Common health issues related to sleep deprivation
- Memory loss
- Heart disease
- Weight gain
- Decreased physical and mental ability
What the studies sayVarious studies by the University of California Dept. of Psychology and Social Behaviour, linked sleep deprivation to false memories. Scientist Steven J. Frenda led studies showing that those who slept five hours or less per night had more inaccurate memories than those who slept longer. The study required four groups of college students to review both photos and narratives of a crime scene. The students who did not sleep got the crime details in the photos and narratives mixed up while those who slept remembered both more accurately.
Why getting enough sleep is essential for good health?Lack of sleep doesn’t only affect your brain function it also affects your physical body and your emotions. When you sleep your sleep wake cycle or circadian rhythm kicks in alerting hundreds of biological and cellular processes to begin. Melatonin and Leptin are hormones that depend on your circadian rhythm to begin production, making sleep essential for good levels. A decreased level of melatonin increases your risk of cancer as melatonin prevents cancer cells from spreading. Leptin is responsible for fat regulation creating weight gain when levels are low. Your risk of diseases such as: schizophrenia, cancer, diabetes and heart disease all increase dramatically with lack of sleep. Research also showed that sleep deprivation caused the same stress to your immune system as physical disease does.
How much sleep is enough?A study showed that only 1 in 10,000 people have the ability to stay healthy with only fours hours of sleep per night. At least forty percent of those studied were considered sleep deprived, getting less than six hours of sleep per night. In fact, those same studies showed that those who only got five hours of sleep doubled their risk of heart disease. Sleep requirements for adults are seven to nine hours, teenagers are eight to ten hours and children (6-13) are nine to eleven hours per night.
Ways to help you sleep
- Lower the lights Turn off all electronics at least one hour before bedtime. Bright lights tell your pineal gland that it’s time to wake up. Electronics create Electro Magnetic Fields that disrupt the body
- Be strict, set a regular bedtime Not only does this allow you to make time for sleep but it also helps your body know it can rely on sleep and when to expect it
- Relax Read a book, meditate or take a warm bath with lavender essential oil before bed. Listening to the TV, drinking coffee or alcohol or having stimulating your brain right before bed sets you up to have a restless night