Monday, May 4, 2009

sleep like a baby

I feel so sleepy today, maybe because I had too much fun on the weekend. But being sleepy like this don't make me become a sleepy head. I still have to do my job and responsibility. In an hour I can go home and enjoying my evening. I came across the benefits of a good sleep. There are those who don't really care about how many hours they sleep each they. It seems like an unimportant thing but actually having enough sleep offers many benefits that are good for our health. I sleep about 7 hours a day and for me that's just about enough. Not too long and not too short. So, do you have enough sleep?


1. Keeps Your Heart Healthy
Heart attacks and strokes are more common during the early morning hours. This fact may be explained by the way sleep interacts with the blood vessels. 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. 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. Reduces Stress
When your body is sleep deficient, it goes into a state of stress. The body's functions are put on high alert which causes an increase in blood pressure and a production of stress hormones. Higher blood pressure increases your risk for heart attacks and strokes. The stress hormones also, unfortunately, make it harder for you to sleep. Learn relaxation techniques to counter the effects of stress. There are also stress reduction techniques for sleep.

4. 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.

5. Makes You More Alert
Of course, a good night's sleep makes you feel energized and alert the next day. Being engaged and active not only feels great, it increases your chances for another good night's sleep. When you wake up feeling refreshed, use that energy to get out into the daylight, do active things, and be engaged in your world. You'll sleep better the next night and increase your daily energy level.



6. Bolsters Your Memory
Researchers do not fully understand why we sleep and dream, but a process called memory consolidation occurs during sleep. While your body may be resting, your brain is busy processing your day, making connections between events, sensory input, feelings and memories. Your dreams and deep sleep are an important time for your brain to make memories and links. Getting more quality sleep will help you remember and process things better.

7. May Help You Lose Weight
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. The hormones ghrelin and leptin, important for the regulation of appetite, have been found to be disrupted by lack of sleep. So if you are interested in controlling or losing weight, don't forget to pay attention to getting a good night's sleep.
8. Naps Make You Smarter
Napping during the day is not only an effective and refreshing alternative to caffeine, it can also protect your health and make you more productive. A study of 24,000 Greek adults showed that people who napped several times a week had a lower risk for dying from heart disease. People who nap at work have much lower levels of stress. Napping also improves memory, cognitive function and mood.
9. Reduce Your Risk for 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.
10. Helps the Body Make Repairs
Sleep is a time for your body to repair damage caused by stress, ultraviolet rays and other harmful exposures. Your cells produce more protein while you are sleeping. These protein molecules form the building blocks for cells, allowing them to repair damage.

When to soft Sleep we give ourselves away,And in a dream as in a fairy barkDrift on and on through the enchanted darkTo purple daybreak--little thought we pay. To that sweet bitter world we know by day. -Thomas Bailey Aldrich, Sonnet - Sleep
(source from longevity.about.com - images via flickr)

6 comments:

Rain said...

Sleep is something I have been chasing recently. I've had insomnia since I can remember, probably since I was 8 years old. I've seen doctors, hypnosys specialists, therapists...tried herbal remedies, sleeping pills, breathing, exercise....I was seriously sleep deprived my entire life! But...I can sleep 6-7 hours straight now because I have my sleepytime tea before bed - but mainly because I use those BreatheRight nose strips. They work like a charm! I have very thin nasal passages, and when I lie on my side, they close up and I don't get enough oxygen. I've been using those strips for a few weeks now and I'll never stop. It's amazing how well they work!

Just adding to your post, when I didn't sleep well, I also had major problems with my digestion and reflexes. Sleep is truly something we should take seriously!

boya arsila said...

Really, you had insomnia since you were so young? Your story has given me additional insight about the benefits of sleeping Rain. It really is a useful information. Now I really know how a good sleep can really bring comforts to us=) You did great by the way..I'm sure you can have a goooood dream now...

Rain said...

Ha ha, I need a GOOOOOOD dream! Actually I am remembering my dreams lately, but I know they are being affected by the books I'm reading, all suspenceful mystery novels. Last night I woke up thinking a tree branch was coming into my window. Lol!

Yeah, I had migraines growing up too, it was all related to the anxiety and stress of being in an abusive environment. I was always on the edge and fearful and it really affected, among other things, my sleep.

Michelle "Lady Bug" said...

I love where there are many reasons why sleep is good for you because I love sleep. Mostly because when I sleep I am away from it all. I was switching the channels one time and I heard a lady say in a movie..."when I sleep I am at peace, when I wake up the nightmare begins." I wasn't actually those words exactly probably because I vaguely remember the actual words. I don't even know the movie, but I remember thinking, "exactly!" So I am definitely a fan of sleeping.

boya arsila said...

Rain: Is it because of the Dean Koontz books you've been reading? =) Seems like your imagination really got into the book...

Michelle: You remind me of my sister, she once said about that too, about when she sleeps she's at peace..but I guess that applies to us all..as long as we can skip the nightmare of course=)

Rain said...

Actually it was the previous book I read called The Darkest Part Of The Woods. I shouldn't be reading supernatural horror fiction about evil things in the woods, when that's where I'm living too I guess! :-)