Is Sleep Deprivation Holding You Back In Life?

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There's a lot to be lost or gained depending on your sleep health. Not only is one-third of our lives occupied by sleep, but the other two-thirds are largely dependent on it.

But we don't always think of sleep as such a cornerstone to our healthy existence. Why is that? Let's put some perspective on the place sleep has in society by looking at the cornerstones most of us do recognize at once.

The Triumvirate of Health

Nearly everyone knows that good nutrition and regular exercise are key ingredients to a healthy, happy life. We get the importance of each hammered into us from a very young age, typically from both school and home.

The Triumvirate of Health: Sleep, Nutrition, and Exercise The triumvirate of health calls for eating well, exercising enough, and sleeping right. People tend to have a great understanding of the first two, but healthy sleep knowledge is lacking.

However, nutrition and exercise are not the only foundational elements of well-being. Without healthy sleep, an aspect much less thought about on anything beyond a basic level, overall health is utterly compromised as good nutrition and exercise are much harder to achieve in a meaningful way. And thus sleep, as a third element, completes the triumvirate of health.

The triumvirate of health is the ultimate lifetime philosophy of well-being. A person who behaves according to its three principles--good nutrition, physical fitness, and healthy sleep--is well on their way to optimized health, energy, and longevity. Unfortunately though, knowledge about sleep is not very widespread in society, and few people really know how to react when their sleep health runs into problems.

But this is not due to the fact that the information to deal with sleep problems is unknown. A great deal of knowledge about sleep mechanisms, sleep deprivation, and sleep disorders has been accumulated in the last handful of decades, but the general public remains largely in the dark about it.

Dr. Dement

Dr. D's Sleep Book Says...

It will be extremely important for newly aware individuals to be proactive in promoting healthy sleep not only with regard to themselves and their friends, but in their community as well.

There's a substantial education gap between sleep scientists and society. But it does not have to be that way for you personally. You can take charge of your knowledge and be strategic about your sleep health, just like you can be strategic about your nutrition and exercise.

To emphasize the size of the education gap, we can examine a 2008 Stanford survey attempting to gauge people's prior exposure to knowledge about the three aspects of the triumvirate of health, which showed the following results:

Percentage of those surveyed who had been exposed to knowledge about the importance of:

  • Being Physically Fit: 99.9%
  • Having Good Nutrition: 91.3%
  • Obtaining Adequate Sleep: 1.8%

Apparently, saying the gap in knowledge is substantial is a huge understatement.

Dr. Dement

Dr. D's Sleep Book Says...

The gap created by the absence of adequate sleep education is causing problems in all components of our society. When a sleep deprived individual falls asleep while driving and is rendered dead or disabled for life, it is rare that anyone fully realizes that such tragic events are preventable on a very basic level. When a 50-year-old executive dies of coronary thrombosis, no one realizes that an undiagnosed sleep disorder may have been the culprit. The educational activities that could begin to reduce and eventually eliminate such tragedies have not yet permeated our society.

The formal educational structures may not be fully in place yet, but that is even more testament to the importance of a quality resource to learn about practical sleep knowledge, and that is exactly what we hope to offer you here.

So dig in to our material, wave goodbye to your sleep deprivation, and say hello to a healthier and livelier you.

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About This Site

Welcome! This site is continuously being created by students of Dr. William C. Dement's Sleep And Dreams course at Stanford University.

We made this site as a call to action for people all over the world to live healthier, happier, safer, and more productive lives by learning about their own sleep. We have faith that reading the information provided on this site will motivate you to be smart about your sleep deprivation and strategic about your alertness in order to live life to your fullest, most energetic potential.

In fact, we challenge you to do so! What do you say, are you up for the challenge?

The Stanford Sleep Book

Stanford Sleep Book Picture

Dr. Dement's pioneering textbook has been the core text for Sleep and Dreams since 1980, but it has just recently been made available to the wider public for the first time.

In it you'll find a more detailed account of the most important things you need to know about sleep, alertness, dreams, and sleep disorders. Studies, statistics, plus plenty of Dr. Dement's classic anecdotes painting the history of sleep medicine.

Preface | Intro | Contents | Get A Copy

More Sleep Resources

The Zeo

A revolution in personal sleep tracking, the Zeo is a wireless headband that transmits your brainwaves in realtime to a dock (pictured here) or your smartphone. The result? You can wake up and see exactly what stages of sleep you were in during the night! Unprecedented personalized sleep knowledge.

Sleep Paralysis: A Dreamer's Guide

Sleep Paralysis Treatment Book

Ever woken up paralyzed? A surprising number of us have, believe it or not. But few know the actual causes of this phenomenon, and fewer still how to exert control over it. Dream researcher and sleep paralysis expert Ryan Hurd shares breakthrough insights into how to do just that.

How This Site Was Made

In 2007 I discovered a guide to website building that would change my life. After learning from it diligently, it would eventually empower me to help Dr. Dement take his life's mission of spreading education about sleep health to the online world. Now, several years later, this site reaches over 100,000 visitors per month and counting.

The results are due in large part to the methods taught in that guide, and they are replicable for others who have knowledge of a subject they would like to share with the masses. I've detailed some of my journey here for those who might be interested.

Helpful Links

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