gmhTODAY 22 gmhToday Oct Nov 2018 - Page 39

Ask anyone who ’ s missed a day or two of shut-eye and they ’ ll tell you how terrible it feels to go without sleep . But how important is sleep really ? Can losing or gaining a few extra hours of sleep really impact our health that much ? Many experts are saying yes . Here ’ s a bit on how it affects us .

Cognitive Function
During sleep , your brain clears away waste products , balances neurotransmitters , and goes through a process called “ consolidation ,” in which it stores and processes events from your day . This process helps you strengthen memories and “ practice ” skills learned while awake . Getting a good night ’ s sleep helps you think quicker , better , and gives you quicker reflexes . It has been shown to increase problem-solving skills and enhance memory in both children and adults .
Some studies have found that getting an inadequate amount of sleep negatively impacts brain function to the same degree as alcohol intoxication . Poor sleep impairs higher levels of reasoning , problem solving , and attention , and sleep-deprived people were shown to be less productive at work and more prone to traffic accidents . Not only that , but sleep impacts our moods . Sleep-deprived people tend to have a harder time regulating their emotions , and are often more irritable and prone to depression . One study found that people with poor sleep displayed a reduced ability to recognize important social cues in others , such as anger or happiness .
Weight and Heart Health
When you sleep , your heart rate , breathing rate , and blood pressure all rise and fall throughout the night . It is thought that this process may contribute to better cardiovascular health . The body also releases hormones during sleep that help repair cells and control the body ’ s use of energy . Sleep deprivation disrupts these hormone fluctuations and causes your body to produce higher levels of ghrelin , the hormone that stimulates appetite , and reduces levels of the appetite suppressant leptin . As a result , sleep-deprived people are hungrier throughout the day and are prone to consuming more calories than those who received sufficient sleep . Research shows that lack of sleep can even produce diabetic-like conditions in otherwise healthy people . Chronic lack of sleep increases the risk of obesity , heart disease , and infections .
Healing / Immune Function
Even a small loss of sleep has been shown to negatively impact immune function . A large two-week study monitored the development of the common cold after exposing people to the virus . They found that the people who slept only seven hours were three times more likely to develop a cold than those who slept eight or nine hours . Sleep can even impact the effectiveness of vaccinations . Well-rested people who received the flu vaccine developed stronger protection against the illness than those who didn ’ t get as much sleep . Sleep loss also activates undesirable markers of inflammation and cell damage . More and more studies are finding that inflammation severely damages all bodily systems and can even increase a person ’ s risk of developing psychological disorders such as depression and anxiety .
Too Much Sleep
If sleep boosts your health , then surely more sleep means more health benefits , right ? As it turns out , too much time snoozing can negatively impact our health as well , often causing the same issues as too little sleep . Interestingly , oversleeping has been linked to increased pain sensitivity . While it ’ s intuitive for us to lie down when we ’ re in pain , too much time spent in a sedentary position exacerbates the issue , especially in cases involving back or joint pain . Too much sleep can also trigger migraines and tension headaches .
Oversleeping is usually considered to be a potential symptom of underlying conditions like depression , anxiety , hypersomnia , or narcolepsy . In the case of hypersomnia , people sleep too many hours but still feel sleepy during the day , and it is usually caused by sleep apnea or sometimes brain tumors . Narcolepsy is a similar condition that causes people to fall asleep during the day without meaning to , such as when they ’ re working , driving , or even talking .
The tricky thing about oversleeping is that it ’ s hard to tell if oversleeping itself harms health or if certain illnesses are the cause of oversleeping . In general , however , studies have shown that adults and young adults who sleep too much tend to report increased fatigue , irritability , and lethargy . They also display slower reaction times , lower moods , poor mental performance , and fragmented sleep , which lends itself to several health implications .
The Goldilocks Rule
As a general rule of thumb , you reap the most health benefits from sleep when you take the middle ground . Getting anywhere between seven to nine hours is a normal and healthy amount for most adults , with teens requiring something more in the nine to ten hour range . Keep in mind , however , that the “ right ” amount of sleep is also dependent on the individual . If you naturally wake up after six hours and feel rested , then that just might be the way your body works . The same is true if you need ten hours . Sleeping in on the weekends or missing a few hours here or there isn ’ t going to hurt you . But if it ’ s a regular occurrence you may want to get it checked out .
CRYSTAL HAN is a freelance writer and artist . She graduated from San José State University with a BFA in Animation / Illustration and is an aspiring novelist , currently working on two books .
