Seeing that I’ve always been a big fan of sleep, I can now gladly put an end to the contradictory idea
of ‘sleep less to get more work done’. Better sleep will help gain more effective hours when your
awake to pump out more quality work.
In a recent TED Talks, a well known scientist and ‘sleep doctor’ even claimed that men that
experiences 5 hrs sleep compared to their buddies who experiences 7 hrs, have smaller testicles and
testosterone levels of men that are 10 yrs older. The testosterone claim seems to be somewhat
supported by a research paper in 2011.
To improve immunity, cognitive function, lifespan, and dietary habits, we need about 7-9 hours
sleep every night. Let me expand on this.
Natural killer cells impacts our body’s responsiveness to viral infection and cancer. Prolonged and
severe sleep deprivation reduces the natural killer cell number up to 29% and also it’s activity.
The saying “sleep on a problem” is scientifically true. The great inventor Thomas Edison was a well
known power-napper, Albert Einstein slept for 10 hours per night and took naps during the day.
Perhaps they knew sleep enhances skill learning by 20% and like a save button, in REM sleep, our
brain will also process that information, and like a save button, transfer those skills into automaticity
so we can become masters of that skill. While on the other hand, even partial sleep deprivation can
reduce our ability to learn new information by 40%. 
Just 1 night of partial or total sleep deprivation will send our body into pre-diabetic state . Beta
cells become less sensitive to glucose, and releases less insulin. Leptin and Ghrelin are two hero
hormones in your biohacking journey. Insufficient sleep causes a reduction in leptin which signals to
your brain that you are now less satisfied and hungry. Sleep deprivation also drives an increase in
Ghrelin which tells your body that you are hungry. Sadly, a double whammy effect.
We tend to go for more junk food during the day when we experience sleep deprivation. In deep
stages of sleep however, we burn more fat .
Tips to achieve more effective sleep
- Establish a more regular time to go to bed. Having trouble falling asleep can mean that your
brain has associated a certain place or activity as a wakeful place. Try to change your
environment or the activities you do before sleep can help the mind to disassociate the habit
- Light help regulate our circadian clock. Artificial lights such as television, mobile/tablet
devices and even some normal room lighting can delay your bedtime cycle by 2 hours .
The USA based sleep foundation have medical experts from various fields of study suggest
that keeping the environment dark, blocking even moonlight is ideal during sleep.
- Around 18 o C Celsius is the best sleep temperature for most people. Too hot is less ideal than
too cold. Warming hands and feet as cold extremities can send wrong signals to your brain
that the whole body is cold.
- Do your best not to not use sedatives such as alcohol, street marijuana, and pharmaceutical
drugs like Diazepam. These compounds reduce the effectiveness of various stages of sleep.
For example, alcohol and street marijuana disrupts RAM sleep.
- Practice it more. Heard of the saying ‘the more you sleep, the more you sleep’?
1. Rachel Leproult and Eve Van Cauter. Effect of 1 Week Sleep Restriction on Testosterone Levels in
Young Healthy Men. 2011 Jun 1; JAMA. 2011;305(21):2173-2174.
2. Kerry S Campbell & Amanda K Purdy. Structure/function of human killer cell immunoglobulin-like
receptors: lessons from polymorphisms, evolution, crystal structures and mutations. British Society
for Immunology. 2011 Mar; 132(3): 315–325.
3. Elizabeth G. Ibarra-Coronado1, Javier Velazquéz-Moctezuma2, Daniel Diaz3, Luis Enrique Becerril-
Villanueva4, Lenin Pavón4 and Jorge Morales-Montor. Sleep Deprivation Induces Changes in
Immunity. International Journal of Biological Sciences 2015; 11(8).
4. D.A. Chernik. Effect of Rem Sleep Deprivation on Learning and Recall by Humans. University of
Chicago. Published in PubMed. 1972 Feb; Volume: 34 issue: 1, page(s): 283-294.
5. H. Klar Yaggi, Andre B. Araujo, and John B. McKinlay. Sleep Duration as a Risk Factor for the
Development of Type 2 Diabetes. Diabetes Care 2006 Mar; 29(3): 657-661.
6. Woodson Merrell M.D., Sleep More, Burn More Fat: Just three extra hours of sleep burned 400
more calories. Psychology Today 2010; Oct 14.
7. Christine Blume, Corrado Garbazza, and Manuel Spitschan. Effects of light on human circadian
rhythms, sleep and mood. Somnologie (Berlin); Aug 2019; 23(3): 147–156.
8. Sleep Foundation USA. The Connection Between Sleep and Overeating. 2020 July 28.