Good Sleep For Good Health

All About Sleep

Sleep makes you strong, makes you feel good. It is an important element of human flourishing and well-being, both subjectively and objectively. Sleep is necessary for a healthy and balanced life. Your body and your brain are active when you sleep. We need to sleep long enough (quantity) and well enough (quality) to function well during waking hours. Nearly all physiological and behavioral functions in humans occur on a rhythmic basis, which in turn leads to diurnal rhythms in human performance capabilities. Sleepdex is dedicated to raising awareness of sleep issues and encouraging people to take sleep seriously.

About Insomnia - types, causes, solutions

Sleep Disorders - apnea, restless legs syndrome, narcolepy, and many more

Circadian rhythms - the cycles of the day and night

How healthy sleep helps you

Drowsy driving

Social and Economic Costs of Insomnia

Tools for sleeping - bedding, medicines, etc.

Fun stuff - naps, deep sleep, mythology of sleep

Sleep and physical and mental health

Most adults need around seven or eight hours of sleep every night to function well. Although many people claim they require less, doctors who study sleep find only 10% require significantly more or less sleep. A chronic lack of sleep and untreated sleep disorders may be factors in the development of cardiovascular disease, obesity, and diabetes.

"Sleep rock thy brain" – Shakespeare, Hamlet

Sleep is an active behavior. Your body and your brain are active when you sleep. Biochemical and neurobiological functions take place all night long. Contrary to popular belief, the brain does not "shut down" during sleep.

Featured: Time Spent Sleeping

sleeping horse

The US Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics produces an American Time Use Survey.

College students are said to sleep an average of 8.7 hours per day (24-hour period).

You can see the average by age group for American aged 15 and up at http://www.bls.gov/tus/charts/sleep.htm

Note that the time spent sleeping generally decreases as age increase until we get to the top age group – 65 and over, which shows an increase from middle-aged adults. This is probably due to opportunity to sleep among retired folk more than an increased need for sleep.

Do people really know how much sleep they are getting? No. When falling asleep the memory function can be shortchanged - the low grade amnesia of sleep makes people overestimate their sleep latency.

Sleep deprivation and apnea can put stress on the body and raise blood pressure and cause the release of cytokines by the immune system, putting stress on the cardiovascular system. Sleep-disordered breathing may cause abnormal lipid metabolism, and SDB and sleep deprivation may be tied to metabolic syndrome, which afflicts tens of millions of Americans

Featured: Hyperarousal as a Cause of Insomnia

hammock

Hyperarousal and insomnia

If hyperarousal causes insomnia, the sleep-promoting and arousal systems in the brain are both active. The arousal system is elevated both day and night. Brain scans show insomniacs have higher levels of glucose metabolism while awake and asleep.

This could also explain why people with PTSD have insomnia – they have hypervigilance and cannot tone down their arousal.

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