Five per cent of us have a genetic ability to function effectively on less than six hours sleep a night. For the rest of us, sleep deprivation — sleeping less than seven and a half hours a night — leads in the short term to a loss of effectiveness and in the longer term to serious health problems such as an increased risk of high blood pressure and cancer.
It even manifests as a higher risk of mortality among shift workers. Unfortunately, the relentlessness and stresses of modern life put pressure on our ability to get a good night’s sleep.
So, how can we ensure we get enough sleep? Oz recommends that people set their alarm clocks not for when they want to wake up, but seven and a half hours earlier, to remind them to go to bed and have the opportunity of a full sleep quota. And switch off those mobile phones.
Author: Mehmet Oz is well known for his numerous television appearances, articles and books, including a regular slot on Oprah. His approach to health and well-being advocates the incorporation of both traditional Western techniques for treating disease and alternative ideas about healthy lifestyle choices to achieve overall wellness.
A graduate of Harvard, Wharton and the University of Pennsylvania, Oz is Vice-Chair of Surgery and Professor of Cardiac Surgery at Columbia University. He directs the Cardiovascular Institute and is a Founder and Director of the Complementary Medicine Program at New York Presbyterian Medical Center.