Sources :
Osmun , Rosie , “ Oversleeping : The Effects and Health Risks of Sleeping Too Much ”, HuffPost , https :// www . huffingtonpost . com / rosie-osmun / oversleeping-theeffects-and-health-risks-of-sleeping-toomuch _ b _ 9092982 . html
“ The Benefits of Slumber ”, NIH News in Health , https :// newsinhealth . nih . gov / 2013 / 04 / benefits-slumber
GILROY • MORGAN HILL • SAN MARTIN OCTOBER / NOVEMBER 2018 gmhtoday . com 39
A sk anyone who’s missed a day or two of shut-eye and they’ll tell you how terrible it feels to go without sleep. But how important is sleep really? Can losing or gaining a few extra hours of sleep really impact our health that much? Many experts are saying yes. Here’s a bit on how it affects us. hungrier throughout the day and are prone to consuming more calories than those who received suffi cient sleep. Research shows that lack of sleep can even produce diabetic-like conditions in otherwise healthy people. Chronic lack of sleep increases the risk of obesity, heart disease, and infections. Cognitive Function Even a small loss of sleep has been shown to negatively impact immune function. A large two-week study moni- tored the development of the common cold after exposing people to the virus. They found that the people who slept only seven hours were three times more likely to develop a cold than those who slept eight or nine hours. Sleep can even impact the effectiveness of vaccinations. Well-rested people who received the fl u vaccine developed stronger protec- tion against the illness than those who didn’t get as much sleep. Sleep loss also activates undesirable markers of infl am- mation and cell damage. More and more studies are fi nding that infl amma- tion severely damages all bodily systems and can even increase a person’s risk of developing psychological disorders such as depression and anxiety. During sleep, your brain clears away waste products, balances neurotrans- mitters, and goes through a process called “consolidation,” in which it stores and processes events from your day. This process helps you strengthen memories and “practice” skills learned while awake. Getting a good night’s sleep helps you think quicker, better, and gives you quicker refl exes. It has been shown to increase problem-solving skills and enhance memory in both children and adults. Some studies have found that getting an inadequate amount of sleep negatively impacts brain function to the same degree as alcohol intoxication. Poor sleep impairs higher levels of reasoning, problem solving, and attention, and sleep-deprived people were shown to be less productive at work and more prone to traffic acci- dents. Not only that, but sleep impacts our moods. Sleep-deprived people tend to have a harder time regulating their emotions, and are often more irritable and prone to depression. One study found that people with poor sleep dis- played a reduced ability to recognize important social cues in others, such as anger or happiness. Weight and Heart Health When you sleep, your heart rate, breathing rate, and blood pressure all rise and fall throughout the night. It is thought that this process may contrib- ute to better cardiovascular health. The body also releases hormones during sleep that help repair cells and control the body’s use of energy. Sleep depriva- tion disrupts these hormone fl uctua- tions and causes your body to produce higher levels of ghrelin, the hormone that stimulates appetite, and reduces levels of the appetite suppressant leptin. As a result, sleep-deprived people are Healing/Immune Function Too Much Sleep If sleep boosts your health, then surely more sleep means more health benefi ts, right? As it turns out, too much time snoozing can negatively impact our health as well, often causing the same issues as too little sleep. Interestingly, oversleeping has been linked to increased pain sensitivity. While it’s intuitive for us to lie down when we’re in pain, too much time spent in a sed- entary position exacerbates the issue, especially in cases involving back or joint pain. Too much sleep can also trig- )ȁɅ́ѕ̸ͥ)=ٕͱ́Յ䁍ͥɕѼ)ѕѥѽչɱ她)ѥ́ɕͥᥕ)ͽȁɍ丁%ѡ͔)ͽͱѽ)́Ёѥͱ䁑ɥѡ)䰁Ё́Յ䁍͕ͱ)ȁͽѥ́Ʌյ̸)9ɍ䁥́ͥȁѥѡ)͕́Ѽͱɥ)ѡݥѡЁѼՍ)%1I=d5=I8!%10M85IQ%8)= Q= H9=Y5 H)ݡѡeɔݽɭɥ٥)ٕх)QɥѡЁٕͱ)́ѡЁӊéɐѼѕٕͱ)͕ɵ́Ѡȁх͕)ɔѡ͔ٕͱ%)ɅݕٕȰՑ́ٔ͡ݸ)ѡЁձ́չձ́ݡͱ)ѽՍѕѼɕЁɕ͕)ѥՔɥх䰁ѡɝ丁Q)ͼͱݕȁɕѥѥ̰ݕ)̰ȁхəɵ)Ʌѕͱݡ͕́Ѽ)͕ٕɅѠѥ̸)Q́Iձ)́Ʌձѡյԁɕ)ѡЁѠ́ɽͱ)ݡԁхѡɽչ)ѥݡɔݕ͕ٕѼ)́́ɵѡ)չЁȁЁձ̰ݥѠѕ)ɕեɥͽѡɔѡ)ѼѕȁɅ-ܴ)ٕȰѡЁѡqɥӊtչЁͱ)́ͼЁѡ٥Յ%)ԁɅ݅ѕȁͥ)ɕѕѡѡЁЁЁ)ѡ݅ȁݽɭ̸Qͅ)́Քԁѕ̸M)ѡݕ́ȁͥ)́ɔȁѡɔͻeЁѼ)Ը Ёӊéɕձȁɕ)݅ЁѼЁЁи) IeMQ0!8́ɕ)ɥѕȁѥи)MɅՅѕɽM))MхєUٕͥݥѠ) ѥ)%Ʌѥ́)ɥٕаɕѱ)ݽɭݼ̸)Mɍ)=͵ոIͥq=ٕͱQ)!ѠIͭ́MQ5Սt)!ՙAа輽ܹՙѽи)ɽͥ͵ոٕͱѡ)̵Ѡɥ̵ͭͱѽ)Ս}|ȹѵ+qQ ́Mյˊt9% 9)!Ѡ輽ͥѠ)ؼ̼н̵ͱյ)ѽ乍(