Quote of the Week: The best cure for insomnia is to get a lot of sleep. W.C. Fields
There is always something extremely frustrating about learning how much sleep deprivation, even in small amounts, can affect us negatively. I mean how many people do we know who don’t like sleep? Most of us like it and would like more of it, but usually because of kids, jobs, and the demands of life, we just don’t sleep as much as we should! So I thought I would hand out a little bad news, but report a little good news as well. First the bad…
According to some research regarding the thyroid, here are just a few things that inadequate sleep can get you:
1.It interferes with the body’s ability to metabolize carbohydrates and causes high blood levels of glucose, which leads to higher insulin levels and greater body-fat storage.
2. It drives down leptin levels, which causes the body to crave carbohydrates.
3. It can reduce levels of growth hormone–a protein that helps regulate the body’s proportions of fat and muscle.
4. It can lead to insulin resistance and contribute to increased risk of diabetes
5. It can increase blood pressure
6. It can an increase the risk of heart disease
Now here’s some good news: a power nap goes along way! I feel like I walk around most of the time not very well rested. But actually, a power nap is an amazing reguivinator, and I get one of those fairly often, so I must be doing better than I thought. According to The Ririan Project, the benefits of a power nap are many. But how long is enough? Here is how he describes the naps in terms of time:
THE NANO-NAP: 10 to 20 seconds. Sleep studies haven’t yet concluded whether there are benefits to these brief intervals, like when you nod off on someone’s shoulder on the train.
THE MICRO-NAP: two to five minutes. Shown to be surprisingly effective at shedding sleepiness.
THE MINI-NAP: five to 20 minutes. Increases alertness, stamina, motor learning, and motor performance.
THE ORIGINAL POWER NAP: 20 minutes. Includes the benefits of the micro and the mini, but additionally improves muscle memory and clears the brain of useless built-up information, which helps with long-term memory (remembering facts, events, and names).
THE LAZY MAN’S NAP: 50 to 90 minutes. Includes slow-wave plus REM sleep; good for improving perceptual processing; also when the system is flooded with human growth hormone, great for repairing bones and muscles.
Are you power napping? What’s keeping you from those little moments of zzzzzzz?