Sleep 10 hours or more every night and you will reap huge benefits on your physical and mental performance and, not surprisingly, you’ll feel great! (You’ll also be less likely to get fat and die…)
Now, I’m not just making this up – science told me. Volume 34, Issue 7 of Sleep, in fact. More precisely, a snappily titled article, “The Effects of Sleep Extension on the Athletic Performance of Collegiate Basketball Players”.
A-ha. Basketball players, you notice. Yes, the fact that their free throw and 3-point field goal percentages both increased by 9%, might seem to be rather sport-specific, but they were also faster in sprints and had faster reaction times. Not only that, but their mood was also elevated, with increased vigour and decreased fatigue and the players reported increased physical and mental well-being.
That’s the carrot, anyway. So why not try to sleep a couple of hours longer at night for a couple of weeks and see what happens? It might be hard at first, but persevere.
And if you prefer the stick to the carrot:
- Short sleep duration is associated with obesity.
- Short sleep duration is associated with greater risk of death.
Off you go now – to bed with you!
You can access the articles here:
Sleep extension benefits: http://www.journalsleep.org/ViewAbstract.aspx?pid=28194
Sleep and obesity: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18239586
Sleep and mortality: http://www.journalsleep.org/ViewAbstract.aspx?pid=27780
Great news for anarchists!
Sexual activity is higher among self-defined political liberals than among moderates or conservatives, and it is highest among those who describe themselves as ‘extreme liberals’.
On the other hand, sexual activity is also above average among ‘extreme conservatives’.
Here are the cold, hard statistics. First is the number of sexual encounters per year for the group, followed by the same number adjusted for differences in age, race, and marital status.
Extreme liberal: 73 / 72 sexual encounters per year.
Liberal: 62 / 62
Slight liberal: 63 / 60
Moderate: 60 / 60
Slight conservative: 55 / 54
Conservative: 52 / 54
Extreme conservative: 59 / 62
These politics are also reflected in the fact that the most sexually active Americans are far more likely than average to approve of premarital or extramarital sex, to see positive benefits in pornography, to watch X-rated films, and to favor giving birth control pills to teenagers.
But it isn’t always liberal attitudes that match up with having a lot of sex. People who own guns also have higher-than-average sexual frequency.
Religion can be a minefield when it comes to having sex. But what are the stats?
A US study shows that Jews and agnostics are 20% more sexually active than Catholics and Protestants.
They also found that Baptists have slightly more sex than the national average, while Presbyterians and Lutherans are slightly below average.
But why? God only knows. I mean, I could speculate that it’s because there’s more shame and guilt associated with the Christian religions, but really I have no idea. Hell-fire and damnation tends to dampen the passions, somewhat.
Another study found that observant married Jewish women reported having sex three to six times per week more than twice as often as married women in general. Ooo-whee!
But there’s more! Statistics have also shown that people who rarely go to church have 31% more sex than people who regularly go to church. Not sure about people who never go to church.
Extremely devout people are also less likely to masturbate and use vibrators. Those who attend church regularly are less likely to become sexually active, to have multiple and casual partners, and to have extra-marital affairs.
If you want to have more sex, get rich or get poor.
People on very low incomes and those on very high incomes have sex more frequently than anybody else. Men earning a middle class income of £45,000 (US$75,000) per year average twelve fewer days of sex a year than men who earn about £15,000 (US$25,000) annually. Ouch.
I would hate to speculate why this might be, but I will nevertheless.
Low GDP has long been associated with high birth-rate in developing countries. But why? One possible answer is evolutionary.
A low income means an uncertain future for your progeny, compared to the future of sons and daughters of a person with plenty of money coming in. Poverty means inhibited access to medical care, education, food and many other things necessary to a secure life.
Therefore, in the absence of increasing wages, we have loads more sex in the hope that plenty of descendants will survive to pass on our genes through sheer statistical weight of numbers.
So why do the rich get loads of sex too?
One answer is that wealth has long been associated with desirability. If you’re rich and powerful, you are intoxicatingly attractive to the opposite sex, particularly to women if you are a man.
This doesn’t mean that men are any less shallow than women, just that we tend to go for a luscious child-bearing physique over a big bank balance.
Thanks to http://taraparkerpope.com/
for the fact.
At the risk of sounding like a laughter yogi… smile!
- Give you a more fulfilling and longer lasting marriage.
- Give you a greater sense of well-being.
- Make you more inspiring to others.
- Make you live longer.
- Make other people smile too.
- Make you feel happier.
- Give you a bigger hit of endorphins and serotonin than chocolate or money or even sex.
- Reduce your blood pressure.
- Make you more likeable.
- Make you seem more courteous.
- Make you seem more competent.
Check out this TED talk for a bit more detail:
Some more smiling research stories:http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/science-news/7849905/Smiling-makes-you-happy-research-into-botox-shows.htmlhttp://longevity.about.com/od/lifelongbeauty/tp/smiling.htmhttp://education.ucsb.edu/janeconoley/ed197/documents/Keltnerexpressionsofpositivemotion.pdf