Neither Too Little Nor Too Much: The Alarming Risks of Imperfect Sleep
Based on a study conducted by Brigman and Womenís Hospital (BWH), either too much or too little sleep weakens oneís thinking and memory in later life.
According to them, people who are used in taking five hours or less of sleep, or nine or more everyday, are likely to have worse memory. Sleep deprivation or oversleeping age the brain by up to two years of their current age.
Their findings recommended that seven hours per day of sleep in average amount helps maintain good memory in later life. Also, they revealed that the benefits the mind and body can get out of a solid nightís sleep are undeniable. Experts commented that the lighter stages of sleep, referred to as rapid eye movement (REM), initiate oneís mind to press the emotional memories and form connections between different bits of information.
In connection with this, the Harvard Health blog reasoned that too much sleep is often associated with poor sleep quality, which in turn, could affect thinking and memory.
Researchers in labs around the world in 2014 revealed that perfect sleep, not too much nor too little improves the survival prospects of women with advanced breast cancer. Meanwhile, poor sleep quality doubles the hospitalization rate in heart failure patients. Young children who sleep tend to eat more and are at greater risk of obesity and linked to an acceleration of older menís cognitive decline.
Here are some tips on how to improve oneís sleeping habits:
Adhere to a daily routine. To keep the circadian rhythm, stay in sync. Establish a regular sleep/wake rhythm. It is advisable to use a personalized alarm clock that can set an accurate time for this rythm.
Go outside and be active. Sunlight from moderate exposure helps regulate the bodyís production of melatonin (a hormone involved in controlling a personís sleep- wake cycle).
Keep away from alcohol. Alcohol leads to more disruptions in sleep patterns, inhibiting the ability to enter that coveted stage of slow wave sleep.
Meanwhile, drinking a big cup of coffee on the way home from work can lead to negative effects on sleep, just as consuming caffeine. People tend to be less likely to be aware on the disruptive effects of caffeine on sleep.
In spite of the cause of oneís bad habits in sleeping, committing to a good sleep hygiene will help in reaping the benefits of a healthy seven to eight hours of sleep each night.
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