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Monday, July 12, 2010

Are you sleep deprived?

The toll of sleep deprivation

Some people insist that they can go on just a few hours of sleep, while others seem to need more than others. But, what are the real facts related to sleep and are we becoming a nation of sleep deprived Americans?

How much sleep is really needed by most adults?
• Adults need 7-9 hours of sleep a night to feel fully refreshed and able to function at their highest potential
• 2005 Sleep Foundation study showed that Americans are only getting an average of 6.9 hours of sleep which was a drop of 2 hours per night from the 19th century
• We’ve lost one hour of sleep per night over the past 50 years and 15-25 minutes of sleep in the last 9 years.

But some people say they really don’t need that might sleep. What do the studies show?
• University of Pennsylvania study shows that people are out of touch with their own bodies when sleep deprived. Volunteers who sleep less than 6 hours per night for 2 weeks thought they were fine, but testing showed they were cognitively impaired as someone who was awake for 48 hours
• University of Chicago study showed that loss of sleep changes our body and promotes appetite, reduces the feeling of being full, and alters our body’s response to sugar.
• Case Western study showed that shortened sleep was associated with weight gains and children with sleep deprivation are correlated to those with child obesity
• Children with 6-7 hours of sleep were 2 ½ times as likely to be overweight compared to those children who got 8 hours of sleep

So what are some tips related to a better night’s sleep?
• Try to stay on a schedule—go to bed at the same time each night and awake at the same time
• University of Chicago study showed that if you sleep 10 hours for 2 consecutive nights you will return to normal hormone levels
• Keep your room dark at night and keep your room cool or cold for a better night’s sleep
• Slowly acclimate to the night—turn down the lights before bed, and do something calming such as reading to insure a good night’s rest.


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Anonymous said...

So what do you do if you do all that is recommended, but are not able to sleep through the night? Yes, it's anxiety due to an overwhelming amount of things on my plate. Falling asleep is not the issue, but waking up 2-3 times a night is. Suggestions?