Day: May 28, 2013

The Power of Sleep


SLEEP DEPRIVATION is a growing medical condition. As technology changes our ways of life, and demands of higher cost of living are inevitable as ever, the silent growing killer of sleeplessness have been taking toll to the health of many.

The culprits of the growing sleeplessness include: “the irresistible charms” of the internet, the seduction of video games and hundreds of TV channels from different nations, and in all field of interests, are only few of the many factors keeping people up until wee hours in the morning.

20130527-162241.jpgAccording to an intensive research at Harvard, 40% of the American people get less than the eight hours required sleep. The author of the Harvard Medical School’s Guide to a Goodnight Sleep, Dr. Lawrence Epstein emphasized, that “the link between sleep and health is getting clearer and clearer” these days.

Why do we need sleep?

Scientists are saying that sleep enables our bodies and minds to recover from fatigues and stresses, thereby giving them chances to recharge, maintain and repair. Also, sleep does wonders to our brains, as it enhances our ability to concentrate, focus, and improves our mental health. It complements our memory, and it could also lead us to positive mood.20130527-161634.jpg

Below are sleep’s 5 superpowers; and, they are the very reasons why you should really “sleep tight” and that “you shouldn’t let the bed bugs bite:”

SLEEP POWER NO.1: A good sleep makes us feel best!

When we don’t sleep well, we feel wasted when get up in the morning–a feeling of stickiness and unusual humidity exudes from our bodies, which makes us feel uneasy and irritable when we don’t get good sleep.

In addition, sleeplessness also makes us lazy and unproductive. Because once we are tired, chances are, we will end up up slouching all day and probably all over the place.

20130527-162609.jpgWhat is worse, according to science, is when we do not sleep well, we are actually harming our growth hormones. For those hormones are responsible for keeping us “looking good,” and it even delays aging. A heart surgeon, Mehmet C. Oz MD, coauthor of the YOU health books even added, that “the levels of growth hormones drop dramatically between the ages of 20 to 60.”

Dr. Oz stresses “It’s rejuvenating and when you have high levels of those hormones. For they can give you muscles, will definitely improve your skin, so you might want to keep your growth hormones as high as possible. And the best way to do it is to simply sleep.”

SLEEP POWER NO.2: A good sleep makes our brain healthier.

While sleeping our brains are utilizing important neuronal connections that might otherwise deteriorate from lack of mentally healthy activities. Because only through deep sleep that our brain shuts downs and get relieved of controlling our emotions; decision-making analysis, and even social interactions. Thereby enabling us to maintain better emotional and social functions’ stabilities.

A good sleep likewise contributes a lot to our ability to concentrate; focus, and have good memory and optimist mood.

SLEEP POWER NO.3: A good sleep makes us worry-free.

Science also has proven that people with insomnia produce higher rates of stress hormones than the normal others, as it could lead our bodies into a hyper-aroused state that will make it difficult for them to wind dow.

Moreover, sleeplessness can even trigger depression and vice versa. “People who don’t sleep well, could easily get depressed and depression worsens insomnia, so it’s a vicious cycle,” says Dr. Oz. “The more and better we sleep, the more we feel happier and relieved,” he added.

SLEEP POWER NO.4: A good sleep makes us lose some pounds and be sexy.

As sleeplessness produces higher rate of stress hormones, stress triggers us to eat more and gain weight.

20130527-162852.jpgRecent studies are even further saying people who get inadequate sleep are more likely to gain more pounds. As “with sleep deprivation, we see a reduction in metabolism and an increase in appetite,” say Michael Breus, PHD, author of Good Night: The Sleep Doctor’s 4-Week Program to Better Sleep. Inadequate sleep lowers the level of leptin (the hormone that can cause us to feel full), and it increases levels of ghrelin (which is the opposite of leptin, as it is the hormone that makes us feel hungry and craving at all times).20130527-161956.jpg

Breus further stresses that sleep deprivation also influences our food choices; it can make us crave for high carbs and high in sugar foods.

SLEEP POWER NO.5: A good sleep makes us healthy.

“Anything that disturbs the quality and quantity of sleep can have serious and long-term consequences to both our body and mind,” says Dr. Gerard T. Lombardo, director of the Sleep Disorder Center for the New York Methodist Hospital in Brooklyn.

Sleeplessness triggers blood pressure to go up; while, rates and BPs are typically at their lowest during sleep. The association of hypertension to sleep duration is linked and proven by various research findings. It is even linking the latter to increased heart attacks, diabetes, obesity and some other health issues causing morbidity and too rampant these days.

“When people are deprived of sleep, there levels of stress hormones in our bodies will go up, and an increased inflammation might occur. Moreover, sleeplessness decreases our bodies ability to generate and utilize our immune functions,” explains Dr. Phyllis Zee, director for Center of Sleep and Circadian Biology at Northwestern University in Chicago. Furthermore, sleeping well could helps us fight illnesses, in fact, it could even make our flu shot work better. Plus, it is only through sleep that our major organs repair and recharge on their own.

Hence, from physical to psychological, sleep really does lots of wonders. The benefits extend way beyond just feeling good waking up in the morning; it just doesn’t perk us up and recharge our energies, but it actually recharges our whole system; from our brains, all the way to our immunity, it could do so much good to our bodies and minds.

Finally, beauty sleep isn’t just a myth. For it does lessen the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, as it makes our skins glow to perfection. And because we sleep well, our aura would be more radiant and glowing. In short, a total make over awaits you, once you improve your sleeping habits. Therefore, try to sleep more, and wake up for a whole new you!