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Rethinking Sleep

Published: Tuesday, Sept. 25 2012 10:55 a.m. MDT

A shorter amount of deep sleep might actually help more with problem-solving, then a long block of sleep, according to The New York Times article. (Shutterstock.com) A shorter amount of deep sleep might actually help more with problem-solving, then a long block of sleep, according to The New York Times article. (Shutterstock.com)

Our take: Is the recommended eight-hour sleep really the best? A shorter amount of sleep might actually help with studying, problem-solving and creating ideas. David K. Randall of the New York Times analyzes the power of sleep:

"Sometime in the dark stretch of the night it happens. Perhaps it's the chime of an incoming text message. Or your iPhone screen lights up to alert you to a new e-mail. Or you find yourself staring at the ceiling, replaying the day in your head. Next thing you know, you're out of bed and engaged with the world, once again ignoring the often quoted fact that eight straight hours of sleep is essential.

Sound familiar? You're not alone. Thanks in part to technology and its constant pinging and chiming, roughly 41 million people in the United States nearly a third of all working adults get six hours or fewer of sleep a night, according to a recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And sleep deprivation is an affliction that crosses economic lines. About 42 percent of workers in the mining industry are sleep-deprived, while about 27 percent of financial or insurance industry workers share the same complaint."

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