Healthwise: Sleep Study

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June 22, 2011

Sleep plays a major role in daily life. For this week's segment of Martha Jefferson Healthwise, CBS19's Stephanie Satchell breaks down a new study and explains how the amount of sleep a person gets could influence their career choice.

Dr. Chris Winter of the Martha Jefferson Sleep Medicine Center on Pantops has been following Major League Baseball Players to understand how their sleep pattern impacts their game.

"We have a hypothesis that if you're a night owl you would do better playing baseball batting at night or later games than you would morning games, and if you're a morning type person the opposite would be true," said Winter. The findings are both helpful on the diamond and in everyday life.

"I think understanding your chronotype gives a little insight into you as a person, the kinds of things you're going to be good at or not," said Winter. If you fall asleep early, experts say that could mean you are flexible when it comes your work schedule.

"Night owls tend to do much better not only with shift work, but also shifts that are rapidly changing," said Winter.

Children's performance in the classroom could be impacted if kids fall asleep late.

"So kids can be much more night oriented as a rule, which is why a lot of schools struggle with whether a child should be standing out at the bus at 6:00 in the morning, since they're naturally oriented to be awake and at their best later in the day," said Winter.

Regardless of what kind of a sleeper you are, Winter says you can always try to change your habits if need be. However, you should not expect the change to come overnight.

"A night owl who marries a morning person and decides he's going to start going to bed a lot earlier with his new wife may struggle to sleep because he doesn't naturally want to go to bed at that time," said Winter.

No matter when you fall asleep, Winter says the most important issue is that you get enough sleep every night.



 
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