m. c. de marco: To invent new life and new civilizations...

Sleep Debt

Via GeekPress: National Geographic reports on our national sleep debt:

Sleep deprivation has a very negative impact on cognitive abilities, creativity, and alertness. It has been shown to adversely affect language skills, decision-making, and memory.

(“Sleep deprivation” refers to anything less than 7 or 8 hours a night.) I don’t mind the loss of alertness, memory, or decision-making skills, but the article made me worry that my growing sleep debt is cutting into my creativity. Less time spent in bed also means 1/3 less opportunity for the three B’s of inspiration (the bed, the bath, and the bus).

On the other hand, I know people who swear by the less-is-more approach to sleep. Writers are expected to burn the midnight oil—especially those of us without much else to burn.