20 March 2006

Sleep's essential

Sorry for the scanty posts recently - I was away on Spring Break for the last week, and now I'm trying to get a refund for the flight that never got there. "Long story too short to tell."

Just saw a brief blog post on sleep deprivation - just like talking on the cellphone, it's as damaging to your driving reflexes as driving drunk! (Not that my students believe it.)

If you have been up for more than 20 hours, your reflexes are roughly comparable to those of someone with a blood-alcohol level of 0.08, which in many states is enough to be considered legally drunk. You should not drive, and you most certainly should not fly a plane, in that condition. Moreover, the effects add up. Sleeping only six hours a night for a week makes you as tired on the seventh night as if you had had no sleep at all.

--Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN Medical Correspondent

*Gulp* I think I'd been up 18 hours when I got home last night. And to think I won't drive for an hour after drinking, more if I've any passengers! I should make personal rules like that for sleep. It was either that though or drive two hours in rushhour at 7am this morning...


utenzi said...

And that's not counting the effects of micro-sleeps, ZP. People like myself that have chronic insomnia often fall asleep during normal activities. Driving, of course, but also walking, talking, eating etc. These episodes last only milliseconds and others often don't even notice. Weird, huh?

zandperl said...

How's that different from narcolepsy?