Sleep

Why is sleep important?​

  • The body needs to sleep. Standard is 8 hrs/night 

  • It is estimated that not sleeping for 11 consecutive days will cause the body to shutdown and die.

 

True or False? Some people, due to fortunate genetics, need only 3-4 hours of sleep. False! This concept is not supported anywhere in the scientific literature.

 

The public is starting to clue into the importance of sleep. Even as short as 5 years ago, sleeping less was a badge of honor. CEOs and other world leaders would openly boast about how little sleep they would be getting.

 

Recently, however, this has changed. The most powerful and successful people in the world openly acknowledging the need for getting a good night’s sleep. (https://www.forbes.com/sites/rogertrapp/2018/03/04/more-sleep-not-less-is-the-secret-of-success/#7e6b0f4d18b2)

 

How does sleep help the body?

 

 

 

Lack of sleep and correlation with overall health

Cognition (attention, memory, learning)​

Bone health

  • A 2018 paper published in the journal Metabolism showed that acute sleep deprivation detrimentally alters bone metabolism and overall bone health—which can increase the risk of osteoporosis. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29229227)

Obesity

Insulin

  • A 2016 journal published in the journal Sleep Health found that depriving the body of sleep for 1-3 hours/night for 3 days severely reduced insulin sensitivity in a group of young adults and made them more intolerant to glucose. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5557027/)

Workplace performance

  • A 2016 paper found that total cost of insomnia exceeded $100 billion USD/year due to poorer workplace performance, increased health care utilization, and increased accident risk. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26874067)

Cancer 

Alzheimer’s

  • A 2018 study showed, using positron emission tomography (PET), that acute sleep deprivation caused beta-amyloid protein buildup in regions of the brain associated with Alzheimer’s disease. (https://www.pnas.org/content/115/17/4483)

Inflammation 

 

 

The bottom line: sleep deprivation increases our risk for basically every problem related to human metabolic health. 

 

 

How to sleep better?

1. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) 

 

2. Nutrition

  • A 2016 paper published in 2016 in JAMA Internal Medicine (great scientific research impact factor) showed that calorie restriction resulted in significantly better sleep—along with improved mood, sexual function, and quality of life in healthy non-obese adults. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27136347)
  • A 2017 study showed that eating a diet rich in zinc and astaxanthin for dinner help people fall asleep faster and slept better overall. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28019085)

 

3. Exercise

  • A 2016 study published in the journal Sleep Medicine showed that a group of Finnish men with chronic insomnia found significant improvements in all facets of sleep (falling asleep faster, sleep quality, sleep disturbance, and sleep duration) after participating in an aerobic exercise program for 6 months. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27823703)

 

4. Supplementation

Best natural products/supplements out there for sleep based on the scientific literature:

  • Magnolol—a major component of magnolia bark

  • Tart Cherry Juice

    • A 2012 Paper published showing that consumption of concentrated tart cherry juice increased exogenous melatonin levels in the brain that is helpful in improving both sleep quality and duration in both men and women. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22038497)

  • Phlorotannins found in edible brown seaweed

    • A 2018 paper showed that taking 500 mg of a phlorotannin supplement 30-60 minutes before bedtime lowered wakefulness after sleep, improved sleep duration, and improved overall sleep maintenance in individuals compared to placebo. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29368365)

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​© 2019 Health Unveiled

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