THE SLEEP SOLUTION
Rest Your Brain for a Slimmer Shape and Smoother Skin
Sleep plays a major role in preparing the body and brain for an alert, productive, psychologically and physiologically healthy tomorrow.
—James Maas, Ph.D., Power Sleep
From Dr. Amen's book: "Change your Brain Change your Body"
You know how bad you look and feel after a night of poor sleep. You feel like your head is glued to the pillow, and you can barely muster the energy to get out of bed. You shuffle to the bathroom, turn on the light, and come face-to-face with puffy bags and dark circles under your eyes. You head outside for your usual thirty-minute jog but stop after ten minutes because you feel whipped. Then you head to work, where you snap at your coworkers and customers because you are in a foul mood. It isn't a pretty picture, is it?
Good sleep is essential for optimal brain and body health. It is involved in rejuvenating all the cells in your body, gives brain cells a chance to repair themselves, and activates neuronal connections that might otherwise deteriorate due to inactivity. It is also necessary if you want to have glowing skin, high energy, a sunny mood, excellent health, and stable weight. Unfortunately, as many as seventy million Americans have trouble sleeping. If you are one of them, your brain and body could be in trouble.
ARE YOU GETTING ENOUGH SLEEP?
Many Americans aren't getting the sleep they need. According to the 2009 Sleep in America Poll, Americans are averaging only six hours and forty minutes of sleep on workdays and school nights. People tend to squeeze in an extra twenty-seven minutes of sleep on weekends. Even more disturbing, the percentage of people getting less than six hours of sleep has risen from 12 percent in 1998 to 20 percent in 2009, while the percentage of Americans getting a good eight hours a night has decreased from 35 percent in 1998 to 28 percent in 2009. The numbers reveal that getting a good night's sleep is becoming little more than an elusive dream for many Americans. Chronic sleep problems affect millions of us. Temporary sleep issues are even more common and will affect almost every one of us at some point in our lifetime.
Think about your own sleep habits. When was the last time you drifted off to sleep easily, slept soundly all night long, and woke up feeling refreshed and alert? When was the last time you hopped out of bed in the morning raring to go? When was the last time you sat down to watch a movie and didn't nod off? If you aren't getting adequate sleep, your brain and body are at risk.
Sleep troubles come in many varieties. Do you have trouble falling asleep? Do you go to sleep easily but wake up repeatedly throughout the night? Do you find it hard to drag yourself out of bed in the morning? Do you or your significant other snore? All of these problems can lead to decreased brain function and a second-rate body. Getting less than six hours of sleep a night has been associated with lower overall brain activity, which can affect your weight, your skin, your mood, your health, and your athletic performance ......
GET MORE SLEEP FOR SKIN THAT GLOWS
We often talk about getting our "beauty sleep," and we couldn't be more accurate with that description. Getting adequate sleep actually does far more for your skin than a medicine cabinet filled with wrinkle creams, moisturizers, acne treatments, and antiaging serums. With the right amount of sleep, your skin will look younger, smoother, and more refreshed. When you try to get by on little sleep, you set yourself up for premature aging of the skin, dark circles under the eyes, even acne. Here's how sleep can benefit your skin.
Rejuvenate the skin. Cell regeneration is a process during which old, dead skin cells are replaced with fresh new cells. This process goes on at all times within the body, but it happens more quickly at night so you generate more new skin cells while you sleep than at any other time. As we get older, cell replacement slows down, which makes sleep even more crucial if you want to delay the thin, saggy skin that comes with age.
Reverse skin damage. On a daily basis, your skin is faced with elements, including the sun's harmful UV rays, secondhand smoke, and other environmental pollutants, which cause premature aging and damage. While you sleep, your skin repairs itself from this daily damage.
Prevent acne. As we sleep, the brain regulates the body's hormones, including androgens, which stimulate the production of sebum, or oil, in glands located in the skin. When hormones are balanced, sebum production is regulated to help keep skin looking clear and smooth. Hormonal imbalances can cause too much sebum production, which can lead to acne.
CORRECT AMOUNT OF SLEEP PER AGE GROUP ----
AGE: 1-3 ..........12-14 HOURS
AGE: 3-5 ..........11-13 HOURS
AGE: 5-12 .........10-11 HOURS
AGE: 13-19.........9 HOURS
AGE: ADULTS...7-8 HOURS
AGE: SENIORS...7-8 HOURS
SLEEP DEPRIVATION IS HAZARDOUS TO YOUR HEALTH
Skimping on sleep can affect your health in more ways than you might imagine. It can even stunt growth in young people. Growth hormones produced in the brain are typically generated as we sleep. If youngsters don't get enough sleep, they may not produce enough of the hormones to fuel growth. Chronic sleep loss is also associated with a number of poor lifestyle choices as well as brain-related conditions and disorders that put your physical and mental health at risk.
