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
Tools for sleeping - bedding, medicines, etc.
Fun stuff - naps, deep sleep, mythology of sleep
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.
Sleep deprivation results in many long-term negative effects. Aside from increasing the risk of injuries, sleep deprivation increases the risk of obesity for those who suffer it in the long run. Over 40 studies have shown an inverse or U-shaped relationship between sleep times and weight gain. The U-shaped relationship refers to the fact that people who sleep very little and people who sleep a lot tend to be overweight or obese. Further sleep needs directly interfere with the appetite control mechanism hormones in the body. Severe deprivation results in decreased leptin and increased ghrelin levels -
Further, acute sleep deprivation reduces insulin sensitivity and produces changes in blood levels of cortisol and cytokines.
Many observers point to the decline in average sleep durations and the rise in mean body mass indices in recent decades as evidence that insufficient sleep is making us all fat. That is probably too much of a leap to posit this kind of cause and effects – the numbers on average sleep times are hard to figure out.
It is worth pointing out the distinction between insomnia and disturbed sleep. Insomnia refers to a subjective inability to fall or stay asleep, and chronic insomnia is due to circadian dysrhythmia, homeostatic dysregulation and hyperarousal.
A person can have insomnia but not disturbed sleep. When the person finally gets to sleep, he or she can sleep soundly. Young adults more typically have trouble falling asleep while old people have trouble staying asleep.
Insomnia, by this classification, often results in increased risk of depression, overall decreased productivity at work and in daytime activities. Disturbed sleep results in symptoms like those of sleep deprivation.