According to a study conducted by the University of Minnesota, if you don’t have a consistent, regular sleep habit (i.e. same number of hours, same level of relaxation, same time of night, etc.) you’re more likely to have “aging issues” (i.e. you’ll die).
There’s a part of me that went “duh!?!” when I heard this (it seems intuitively obvious), but then I had to take a step back and rethink things. Is it really your screwed up sleeping habits that adversely affect your health (and, potentially, lead to your death) …
OR … is it the waking early and staying up late that affect your health … or the driving while drunk (because you’re out later) and driving hung over (because you were out later the night before) that kills you?
OR … it that (according to another survey) too little sleep leads to snacking … which leads to weight gain … and fat gain, and cholesterol gain … which leads to health issues?
Bottom line: You can’t draw significant conclusions from a study unless the study addresses all possible variables and variations that may affect the outcome.
Oh, and don’t go thinking that all you have to do is get a lot of sleep. Too much sleep can also lead to restless nights … which puts you right back in the same leaking boat.
As for what this all really means, I’ll have to get back to you … after I take a nap.