Did you know that sleeping one extra hour a night can lower your heart attack risk by approximately 33 percent? Not getting between 6/8 hours of sleep raises the risk for a range of conditions from high blood pressure to stroke, diabetes, heart disease, and even obesity. Researchers have found that a lack of sleep can diminish your attention and concentration, thereby affecting your problem solving abilities. Without adequate rest, you cannot learn well. It also keeps you from organising memories, so you cannot remember effectively what you learned from one day to the next.
If you’re travelling between different time zones, or are switching to work the night shift, it normally takes about a week to adjust to the new routine. However, you may be able to use your internal “food clock” to override your body clock, as suggested by a 2009 animal study in the USA, by ceasing to eat some 16 hours before you want to be awake. After you start eating again, your sleep/wake cycle resets as if it were the start of a new day! Worth a try if you suffer with bad jet-lag!