More

Been Feeling Irritable And Exceptionally Lazy? Acting Like You're Drunk? Here's How To Fix That.

I used to say sleep is overrated because I didn't get enough of it, and I figured: Why not embrace the tiredness? It's a pithy line, but science backs up the bags under my eyes and says it's not overrated.

Been Feeling Irritable And Exceptionally Lazy? Acting Like You're Drunk? Here's How To Fix That.

In fact, sleep is quite important. Let's talk details.

We know, it hurts.


Not getting enough sleep is rough. You can feel cranky, easily distracted, and, well, tired. How much sleep do you need? What if you're "behind" on sleep? Is it actually possible to "catch up?" (So many important questions!)

What's the right amount?

Researchers did a study and learned some stuff. They assigned groups of people to get four, six, or eight hours of sleep. After 14 days, they checked out how things were going. The participants who got eight hours of sleep showed few attention lapses or cognitive issues. Basically, their "I'm totally present!" game was on point.

The six-hour group "showed a similar reaction time to a person with the blood alcohol concentration of 0.1%, which is considered legally drunk." So yeah, that's not good for your ability to focus during important things like, say, driving.

And what about those who only got four hours? Well, some of those people actually fell asleep during their cognitive test. Whoops. So, basically, eight hours is better than six. And six is better than four. But there's more.

Watch and learn!

That's not all there is to discuss. Learn more, like whether you can catch up on sleep. And remember, sleep is not overrated.

Just a note that correlation doesn't always equal causation. Medical issues could cause people to sleep too little or too much, and those medical conditions could be related to increased mortality rates. Or it could be that not getting enough or getting too much sleep contributes to the greater likelihood of dying. So far, it's hard to say based on the studies that have been done. So I think I'll just err on the side of caution and try to get some more ZZZZs.

True

If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

Upworthy and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Upworthy-ness" of their story.

Here's a look at the five winners:

Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

Edith Ornelas has a deep-rooted connection to the asylum-seeking immigrant families she brings food and supplies to families in Memphis, Tenn. She was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old with her parents and sister. Edith grew up in Chicago, then moved to Memphis in 2016, where she quickly realized how few community programs existed for immigrants. Two years later, she helped create Mariposas Collective, which initially aimed to help families who had just been released from detention centers and were seeking asylum. The collective started out small but has since grown to approximately 400 volunteers.