Thursday, January 08, 2015

Interesting facts about sleep

This article discusses a few interesting facts about sleep.

A proper sleep cycle ensures the well-being of our physical and mental health, but surprisingly we do very little to maintain our sleep cycle. These intriguing facts about sleep will motivate, if not coerce, you to take your 'sleep' more seriously.

· Economizing on sleep may lead to shrinking of brain
It's a fact that human brain does shrink with age, but people who sleep for less duration are prone to increased rate of reduction. The fact is backed by a research. There are many factors like cholesterol levels, physical activity which are linked to the rate of change in brain volume over a period of time—and sleep has emerged as one of the important factors. A study carried out by Claire Sexton, DPhil, lead researcher found that people who sleep less clocked a higher rate of decline in the size of the frontal, temporal, and parietal lobe areas of the brain.

· Less sleep may lead to or speed up Dementia 
Researchers and doctors promote sleep for an enhanced memory. Now studies have found out that less sleep may lead to dementia or accelerate the emergence of this disease. More research is needed to establish if lack of sleep actually causes dementia; till then, the best thing to do is to relax and sleep for sufficient number of hours.

· Brain makes decision while we are asleep
Remember those times when you were irked to make a decision but couldn't make it. You closed your work and went to sleep. And when you woke up you realized that you've made the decision. Ever wondered why and how? This is a result of your brain that was busy organizing information, processing data and clearing up unnecessary information while you were asleep. The fact was brought to light in a study that was done by a team of French and UK researchers. In this research, a group of adults were given a task of word classification, one when they were awake, and the other while they were asleep. The researchers found that same pattern of brain activities were happening when individuals were presented with even more words while they were asleep. This perfectly explains why we respond when someone calls out our name while we are asleep.

· Sleep Apnea can be treated better with the help of family
Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder which is characterized by breathing pauses or breaks during sleep. There are two types of sleep apnea: obstructive sleep apnea and central sleep apnea. The problem can be mild or severe, based on how often your lungs don't get enough air. Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) is the best method for treating sleep disorders. Family support is vital to make a person adhere to this treatment. Studies suggest, people who rated their family relationship quality higher, adhered to CPAP treatment more closely.

· Night birds have more difficulty sticking to an exercise routine
Early risers are found to be disciplined when it comes to exercise routine. It is quite easy for them to get out of bed early morning, and go out for jogging, running, or other exercises. While on the other hand, night owls find it troublesome to stick to an exercise routine. For them getting out of bed early morning is next to impossible. In a study, it was found that night owls generally spent their time sitting aimlessly, feel like doing nothing and gave excuses for not being able to exercise like insufficient number of hours in the day.

· Sleeping with a pet alongside messes your sleep
The world is filled with pet lovers. Out of these pet lovers some even go to an extent where they share bed with their pets. This may sound wonderful but it actually affects your sleep. A research presented at the annual meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies, found that 30% of pet owners who shared bed with their pets get interrupted sleep as they had to get up at least once in the night due to the barks, meows, tail wags, and more. So, overall this idea of sharing bed, however cute it sounds, will disrupt your sleep and affect your health.

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