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Health

Why you need plenty of sleep

Not getting your full 8 hours of kip?  It’s more of a problem than you think… health wise, this is what happens over time… Lose 30 minutes to 1 hour a night This small “sleep debt” can lead to weight gain as your metabolism starts slowing Lose 1 – 2 hours a night The risk of you feeling depressed increases by 14% for every hour of missed sleep according to an Australian study. Lose 3 – 4 hours a night If this lack of sleep continues for 2 weeks, you’ll have the same cognitive decline as someone who hasn’t slept…

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How much do we really know about sleep?

There is no single activity that humans do more: if you live to be 90, you will probably spend 32 years asleep. It is as vital for us as eating or drinking water. Sleep deprivation will kill you as surely as starvation. It is an activity we share with every other animal species, from cockroaches to chimpanzees. Yet we do not fully understand why we do it. Sleep scientists are locked in furious disagreements about what it’s for. Some suggest it’s to do with memory; some suggest it’s about clearing toxins from the brain; others suggest a combination of several…

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Researchers warn of health dangers of too much light while we sleep

There are regular warnings that people aren’t sleeping properly. Too much light from electronic devices before bedtime. Not enough time in bed. Excessive caffeine. Now there’s another potential worry – too much light in the bedroom. Previous studies have linked light at night with ill health in rodents. Now a study of 113,000 women suggests that it could cause obesity in humans. The work by Oxford University researchers for the Institute of Cancer Research found that women had larger waistlines if their bedroom was “light enough to see across”, the researchers found. Prof Derk-Jan Dijk, of the Surrey Sleep Centre,…

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How Will You Sleep Tonight? It’s in Your Genes

Are you one of those people who rises before dawn and never needs an alarm clock? Or would you happily sleep until midmorning if you could? Do you feel like you are just hitting your stride by late afternoon, or do you get the day’s main tasks accomplished by lunch? Most of us have some degree of preference for late nights or early mornings. Where an individual falls on this spectrum largely determines his or her chronotype—an individual disposition toward the timing of daily periods of activity and rest. Some of us are clearly “larks”—early risers—while others are distinctly night…

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Too little sleep, and too much, affect memory

How might sleep affect memory? People who are persistently sleep deprived are more likely to have high blood pressure, diabetes, and narrowed blood vessels. Each of these can decrease blood flow inside the brain. Brain cells need a lot of oxygen and sugar, so blood flow problems could affect their ability to work properly. Poor sleep could affect the brain in another way. Sleep-deprived mice develop more deposits of a protein called beta amyloid in the brain compared with mice allowed to sleep normally. In humans, beta amyloid deposits in the brain are linked to declines in memory and thinking…

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Why lack of sleep is bad for your health

Many effects of a lack of sleep, such as feeling grumpy and not working at your best, are well known. But did you know that sleep deprivation can also have profound consequences for your physical health? When you might need more sleep than normal There are some situations when you’ll need more than the standard eight hours of sleep a night. It’s not unusual to want 10-15 hours of rest and sleep a day if you are: recovering from illness pregnant living with a chronic illness have been through extreme physical exertion, such as running a marathon One in three…

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Poor sleep is linked to physical problems

Sleep is as important to our health as eating, drinking and breathing. It allows our bodies to repair themselves and our brains to consolidate our memories and process information. Poor sleep is linked to physical problems such as a weakened immune system and mental health problems such as anxiety and depression. Sleep Matters provides sound, evidence-based advice on how to improve the quality of your sleep. This includes simple ways to improve your ‘sleep hygiene’, such as adjusting the light, noise and temperature in the bedroom and changing your eating, drinking and exercise routines, advice which can also be found…

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Chronic poor sleep could make you gain weight

A recently published study shows that adults who suffer from chronic sleep restriction are more susceptible to gaining weight due to an increased calorie consumption during night hours. The study is one of the largest and most diverse study regarding healthy patients with bad sleeping habits and who suffer from sleep restrictions. According to the results, patients who slept for only 4 hours every night, for 5 consecutive nights experienced a higher weight gain than patients who slept for 10 hours every night. Researchers report that the higher weight gain for the patients who were experiencing sleep restrictions is due…

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