9 Reasons to Sleep More

The ultimate pro-sleeper cheat sheet

You’ve heard the frightening list of things that can happen when you don’t get the sleep you need. From short-term avoidable accidents to long-term disease risk and early death, it’s enough to send us racing to our bedrooms. But what about the amazing benefits that are yours for the taking when you do get the sleep you need?

After all, wouldn’t you rather hear about the rewards for a change?

In the interest of brevity, we cut our list off at 9 but we challenge you to share more. Leave a note in the comments below and let the world in on your sleep secrets.

Live longer

When it comes to how long you’re going to live, there’s a lot of truth in the saying that genetics is a loaded gun – but your environment is the trigger. You may carry genes for a multitude of diseases, but whether you get them or not is largely dependent on how you live your life. If you want to live longer, sleep can be your best defense against a slew of diseases.

Maintain a healthy weight

Mattress manufacturers should consider giving away a free bathing suit with every purchase. Think we’re crazy? As wild as the idea sounds, substantial medical evidence suggests fascinating links between sleep and weight. According to WebMD.com, “Researchers say that how much you sleep and quite possibility the quality of your sleep may silently orchestrate a symphony of hormonal activity tied to your appetite.”

Manage stressful situations better

Some stress is good for us – like date night with your partner or accepting an award for a job well done. But some stress has the power to turn us into impatient toddlers, especially if we didn’t get a good night’s sleep. If you’re averaging four to five hours sleep a night, your brain reacts to stress as if you’ve gone for three consecutive nights without any sleep. Imagine the power you’ll have the next time your boss wigs out and you’ve had a good night’s sleep…

Reduce inflammation and pain

Heart disease, stroke, diabetes, arthritis and premature aging all have strong ties to inflammation. If you sleep less than six hours a night, your blood levels of inflammatory proteins may be higher than people who sleep more. Show your heart some love – put it to bed.

Enjoy physical activity

When’s the last night you had a terrible night’s sleep and bounced out of bed in the morning, energized and ready for a 10K run? We thought so. Sleep is the mop-up crew for your brain and body, cleaning up spills, reorganizing memories and repairing muscle tissue. Skip that important recovery time and you look more like the energizer bunny who didn’t make the cut.

Avoid accidents

In 2009, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that sleepy drivers are responsible for the most single car crashes – even more than alcohol. What’s downright sobering though is that even one sleep deprived night can impair your driving, mimicking the effects of an alcoholic drink.

Embrace lifelong learning

Just as sleep repairs muscle tissue, it also cleans out the synapses in your brain. Sleep facilitates the processing of memories, moving the important ones to storage and discarding the ones you won’t need tomorrow. Without sleep, your memories all stay in the short term retrieval area and learning complex skills becomes nearly impossible. So in essence, that 8-hour void of doing nothing other than sleep actually makes you smarter.

Fight depression

The relationship between sleep and depressive illness is complex – depression may cause sleep problems and sleep problems may cause or contribute to depressive disorders. But the evidence is clear: people with insomnia have a ten-fold risk of developing depression compared with those who sleep well, according to the National Sleep Foundation.

Enjoy more creativity

Ever notice how creativity ebbs and flows during the day? Depending on whether you’re a night hawk or early bird, you’ll enjoy spurts of creativity throughout the day – when your brain is most awake and energized. Without sleep, your brain lacks the fuel it needs to get into that creative zone. All work and no play make Jack a dull boy – without sleep, he’s really a drag.

Now you know the amazing benefits of a good night’s sleep. Who’s tucking in early tonight?


Eager for more sleep info you can really use? Join our communities on Facebook and Twitter and let’s continue the conversation. We’d love to hear what you have to say!

This blog was originally published on Restonic.com and does not provide medical advice. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on Restonic.com. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

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Your Heart and Sleep

Sleeping your way to a healthier heart

February is American Heart month. In honor of keeping our hearts happy and healthy, let’s take a closer look at how sleep and cardiac health affect one another. Poor sleep has been linked to high blood pressure, heart attack, diabetes and obesity. In turn, symptoms of heart disease, such as angina (chest pain) and sleep apnea (when breathing is briefly and repeatedly interrupted during sleep), can make it hard to get a good night’s sleep.

Your heart health is a literally a life and death matter. Sleep, the one thing that’s good for us that we actually enjoy, may be one of the most important keys to a longer, healthier life. We’ve dedicated this post to showing you just how heart health and sleep are related and simple things you can do to keep your heart healthy.

