Sleep plays an important role in your physical health. The saying “sleep is over rated, sleep when you die,” couldn’t be further from the truth. Wanting to excel, feel better, have more attention or remember things better? You gotta check your sleeping habits. For example, sleep is involved in healing and repair of your heart and blood vessels. Ongoing sleep deficiency is linked to an increased risk of heart disease, kidney disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and stroke. If you are experiencing anxiety, trouble falling asleep or staying asleep, I have a SLEEP PROGRAM that can help you. Contact me directly (click on the 10 minute complementary consult) and put in the notes area— “I have a sleeping challenge.” In only 1 week we can have you sleeping like a baby. My program helps you shift habits, changing routines, testing foods and various breath and movements. Imagine how much better you will look and feel in 7 days!
1. Improve memory
Feeling like you Alzheimers and forgetful? Your mind is surprisingly busy while you snooze. During sleep you can strengthen memories or “practice” skills learned while you were awake (it’s a process called consolidation). In other words if you’re trying to learn something new— like a second language or sport—you’ll perform better after sleeping.
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.
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, Dr. Rapoport says.
If you are thinking about going on a diet, you might want to plan an earlier bedtime too.
Researchers at the University of Chicago found that dieters who were well rested lost more fat—56% of their weight loss—than those who were sleep deprived, who lost more muscle mass. (They shed similar amounts of total weight regardless of sleep.)
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,” Dr. Rapoport says. “When you are sleepy, certain hormones go up in your blood, and those same hormones drive appetite.”
Get a good night’s sleep before getting out the easel and paintbrushes or the pen and paper.
In addition to consolidating memories, or making them stronger, your brain appears to reorganize and restructure them, which may result in more creativity as well.
Researchers at Harvard University and Boston College found that people seem to strengthen the emotional components of a memory during sleep, which may help spur the creative process.
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,” Dr. Jean says. “It’s also believed that sleep effects cholesterol levels, which plays a significant role in heart disease.”
7.Be a Winner
Athletes report better performance when they get more 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.
8.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, according to a 2010 study in the journal Sleep. In another study, college students who didn’t get enough sleep had worse grades than those who did.
A lack of sleep can result in ADHD-like symptoms in kids, Dr. Rapoport says.
“Kids don’t react the same way to sleep deprivation as adults do,” he adds. “Whereas adults get sleepy, kids tend to get hyperactive.”
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,” Dr. Rapoport says. “Sleeplessness affects reaction time and decision making.”
11.Feeling Less Grumpy & Depressed
Sleeping well means more to our overall well-being than simply avoiding irritability.
“A lack of sleep can contribute to depression,” Dr. Jean says. “A good night’s sleep can really help a moody person decrease their anxiety. You get more emotional stability with good sleep.”
Here are 6 ways to quiet the brain. My 1 week program helps you shift habits, changing routines, testing foods and various breath and movements.