Monday, April 29, 2013

Sleep: Up All Night

Happy Monday Bleeps!

I could use a nap...seriously, a day full of sleep would be nice. And speaking of sleep, tonight feels like a good night to recap the Sleep webinar that I attended last week.

Sleep: Up All Night

We all love sleep  and we know we are supposed to do it, but why?  Why is sleep so important?  It does more than just rests and energizes us. It's also when the brain reorganizes memories.  It's when hormones are released.

37% of Americans say that they have been so sleepy during the day that it interferes with daily activity.

Nightly recommendations
Newborns: 10.5-18 hours
Children ages 5-12: 10-11 hours
Teens: 8.5-9.25 hours
 Adults: 7-9 hours
 *Should increase if sleep deprived from the previous day

He asked us what we thought the longest that anyone has ever gone without sleep.  I was STUNNED. 18 days 21 hours and 40 minutes. Without sleep for that long, the person experienced hallucinations, paranoia, and memory loss.

If you suffer short lived insomnia don't worry. It's normal and usually doesn't indicate a problem. The bigger concern is chronic sleep loss. This can lead to: weight gain, heart problems, mood swings, less  powerful immune system, problems with learning and memory.

And speaking of learning and memory...sleep allows you to form memories.  Studies have shown that people slept after learning a task did better on tests later. *Staying up to cram all night is bad for memory retention.

You know everything that interests me these days relates to weight. Sleep is important for metabolism and weight control. It affects the way our bodies process and store carbohydrates.  It also changes the levels of hormones that affect our appetite and make us hungry.  Studies have shown that Americans who average 5 hours of sleep or less are more prone to weight gain. You do NOT have to tell me twice!

*1/4 of children who slept less than 10 hours became overweight by age 6

If I do not get enough sleep I am cranky!  Sleep affects your mood and productivity.  Sleep loss may make you unable to concentrate, moody, impatient, and irritable.

Long term sleep loss increases the risk for hypertension. Americans who average less than 6 hours of sleep are 3.5 times more likely to develop hypertension.

Did you know that you are at at a higher risk for a heart attack first thing in the morning? The increase in heart rate from sleep to awake is startling on the body.

One thing that scares me is Sleep Apnea. Apnea means "without breath". You literally stop breathing while you sleep. It can stop more than 100 times. Often for a minute or longer.  The symptoms of Sleep Apnea are: Snoring, overweight (men with a neck size of 17 inches or more, women with a neck size of 16 inches or more), high blood pressure, and headaches in the morning.

How fast do you fall asleep?  On gym nights I can fall asleep the moment my head hits the pillow. Those years when I drank diet soda from morning til bed was a different story. I could lay in bed for an hour before sleep.

0-5 minutes is not enough. That means you are too exhaused.
5-15 minutes is healthy.
15-30 minutes means too much stress.
30-60 minutes is insomnia
60 minutes plus you should see a specialist.

There are 5 stages of sleep and you should cycle through 5-7 times a night. Each cycle lasts 90 minutes.

Stage 1 - Light Sleep
twitchy, lasts a few minutes

Stage 2 - 50%
on set of sleep, brain activity is slower, 20 minutes per cycle

Stage 3 - 1st Deep sleep
difficult to wake up

Stage 4 - 2nd Deep sleep

Stages 3 & 4 are important to feel refreshed. This is non-REM sleep.

Stage 5 - Rem (rapid eye movement)
25%, dreaming, breathing and heart rate increase, starts approx 70-90 minutes after sleep starts

Tips for Better sleep (gotta say that I love that I started doing this on my own, before I even heard it)
*Avoid vigorous exercise 2-4 hours prior to bedtime
*Avoid long naps and keep any napping under 30 minutes
*Don't nap late in the day
*Avoid substances that interfere with sleep
      -Sleeping Pills
      -Alcohol, spicy foods, caffeine, nicotine
      -limit liquids in the evening
      -take medicine early
      -limit caffeine to morning

You cannot relax if you body is stimulated. Oh and decaf is not caffeine free.

There are certain medicines that keep you awake.

When it comes to bed time, for both children and adults, follow a regular pre-sleep routine.
*go to bed at the same time
*have relaxing activities as part of the routine
*use bed only for sleep and intimacy, not watching tv
*read a book or magazine (without pictures...images stimulate the brain)
*think of a relaxing place

Practice stress relief activities:
*yoga, guided breathing
*progressive relaxation

Eat light in the evening
*Digestion is slowed while you sleep
*full stomach before bed can cause indigestion, gas, or difficulty sleeping
*light snack
*avoid chocolate (caffeine)

Invest in a good bed and clear clutter from the room. Make it a dark and quiet area. Keep a notebook next to bed and write out your to do list. Clear it from your mind before sleep. Turn off the lights

It was all good stuff. And on that note, I shall bid you all a pleasant night of sleep. I am ready for some ZZZzzz's

Have a Blessed Night my friends.

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