- Created on Wednesday, 27 April 2011 19:28
- Written by Mark Stibich, Ph.D.
- Category: Health
Ok How much sleep do you get? Actually most of the people in modern civilization do not get enough sleep. Well unwind, unload, take a hot shower, meditate, turn off the TV and computer and go to sleep.
Most adults need to try to go to sleep around 10pm. I know that sounds so lame but seriously if you're not getting enough sleep you're going to give yourself diseases, depression and oh yeah you're going to look ugly too. I'm trying to scare you a little bit, but here are the well documented facts:
1. Lack of sleep has been associated with worsening of blood pressure and cholesterol, all risk factors for heart disease and stroke. Your heart will be healthier if you get between 7 and 9 hours of sleep each night.
2. Sleep may prevent Cancer. People working the late shift have a higher risk for breast and colon cancer. Researchers believe this link is caused by differing levels of melatonin in people who are exposed to light at night. Light exposure reduces the level of melatonin, a hormone that both makes us sleepy and is thought to protect against cancer. Melatonin appears to suppress the growth of tumors. Be sure that your bedroom is dark to help your body produce the melatonin it needs.
3.Sleep reduces inflammation. The increase in stress hormones raises the level of inflammation in your body, also creating more risk for heart-related conditions, as well as cancer and diabetes. Inflammation is thought to one of the causes of the deterioration of your body as you age.
4. People who don't sleep enough get fat. Researchers have also found that people who sleep less than seven hours per night are more likely to be overweight or obese. It is thought that the lack of sleep impacts the balance of hormones in the body that affect appetite.
5. Sleep can reduce depression. Sleep impacts many of the chemicals in your body, including serotonin. People with a deficiency in serotonin are more likely to suffer from depression. You can help to prevent depression by making sure you are getting the right amount of sleep, between 7 and 9 hours each night.
6. Sleep is a time for your body to repair damage caused by stress.
7. Sleep makes you look pretty. A recent study by the British Medical Journal found took a group of 23 participants, all between the ages of 18 and 31, each were photographed twice: once after getting a full eight hours of sleep, and then again when limited to five hours of sleep followed by 31 hours of sleep deprivation. The researchers then asked a group of 65 untrained observers to rate the photographs based on healthiness, attractiveness and overall tiredness. The observers were unaware which of the two photographs in each pair was taken after a normal night's sleep and which was not. The findings show that sleep-deprived people appear less healthy and less attractive. While the long-term effects of poor sleep on overall health have been widely researched, this is the first study to provide evidence that in the short term, sleep deprivation does in fact show up as a discernible change in facial appearance.
Ewww scary, especially for all you party girls out there. Go home and catch some ZZZZZ.
References: Mark Stibich, Ph.D., About.com Guide