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Happy Life The JJ Way, Issue #41 - Benefits of Sleep
June 19, 2012

Benefits of Sleep

Hi, and the warmest of welcomes to "Happy Life The JJ Way".

Last week I accepted an invitation to speak to a Melbourne college about the importance of sleep to a Happy Life.

My research for the talk uncovered some startling facts you need to be aware of, especially if you regularly burn the candle at both ends.

If your Mum nagged you incessantly about getting to bed on time, (and you think I sound like her :() you need to cast your eyes over the opinions of the experts who agree.....

11 Benefits of Sleep

1. Improved memory

You may think the only things your mind does while you sleep are dream and rest, but this is not the case.

During sleep you can strengthen memories or "practice" skills learned while you were awake, thanks to a process called consolidation. Studies have shown that during sleep, the mind "locks in" your new learning, regardless of whether it is physical or mental.

So whether you're learning to bake a cake or neurosurgery, your performance will be improved after sleeping.

2. Live Longer

Too much or too little sleep is associated with a shorter lifespan -- although it's not clear if it's a cause or effect. (Illnesses may affect sleep patterns too.)

In a 2010 study of women ages 50 to 79, more deaths occurred in women who got less than five hours or more than six and a half hours of sleep per night.

Sleep also affects quality of life.

3. Curb Inflammation

Inflammation is linked to heart disease, stroke, diabetes, arthritis, and premature aging.

Research indicates that people who get less sleep -- six or fewer hours a night -- have higher blood levels of inflammatory proteins than those who get more.

A 2010 study found that C-reactive protein, which is associated with heart attack risk, was higher in people who got six or fewer hours of sleep a night.

People who have sleep apnea or insomnia can have an improvement in blood pressure and inflammation with treatment of the sleep disorders.

4. Spur Creativity

Have you ever tried to access your creativity with a foggy brain?

There ain't no way-no how you'll do a good job if you're feeling weary. That doorway to creativity remains tightly bolted against sleepyheads. So have a nap before you attempt your next assignment.

5.Be A winner

If you're an athlete, there may be one simple way to improve your performance: sleep.

A Stanford University study found that college football players who tried to sleep at least 10 hours a night for seven to eight weeks improved their average sprint time and had less daytime fatigue and more stamina.

The results of this study reflect previous findings seen in tennis players and swimmers.

6. Improve Your Grades

Children between the ages of 10 and 16 who have sleep disordered breathing, which includes snoring, sleep apnea, and other types of interrupted breathing during sleep, are more likely to have problems with attention and learning. This could lead to significant functional impairment at school.

A study of college students concluded that those who didn't get enough sleep had worse grades than those who did.

7. Sharpen Attention

A lack of sleep can result in ADHD-like symptoms in kids.

When adults get sleepy we tend to slow down and feel weary, however any parent will tell you that kids tend to get hyperactive.

A 2009 Pediatrics study found that children aged seven and eight who got less than about eight hours of sleep a night were more likely to be hyperactive, inattentive, and impulsive.

Anyone who is regularly deprived of sleep will experience impaired learning.

8. Healthy Weight

You have surely found on those 'tired days' that you just can't stop eating? Well, it goes even deeper than that:

Researchers at the University of Chicago found that dieters who were well rested lost more fat than those who were sleep deprived, who lost more muscle mass.Dieters in the study also felt more hungry when they got less sleep.

Sleep and metabolism are controlled by the same sectors of the brain. When you are sleepy, certain hormones go up in your blood, and those same hormones drive appetite.

9. Lower Stress

When it comes to our health, stress and sleep are nearly one and the same -- and both can affect cardiovascular health.

Sleep can definitely reduce levels of stress, and with that people can have better control of their blood pressure, it's also believed that sleep effects cholesterol levels, which plays a significant role in heart disease.

10. Avoid Accidents

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported in 2009 that being tired accounted for the highest number of fatal single-car run-off-the-road crashes due to the driver's performance -- even more than alcohol!

"Sleepiness is grossly underrated as a problem by most people, but the cost to society is enormous! Sleeplessness affects reaction time and decision making."

Insufficient sleep for just one night can be as detrimental to your driving ability as having an alcoholic drink.

11. Steer Clear of Depression

Sleeping well means more to our overall well-being than simply avoiding irritability.

A lack of sleep can contribute to depression.A good night's sleep can really help a moody person decrease their anxiety. You are more emotionally stable with good sleep.

According to one expert, if you need more sleep on weekends, you are simply not getting enough during the week, so ease up on yourself and adjust your regular bedtime!

Dudes, there is a reason why sleep deprivation is used as torture - don't do it to yourself!

How can you expect to 'live life happy!' if you regularly torture yourself?

Your body is going to be your home for the next several decades. It is the only thing tying you to this planet - and when it wears out you're outta here!

Respect, maintain, and treasure your body like the palace that it is. Don't you deserve to live in a palace? (The correct answer is "yes").

Give your body the sleep it needs so it can keep you living a long, happy life.

Now check out our page on the importance of sleep and rearrange your schedule if it doesn't allow you the amount of shut-eye you need every night.










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Until next month, Live Life Happy!

Jackie xxx


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