If the lack of sleep lasts for 10 days, you can’t recover even after 7 days of sleep.

‘Is it okay if I sleep less than 2 hours a day’
Continued loss of concentration if repeated
Obesity, high blood pressure, risk of heart disease

Getty Images Bank

Working from home is on the rise due to COVID-19. About 70% of major conglomerates are working from home. As the number of working from home increases, the number of people who are accustomed to irregular life is also increasing. According to a survey by a market research company, when asked about the quality of sleep, 47% of office workers who work from home answered ‘there is not enough time to sleep all the time’.

To modern people, lack of sleep may seem like a daily thing, but even just two hours of sleep a day can have a huge impact on your health. A research team at Yagieuwo University in Poland announced in the September issue of the international scientific journal ‘Plos One’ that it takes more than 7 days to recover to the previous state if sleep deprivation persists for 10 days in 23 participants.

The researchers asked participants to sleep as usual for 4 days and only slept for 70% of their normal sleep time for 10 days. The average sleep time of the participants was 7 hours and 37 minutes, and under the condition of limiting sleep to 70%, they slept for an average of 5 hours and 18 minutes. That is, about 2 hours less sleep in 10 days.

I reduced my sleep time by just two hours, but the effect was huge. The researchers used an actigraphy machine to measure the time it takes to return to a normal sleep state. Actigraphy is a machine that measures and records body movements to check the state of sleep, and is used to determine sleep disorders. As a result of the measurement, it took at least 7 days to return to the previous state.

They also conducted tests to measure cognitive function during periods of sleep deprivation. As a result, the accuracy of answers to several questions was significantly lower than before. The response time it takes to respond has increased. These changes disappeared after a 7-day recovery period.

However, a test that analyzes the brain’s response to sensory and cognitive stimuli did not return to a normal level even after 7 days. “The neurophysiological changes caused by chronic sleep deprivation, such as reduced concentration and reduced awareness, may last much longer than expected,” the researchers warned in the paper.

There are also several consistent results suggesting that a constant lack of sleep can lead to various diseases such as obesity, high blood pressure, and heart disease. Researchers at Nagoya University in Japan analyzed the correlation between sleep duration and high blood pressure based on medical examination data of 4,794 people who work for a Japanese telecommunication company. As a result, persistent sleep disturbance significantly increased the incidence of hypertension. Researchers at Case Western Reserve University in the United States published in 2008 the results of 6-year follow-up of sleep and prevalence of 8757 non-hypertensive and 11,863 non-cardiovascular disease groups. The study found that lack of sleep increased both the risk of high blood pressure and the risk of cardiovascular disease.

In Korea, a research team at Ilsan Hospital of the National Health Insurance Corporation announced in 2015 that the higher the severity of sleep disturbance, the higher the risk of high blood pressure was 1.47 times and that of ischemic heart disease was 1.43 times higher. Based on these findings, the American Heart Association (AHA) published a statement in 2016 stating that “short sleep duration leads to diseases such as high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, and obesity.”

Correspondent Choi Ji-won [email protected]

ⓒ Hankyung.com, unauthorized reprinting and redistribution prohibited

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