The importance of sleep in heart health

Although studying the link between sleep and heart health is relatively new, in 2011 the European Heart Journal reviewed 15 medical studies involving almost 475,000 people and found that short sleepers (6 hours or less each night) had a 48% increased risk of developing or dying from coronary heart disease in a 7 to 25-year follow-up period. Researchers caution though that the mechanisms behind shortened sleep and heart disease aren’t completely understood. “Lack of sleep doesn’t necessarily cause heart disease,” says Phyllis Zee, MD, PhD, professor of neurology and director of the Sleep Disorders Program at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine. “It really increases the risk factors for heart disease.” Read more at WebMD.com

Heart disease and interrupted sleep

The relationship between sleep apnea and heart disease is evolving quickly. Researchers now know certain symptoms of heart disease can impact how well you sleep. For example, angina can be so painful it wakes you up in the middle of the night and people with cardiovascular problems such as high blood pressure, heart failure, and stroke have a high prevalence of sleep apnea. Read more at SleepFoundation.org

How to keep your heart healthy

Although there’s still much to learn, there’s no doubting a link exists heart health and sleep. Sleep is just one of the many factors in keeping your heart healthy. Here are a few other ways to make sure your ticker keeps on ticking a little longer:

·Exercise often – Exercise is important for so many reasons – keeping your heart healthy is just one of them. Just 30-60 minutes of cardio exercise a day will do the trick. By the way, a walk before work, on your break or after work qualifies. Easy, right?

·Eat your fruit and veggies – Eat fruits and veggies, whole grains, avoid red meat and sugary, processed foods, and avoid foods high in sodium.

·Don’t forget about healthy fats – Omega-3 fatty acids protect against heart disease and have an anti-inflammatory effects. Cold water fish, such as trout and salmon, are a good source of omega-3.

·Load up on quality protein – Fish, chicken, turkey, eggs and diary are all good sources of protein. Protein is an important building block of bones, muscles, cartilage, skin and blood.

·Drink lots of water – Water is the key to life – literally. Drinking 64 ounces a day not only keeps your heart healthy – bonus, it boosts healthy skin tone, making you look younger. Talk about the fountain of youth!

·Manage stress – It’s important to learn how to recognize how stress affects you, learn how to deal with it and develop healthy habits to ease your stress. Read more at GoRedForWomen.org

 

 

Eager for more sleep info you can really use? Join our communities on Facebook and Twitter and let’s continue the conversation. We’d love to hear what you have to say!

 

This blog was originally published on Restonic.com and does not provide medical advice. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on Restonic.com. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

Your Heart & Sleep

Sleeping your way to a healthier heart

February is American Heart month. In honor of keeping our hearts happy and healthy, let’s take a closer look at how sleep and cardiac health affect one another. Poor sleep has been linked to high blood pressure, heart attack, diabetes and obesity. In turn, symptoms of heart disease, such as angina (chest pain) and sleep apnea (when breathing is briefly and repeatedly interrupted during sleep), can make it hard to get a good night’s sleep.

Your heart health is a literally a life and death matter. Sleep, the one thing that’s good for us that we actually enjoy, may be one of the most important keys to a longer, healthier life. We’ve dedicated this post to showing you just how heart health and sleep are related and simple things you can do to keep your heart healthy.

The importance of sleep in heart health

Although studying the link between sleep and heart health is relatively new, in 2011 the European Heart Journal reviewed 15 medical studies involving almost 475,000 people and found that short sleepers (6 hours or less each night) had a 48% increased risk of developing or dying from coronary heart disease in a 7 to 25-year follow-up period. Researchers caution though that the mechanisms behind shortened sleep and heart disease aren’t completely understood. “Lack of sleep doesn’t necessarily cause heart disease,” says Phyllis Zee, MD, PhD, professor of neurology and director of the Sleep Disorders Program at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine. “It really increases the risk factors for heart disease.” Read more at WebMD.com

Heart disease and interrupted sleep

The relationship between sleep apnea and heart disease is evolving quickly. Researchers now know certain symptoms of heart disease can impact how well you sleep. For example, angina can be so painful it wakes you up in the middle of the night and people with cardiovascular problems such as high blood pressure, heart failure, and stroke have a high prevalence of sleep apnea. Read more at SleepFoundation.org

How to keep your heart healthy

Although there’s still much to learn, there’s no doubting a link exists heart health and sleep. Sleep is just one of the many factors in keeping your heart healthy. Here are a few other ways to make sure your ticker keeps on ticking a little longer:

  • Exercise often – Exercise is important for so many reasons – keeping your heart healthy is just one of them. Just 30-60 minutes of cardio exercise a day will do the trick. By the way, a walk before work, on your break or after work qualifies. Easy, right?
  • Eat your fruit and veggies – Eat fruits and veggies, whole grains, avoid red meat and sugary, processed foods, and avoid foods high in sodium.
  • Don’t forget about healthy fats – Omega-3 fatty acids protect against heart disease and have an anti-inflammatory effects. Cold water fish, such as trout and salmon, are a good source of omega-3.
  • Load up on quality protein – Fish, chicken, turkey, eggs and diary are all good sources of protein. Protein is an important building block of bones, muscles, cartilage, skin and blood.
  • Drink lots of water – Water is the key to life – literally. Drinking 64 ounces a day not only keeps your heart healthy – bonus, it boosts healthy skin tone, making you look younger. Talk about the fountain of youth!

 

  • Manage stress – It’s important to learn how to recognize how stress affects you, learn how to deal with it and develop healthy habits to ease your stress. Read more at GoRedForWomen.org

 

 

Eager for more sleep info you can really use? Join our communities on Facebook and Twitter and let’s continue the conversation. We’d love to hear what you have to say!

 

This blog was originally published on Restonic.com and does not provide medical advice. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on Restonic.com. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.