Bad lifestyle habits When you don't get enough sleep, you are inclined to gulp more caffeine, smoke more, exercise less, and drink more alcohol. Studies show that sleep-deprived adolescents are also more likely to drink alcohol, smoke marijuana, and use other drugs than those who get enough sleep.
Type 2 diabetes Sleep deprivation can put you at risk for this serious condition. In a sleep study with healthy volunteers, those who got only 5.5 hours of bedtime experienced insulin resistance and impaired glucose tolerance— two precursors of diabetes—after just two weeks.
Depression Sleep deprivation has been linked to mood problems and depression in a number of scientific studies. One study published in the journal Sleep found that sleep problems are an early sign of depression and that treatment of sleep issues may protect individuals from developing the disorder. Similarly, researchers at the University of Rome who studied children between the ages of seven and eleven suffering from depression found that 82 percent of them reported having problems sleeping. Another study shows that insomnia in adolescents is a significant risk factor for depression later in life. Among the elderly, sleep deprivation may prolong bouts of depression.
Anxiety Research indicates that chronic sleep problems make you more vulnerable to the development of anxiety disorders.
ADD Sleep disturbances are very common in children and adults with ADD. Many have a harder time falling asleep, spend less time in the restorative rapid eye movement (REM) stage of sleep, and sleep fewer hours overall than people who don't have the disorder. Restless nights tend to worsen ADD symptoms.
Alzheimer's disease Research has found that people with sleep apnea may be more likely to develop Alzheimer's disease and that sleep apnea may worsen cognitive impairment in people with dementia. Treating sleep apnea has been shown to improve cognitive function in people with this disease.
Parkinson's disease People who thrash around while sleeping—a condition called REM sleep behavior disorder—may face a higher risk of developing Parkinson's disease, according to a study in the journal Neurology.
Stroke Sleep apnea significantly increases the risk of stroke.
Psychosis People can become psychotic from lack of sleep. I noticed this when I was chief of Community Mental Health at Fort Irwin in the Mojave Desert. Fort Irwin houses the National Training Center that teaches desert warfare to soldiers. The troops used to spend days at a time in war games without much sleep. As a result, after being awake for three days in a row, a number of soldiers began to hear voices and become paranoid.
Some time ago, my uncle started having problems with his memory—he couldn't remember where he parked the car and was forgetting people's names. The whole family was really concerned, so he went to the doctor and came back with a diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease. He was devastated. His brain SPECT scan showed severe decreased activity in the back half of his brain, a finding consistent with severe memory problems, but also consistent with what we have seen with severe sleep apnea. On testing, he was diagnosed with severe sleep apnea. Treatment helped his cognitive abilities improve significantly. This story shows how critical it is to get treated for sleep problems. But most people suffering from lack of sleep neglect to seek help. They don't view it as a medical problem and choose to simply live with it. That could be a life-threatening mistake.
DANGEROUS CONSEQUENCES OF SLEEP DEPRIVATION
Sleep deprivation slows reaction times, clouds judgment, affects vision, impairs information processing, and increases aggressive behavior. All of this........
DR. AMEN HAS MUCH MORE TO SAY ABOUT SLEEP, THE IMPORTANCE OF IT; WHAT CAUSES SLEEP PROBLEMS, AND HOW TO MAKE SURE YOU GET ENOUGH SLEEP.
HIS BOOK "CHANGE YOUR BRAIN CHANGE YOUR BODY" IS A MUST FOR EVERYONE WHO WANTS TO HAVE AND MAINTAIN GOOD HEALTH ALL THEIR LIFE.
I HAVE KNOWN ALL MY ADULT LIFE THAT I NEEDED 7 OR 8 HOURS OF SLEEP PER DAY. I JUST DID NOT FUNCTION WELL ON ANY LESS. BUT I DID NOT KNOW ALL THE POINTS ABOUT THE ESSENTIAL AMOUNT OF SLEEP THAT DR. AMEN BRINGS OUT - TRULY REVEALING AND EDUCATIONAL. THE CORRECT AMOUNT OF SLEEP IS VITAL FOR MANY THINGS IN OUR BODY, TO BE HEALTHY AND KEEP YOU YOUNG.