THE SHORTER YOUR SLEEP, THE SHORTER YOUR LIFE
The shorter your sleep, the shorter your life. The decimation of sleep throughout industrialized nations is having a catastrophic impact on our health, or wellness, even the safety and education of our children, it’s a silent sleep loss epidemic, and it’s fast becoming one of the greatest public health challenges that we face in the 21st century.
The distruption of deep sleep is an under appreciated factor that is contributing to cognitive decline or memory decline in aging, and most recently we’ve discovered, in Alzheimer’s disease as well.
There is a structure that sits on the left and the right side of your brain, called the hippocampus, it’s very good at receiving new memory files and hen holding on to them. Yet those people who were sleep-deprived, we actually couldn’t find any significant signal whatsoever.
Without sleep, the memory circuits of the brain essentially become waterlogged, as it were, and you can’t absorb new memories. We have since discovered that a lack of sleep will even erode the very fabric of biological life itself, your DNA genetic code.
So here in this study, they took a group of healthy adults and they limited them to six hours of sleep a night for one week, and then they measured the change in their gene activity profile relative to when those same individuals were getting a full eight hours of sleep a night.
And there were two critical findings:
First, a sizeable and significant 711 genes were distorted in their activity, caused by a lack of sleep.
The second result was that about half of those genes were actually increased in their activity genes associated with the promotion of tumors, genes associated with long-term chronic inflammation, and genes associated with stress, and, as a consequence, cardio-vascular disease.
It is worthy of note that the body goes through three cycles in a day. The first cycle occurs between 4.00 am and 12.00 noon when general detoxification of the body takes place. Here, the body tries
to eliminate toxins and clean house.
The second cycle is between 12.00noon and 8.00pm when the body works on food to nurish itself.
The third is when the body repairs itself, this happens between 8.00 am and 4.00 am. The third cycle takes place essentially when the body is at rest, during deep sleep state, when the body repair works takes place.
If sleep is disrupted the body loses its natural rhythm and the body is hindered from performing its self healing and repairing damages.
There is simply no aspect of your wellness that can retreat at the sign of sleep deprivation and get away unscathed. And at this point you may be thinking, “Oh my goodness, how do I start to get better sleep? What are you tips for good sleep?”
The first is regularity.
Go to bed at the same time, wake up at the same time, no matter whether its weekend or the weekday. Regularity is king, and it will anchor your sleep and improve the quality of that sleep.
The second is keep it cool.
Your body needs to drop its core temperature by about two to three degrees Fahrenheit to initiate sleep and then to stay asleep, and it’s the reason you will always find it easier to fall asleep in a room that’s too cold than too hot. So aim for a bedroom temperature of around 65 Fahrenheit degrees, or about 18 degree Celsius. That’s going to be optimal for the sleep of most people.
Sleep unfortunately, is not an optional lifestyle luxury. Sleep is a non negotiable biological necessity. It is your life-support system.
The recommended number of hours to achieve quality sleep is seven for adults, with that number varying slightly based on gender, age, and general health. Poor sleep is responsible for a number of conditions and symptoms, including mid-day fatigue, inability to focus, and an increase in stress responses.
Anyone who finds themselves often tossing and turning during the night or scrolling endlessly through their phone instead of sleeping, there are a few supplements and lifestyle changes that can get you back into a healthy sleep routine. The excellent news is that natural remedies can often make all the difference in getting a good night’s rest with no need to rely on prescription medications.