Infographic of the Day: So What If You Don't Sleep Enough?

Actually, you'll die earlier, be fatter, and be worse at your job.

How many times have you told yourself (especially when you're up at 2 a.m. on a Sunday night): "Eh, it's just sleep." Is it just sleep, though? What happens to your health when you're not sleeping enough?

This infographic designed by FFunction for Zeo, a company that makes an electronic "sleep coach," is less of a real data visualization than a set of illustrated facts. But the facts are pretty gobsmacking. For example, we, as a nation, seem pretty tired all the time: Only 7% of people get eight hours of sleep a night. But the effects of this might be calamitous: Getting less sleep is associated with a 200% rise in cancer, a 100% rise in heart disease, and a 20% rise in the likelihood you'll be dead in 20 years. Not only will you be less healthy, you'll be fatter. People who sleep an hour more each day lose 14.3 pounds per year. (?!!). And 1 in 3 women find themselves too sleepy for sex:


Scientists are inching closer to an explanation of how all this might be the case. (It really does seem that the lack of sleep itself is the problem, rather than lack of sleep being merely correlated with some other thing, such as alcohol consumption, which is causing all the problems.) Studies have shown that sleeping too little effectively puts the body on "high alert," creating increased stress hormones and chemicals associated with inflammation.

That said, what the infographic doesn't tell is that sleeping too much can be almost as a dangerous as not sleeping enough. If you sleep over nine hours a day, you're more likely to be fat, diabetic, depressed, and have heart disease. So get eight hours, but no more.

[Via Zeo]

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  • || Jus Kulit Manggis

    many people skip their sleep schedule to do some activity like clubbing, internet browsing or finish the online game. they pay less attention to that health is being threatened

  • truthtrance

    Most people try to combine proper sleep time with relaxation time and the two are very separate.  One needs both sleep AND relaxation, physical and mental.

  • Swamikrishnanandakrishnananda

    if i dont get sleep in the night i will compensate in the day time, is it okay

  • blakeurmos

    As I was reading this I thought, great, more shakey self-serving bullshit science a la Tim Ferriss, and what do you know Tim Ferriss is mentioned at the end. Sleep is good, we know this. As for linking these to disease and death... show me the data.

  • Rhartnup

    As a parent of a young child - you don't need to tell me how important sleep is! Oh for more than 7 hours a night - in my dreams.

  • Andy Orsow

    A while ago it was discovered that ffunction totally ripped a lot of this design off from always with honor's work. A small design outfit from Portland OR. Always a bummer when hacks get the good press.

  • Dionne Bensonsmith

    Good reminder of something really important.  Didn't know that there was something called a professional "sleep coach"  I've learned something new!?

  • Gary_dooley5

    The use of "+200% Risk" and "+100%" to describe the increased risk of cancer and heart disease is confusing and misleading. If lack of sleep "doubles the risk of breast cancer" then it is "+100%", not "+200%", meaning that it's the same as the heart disease risk even though the infographic seems to suggest one is double the other.

  • Philip Jay Gould

    Great Article on something that's usually forgotten, but very important
    like diet, nutrition, and exercise.

  • ptamzz

    Too much texts on an infographic kills the true sense of why it is called an *inforgraphic*.. and this one is an example.