time.