ORIGINALLY POSTED AT: telegraph.co.uk
It is arrogant to assume that we can defy evolution and thrive on shorter, disturbed rest,
experts say – we may even be on the verge of a public health crisis
Prof Foster is one of the country’s leading experts on sleep, and an evangelical advocate of us all getting eight undisturbed hours each night, not just to improve our physical wellbeing but our mental health, too.
Along with a group of other experts at Cambridge, Harvard and Surrey universities, he has put together a report on sleep and our body clocks, and one of his main conclusions is striking. “We are the supremely arrogant species; we feel we can abandon four billion years of evolution and ignore the fact that we have evolved under a light-dark cycle,” he told the BBC.
His appeal is timely because, in recent decades, there has been a noticeable shift in attitudes. Sleep, in the eyes of many high achievers, is an impediment to success. It is, in the words of Margaret Thatcher, “for wimps”. She, famously, taught herself to live on four hours a night and this has become the template for many business figures, especially women it seems.
Helena Morrissey, not content with producing nine children and running Newton Investment, gets up at 5am, “sometimes earlier”, after about five and a half hours in bed. Angela Ahrendts, the former chief executive of Burberry and once the highest-paid businesswoman in Britain (now at Apple), gets up at 4.35am. She insists that she gets a headache if she sleeps for more than six hours. Dawn is, she says, “my inspirational time, my time to find peace, to watch the sun rise”, which makes her into “a better executive every morning, calmer and nicer”.
Thank you telgraph.co.uk
by:By Harry Wallop