1. Sleep on this

Sleep on this

Arianna Huffington writes about the impact sleep has on our lives in her new book, The Sleep Revolution

Published: May 22, 2016 7:50 AM

The Sleep Revolution: Transforming Your Life, One Night at a Time
Arianna Huffington
Penguin Random House
Pp392
Rs 599

* SLEEP & BRAIN: Sleep is not empty time, but a time of intense neurological activity—a rich time of renewal, memory consolidation, brain and neurochemical cleansing, and cognitive maintenance. Getting the right amount of sleep enhances the quality of every minute we spend with our eyes open.

w Women & sleep: Women need more sleep than men. Researchers at Duke Medical Center, US, found women are at a greater risk for heart disease, Type 2 diabetes and depression. For women, poor sleep is strongly associated with high levels of psychological distress and greater feelings of hostility, depression and anger.

* BURDENED MOMS: Working mothers who have young children have seen an additional 241 hours of work and commuting time added to their lives annually since 1969.

* DEATH RISK: The incidence of death from all causes goes up by 15% when we sleep five hours or less per night. There is a connection between lack of sleep and an increased
risk of heart attack, stroke, diabetes and obesity. Even losing an hour of sleep per week can lead to a higher risk of heart attack.

* HEART ATTACK: A Russian study found that nearly 63% of men who suffered a heart attack also had a sleep disorder. Men who had a sleep disorder had a risk of heart attack that was 2-2.6 times higher and a risk of stroke that was 1.5-4 times higher.

* ACCIDENTS: A Norwegian study determined that people who had trouble falling asleep were involved in 34% of fatal car accidents. Those with insomnia are nearly three times more likely to die from a fatal injury.

* CANCER: A lack of melatonin, the hormone that controls our sleep and wake cycles, is linked to higher rates of breast, ovarian and prostate cancers.

* COMMON ILLS: By weakening our immune system, sleep deprivation also makes us more susceptible to garden- variety illnesses like the common cold.

* WEIGHT GAIN: A lack of sleep also has a major impact on our ability to regulate our weight. In a study by the Mayo Clinic, sleep-restricted subjects gained more weight than their well-rested counterparts over the course of a week, consuming an average of 559 extra calories a day. People who get six hours of sleep per night are 23% more likely to be overweight. Get less than four hours of sleep per night and the increased likelihood of being overweight climbs to a staggering 73%.

* MENTAL ABILITIES: Sleep deprivation also takes a toll on our mental abilities. Cognitive performance is reduced, memory capacity is reduced and social competence is reduced. The way you make decisions changes.

* BRAIN DAMAGE: Some research in humans has shown that attention span and several other aspects of cognition may not normalise even with three days of recovery sleep, raising the question of lasting injury in the brain.

* FASTER AGEING: A 2014 study from Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School found that the less we sleep as we grow older, the faster our brains age. A study revealed that just one night of sleep deprivation leads to an increase in two rare molecules in the brain (NSE and S- 100B) that are signs of brain damage.
w DRUNK STATUS: Twenty-four hours without sleep is
the equivalent of a blood alcohol level of 0.1%—at which point you are more than legally drunk.

* WEAK IMMUNITY: A 2012 study showed that getting more sleep greatly increased antibody levels of those
who had just received the hepatitis B vaccine, and that
averaging less than six hours of sleep could render the vaccine ineffective.

* SLEEPLESS ACROSS GLOBE: Wearable-device company Jawbone collects sleep data from thousands of people wearing its UP activity trackers. As a result, we now have a record of the cities that get the least amount of sleep. Tokyo residents sleep a dangerously low 5 hours and 45 minutes a night. Seoul clocks in at 6 hours and 3 minutes; Dubai, 6 hours and 13 minutes; Singapore, 6 hours and 27 minutes; Hong Kong, 6 hours and 29 minutes; and Las Vegas, 6 hours and 32 minutes. When you’re getting less sleep than Las Vegas, you have a problem.

* PRODUCTIVITY LOSS: We sacrifice sleep in the name of productivity, but ironically, our loss of sleep, despite the extra hours we put in at work, adds up to more than eleven days of lost productivity per year per worker, or about $2,280. This results in a total annual cost of sleep deprivation to the US economy of more than $63 billion, in the form of absenteeism and presenteeism (when employees are present at work physically but not really mentally focused). Sleep disorders cost Australia more than $5 billion a year in health care and indirect costs. And “reduction in life quality” added costs equivalent to a whopping $31.4 billion a year. In the United Kingdom, a survey showed that one in five employees had recently missed work or come in late because of sleep deprivation. The researchers estimated that this is equivalent to a loss of more than 47 million hours of work per year, or a £453-million loss in productivity. In Canada, 26% of the workforce reported having called in sick because of sleep deprivation. And nearly two-thirds of Canadian adults report feeling tired “most of the time”.

* OPTIMUM SLEEP: The US National Sleep Foundation has broken down the required hours of sleep: Newborns (0-3 months): 14-17 hours; Infants (4-11 months): 12-15 hours; Toddlers (1-2 years): 11-14 hours; Pre-schoolers (3-5): 10-13 hours; School-age children (6-13): 9-11 hours; Teenagers (14-17): 8-10 hours; Young adults (18-25): 7-9 hours; Adults (26-64): 7-9 hours; Older adults (65+): 7-8 hours.

* EFFECT ON KIDS: Sleep disruptions are particularly dangerous for infants, toddlers, and children. The brains of young children go through a critical period of plasticity as they scramble to absorb as much information as possible and pick up a whole array of language, motor, visual, and cognitive skills—which is why babies and toddlers learn so quickly. All this is not possible without sufficient quality sleep. Researchers found that “REM sleep… makes traces of experience more permanent and focused in the brain… Experience is fragile… These traces tend to vanish without REM sleep and the brain basically forgets what it saw.” Sleep deprivation affects behavioural development as well. Sleep deprivation can actually make children hyperactive and can lead to a diagnosis of ADHD.

Source: The Sleep Revolution

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