Radio Shows | We Just Don't Get Enough Sleep | mp3 … wma … wav
Most people I know donít seem to get enough sleep… with the pressures of demanding jobs and household duties, itís just hard to get more than six hours a night.
I have that problem but after todayís episode, Iím going to try a lot harder because a study now confirms a link between consistently sleeping less than six hours a day and early death.
Wow. I didnít know it was that serious!
Researchers compiled and analyzed data from 16 studies in Europe, Asia and the US covering 25 years, 1.3 million people and over 100-thousand deaths.
It showed those who sleep less than 6 hours are 12-percent more likely to die early than those who slept 6 to8 hours every night.
So whatís happening during sleep and why is it so important? When weíre awake a chemical called adenosine may be building up in our blood to cause drowsiness. The chemical gradually breaks down while we sleep.
And as we fall asleep neurons in the brainstem appear to switch off the signals that keep us awake.
While scientists are still figuring out why we need sleep, animal studies show itís necessary for survival. Sleep is essential for well functioning immune and nervous systems.
On too little sleep, our memory and physical performance can suffer and we canít do math as well. Really deny us sleep and we can hallucinate and develop mood swings.
Some experts believe sleep gives neurons a chance to shut down and repair themselves. Otherwise they could malfunction from being depleted of energy or polluted with cellular byproducts.
Sleep may also allow the brain to exercise important neuronal connections that could deteriorate from lack of activity.
Sleep researchers still have much to learn which is amazing since we spend a third of our lives sleeping Ė or do we anymore?
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