Do we really need 8 hours’ sleep? 我們真的需要八小時睡眠嗎?

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你每天平均睡多長時間?八小時通常被認為是 「黃金」 睡眠時間,但這是否因人而異?哪些因素決定一個人究竟該睡多久才好?本期 「隨身英語」 圍繞這個話題展開討論。

詞彙:sleep studies 睡眠研究

Charles Darwin once said 「A man who dares to waste one hour of time has not discovered the value of life」. If you live one hundred years, that only equates to twelve-hundred months – and when you break it down even further into days, hours and minutes, it gets more frightening. Why is this relevant? Well, quite simply put: life is short. Spending eight hours every day in a slumber means you’re losing a third of your life to bed. So, the question is: is eight hours the exact amount we need, or is it just a myth?

While most scientists agree that between seven and nine hours a night is the optimal amount, this is just a rough estimate. In truth, it’s a little more complicated than that. It seems that the amount of sleep you need depends upon your age – with infants needing much more than adults. What does seem apparent is that around seven and a half hours’ sleep is a good amount. In a study conducted at the University of Surrey Sleep Research Centre, the effects of sleep were monitored.

One group slept for six and a half and the other for seven and a half hours per night. While some findings were predictable – irritation and lower concentration in the group who slept less, there were some more surprising findings. The genes of people who had less sleep were affected. Genes associated with inflammation, the immune system and stress response became more active. The team also observed increases in the activity of genes related to diabetes and risk of cancer.

One of the biggest issues is that myths regarding sleep are constantly perpetuated. For example, have you ever heard that you can train yourself to need less or no sleep? It’s simply not true. We will always need a certain amount of sleep – eight hours might not be the exact sweet spot, and there are factors like age to take into consideration, but one thing is true – there is a certain amount we do actually need.

詞彙表

equate to 相當於
break something down 將…細分為若干部分
relevant 相關的
slumber 睡眠,睡夢
myth 沒有根據的說法,虛傳
optimal 最佳的
estimate 估計
apparent 明顯的
monitor 監測
finding 研究結果
irritation 煩躁,惱火
concentration 注意力,專注
immune system 免疫系統
response 反應
perpetuate 使…持續下去
sweet spot 最佳狀態(此處指最佳睡眠時長)
take into consideration 考慮到

測驗與練習

1.  閱讀課文並回答問題。

1. What does the Charles Darwin quote mean?

2. What do you spend a third of your life doing?

3. What is one of the factors in considering how much sleep you need?

4. Which genes became more active in people who had less sleep?

5. Can you train yourself to need less or no sleep?

2.  選擇意思恰當的單詞或詞組來完成下列句子。

1. We don’t have the exact figures, so we need to _______ it.

estimate                    response                  slumber               findings

2. The results were surprising – some very interesting _______.

findings                     consideration            monitor                irritation

3. He promised to take my request into _______.

consideration            myth                          irritation               findings

4. That’s a perfect situation – an _______ environment for learning.

slumber                    estimate                     optimal                 perpetuate

5. When you _______ it down into its smaller parts, it becomes clearer.

break                        apparent                    findings                 estimate

答案

1.  閱讀課文並回答問題。  

1. What does the Charles Darwin quote mean?
It means that if you truly understand how short life is, you wouldn’t waste any time.

2. What do you spend a third of your life doing?
You spend a third of your life sleeping.

3. What is one the factors in considering how much sleep you need?
Age is one of the factors when considering how much sleep you need.

4. Which genes became more active in people who had less sleep?
Genes associated with inflammation, the immune system and stress response became more active. The team also observed increases in the activity of genes related to diabetes and risk of cancer.

5. Can you train yourself to need less or no sleep?
No. Apparently this is just a myth.

2.  選擇意思恰當的單詞或詞組來完成下列句子。

1. We don’t have the exact figures, so we need to estimate it.

2. The results were surprising – some very interesting findings.

3. He promised to take my request into consideration.

4. That’s a perfect situation – an optimal environment for learning.

5. When you break it down into its smaller parts, it becomes clearer.