Teresa Paiva spoke with Sábado magazine about the risks involved in the new trend of waking up very early to work, exerce or take care of business, and even to party – “the soft raves”, according to journalists Raquel Lito and Tania Pereirinha, authors of the article “The new life of dawn”, published in the edition of September 29, 2016.
“We did studies that confirm that waking up before 6 am is harmful to health”, the neurologist and expert in sleep medicine says.
“The period of increased cardiovascular risk – which is when people have more heart attacks, strokes, etc. is between 5 pm and 6 pm. This is because at the end of the night, before we wake up, cortisol production [hormone that energizes along with the adrenaline and is associated with stress] is at its peak – it will then diminish throughout the day. Before engaging in strenuous morning exercise, people should try to understand whether they are patho-physiologically well and undergo a circadian study of the evolution of the heart part. I would be careful from the age of 40”, Teresa Paiva adds.
Waking up earlier than six in the morning comes with higher risks. “At 4 am, which is the time when melatonin production is at its peak, cognitive activity is at its minimum level, there is a much higher chance of making mistakes. You should not drive nor make decisions, because you are not at your best. There are accident peaks at this time.
Teresa Paiva points to several essential sleep rules. “Going to bed too early or too late, as well as sleeping too little or too much is always bad. Sleep is so well prepared for us that it should be done as needed and in a pleasant way”, she says.
- She recommends “sleeping an average of eight hours of sleep a day” and advises night owls not going to bed after 1 am, since “going to bed after that time is a problem and from 2 am it turns into a disease” and morning larks not to set the alarm for before 6 am.
Still, the expert warns that these extreme habits leave marks: “morning people are more rational, executive, assertive. Night people ramble more, they tend to be more creative.”