Sleep…What is The Ideal Amount? Shock Research That Will Change Your Attitude
4 Important Health Facts You Need To Know
Research about sleep produced by the University of Warwick and University College London has come up with some amazing information.
Health Fact 1
Fewer hours sleep and greater levels of sleep disturbance have become widespread in industrialised societies. This change, largely the result of sleep curtailment to create more time for leisure and shift-work, has meant that reports of fatigue, tiredness and excessive daytime sleepiness are more common than a few decades ago. Sleep represents the daily process of physiological restitution and recovery, and lack of sleep has far-reaching effects.
Health Fact 2
Short sleep has been shown to be a risk factor for weight gain, hypertension and Type 2 diabetes sometimes leading to mortality.
Health Fact 3
Those who had cut their sleeping from 7 hours to 5 hours or less faced a 1.7 fold increased risk in mortality from all causes, and twice the increased risk of death from a cardiovascular problem in particular.
Health Fact 4
Curiously the researchers also found that too much sleep also increased mortality. They found that those individuals who showed an increase in sleep duration to 8 hours or more a night were more than twice as likely to die as those who had not changed their habit, however, predominantly from non-cardiovascular diseases.
Research paper entitled: “A prospective study of change in sleep duration; associations with mortality in the Whitehall II cohort” University of Warwick and University College London
What does this mean for you?
♦ Everybody needs good quality, restful sleep in order that their bodies and minds can regenerate. An ideal sleep amount is 7 hours.
♦ Lack of sleep can result in weight gain.
♦ If we curtail our sleep we will increase the likelihood of ill-health and premature death.
♦ You can’t make up for poor quality sleep by just sleeping longer. Regularly sleeping more than 8 hours can also increase the likelihood of health problems and even early death.
What can you do about it?
Learning to relax before bedtime is one sure way of making sure you get a restful night’s sleep. We all suffer from some degree of thought overload at bedtime, sometimes more than others depending on what is going on in our lives. Here is a really simple and easy to do exercise to relax you before sleeping and to help you empty your mind.
Progressive Muscle Relaxation.
☆ Lay down and make sure you are comfortable. Try and empty your mind of all thought and start to breathe slowly and regularly. Just do this for a few minutes before moving to the next step.
☆ Next become aware of your body. Starting at the top of your head notice the sensations you are feeling in your scalp. Let your focus move on down through your body, being aware of all of the sensations you are experiencing and the connection between your body and the bed.
☆ As your focus moves on down through your body, become aware of your muscles. As you are doing this, momentarily tense each muscle and then release it.
☆ At the same time breathe in and out steadily, try to breathe in slowly and deeply. Tense your muscles on the intake of breath and release it as you exhale.
☆ Continue to focus on these exercises and if your mind wanders, gently bring it back to the sensations of your body.
☆ Work from the top of your body downwards and then back up to the top. If you have noticed any areas that feel particularly tense, spend more time on these before moving on.
☆ You can continue to do these exercises as many times as you wish but most people find that they begin to feel sufficiently relaxed quite quickly if they maintain their focus and concentrate on the exercises they are doing.
How many hours sleep a night do you manage to have?