napA short nap can help relieve stress and bolster the immune systems of men who slept only two hours the previous night, according to a new study published in the Endocrine Society’s Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism (JCEM).

Lack of sleep is recognized as a public health problem. Insufficient sleep can contribute to reduced productivity as well as vehicle and industrial accidents, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In addition, people who sleep too little are more likely to develop chronic diseases such as obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure and depression.

Nearly three in 10 adults reported they slept an average of six hours or less a night, according to the National Health Interview Survey.

“Our data suggests a 30-minute nap can reverse the hormonal impact of a night of poor sleep,” said one of the JCEM study’s authors, Brice Faraut, PhD, of the Université Paris Descartes-Sorbonne Paris Cité in Paris, France. “This is the first study that found napping could restore biomarkers of neuroendocrine and immune health to normal levels.” Read the rest of this entry

A recent poll conducted by the Centers  for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) ranks Oklahoma the fourth sleepiest  state in the country.  It’s a huge problem. About 30 percent of Americans report having difficulty  falling or staying asleep, while some 10 percent have chronic insomnia.  According to the CDC poll, 14.3 percent of Oklahoma adults report they’re not  getting enough sleep. West  Virginia leads the country at 19.3 percent, followed by Tennessee  at 14.8 percent and Kentucky,  14.4 percent. Insufficient sleep can result in moodiness, irritability and  increased risk for auto and workplace accidents.

 In order to get better sleep  try to go to bed and get up about the same times every day, eat well and avoid  late-night meals, exercise regularly and finally, maintain a cool, dark and  quiet bedroom without distractions such as television or work  projects.

 

What is the best time in a day to exercise? The morning or the evening?

New research on physical activity and sleep architecture being presented at the 58th Annual Meeting of the American College of Sports Medicine and the 2nd World Congress on Exercise is Medicine may finally answer that age-old question. For the best sleep, researchers say, work out in the morning.

Insufficient sleep threatens our country’s health by contributing to chronic diseases, such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease and obesity,” said Scott Collier, Ph.D., FACSM, lead author of the study. “Exercise is proven to improve the quality of sleep, and our team wanted to see if the timing of exercise could maximize these benefits.”

Researchers with Appalachian State University studied the effects of exercise timing on the sleep patterns of six male and three female subjects. Each subject visited the lab on three separate occasions at pre-determined times – one at 7 a.m., one at 1 p.m. and one at 7 p.m. – for 30 minutes of treadmill exercise. At night, subjects wore a sleep-monitoring headband to measure sleep stage time and quality of sleep. Read the rest of this entry

National Sleep Awareness Week:March 7-13

March 7-13, 2011 is the National Sleep Awareness Week.

Sleep impairment is linked as a contributing factor to motor vehicle crashes, industrial disasters, and medical and other occupational errors.

People experiencing sleep insufficiency are more likely to have chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, depression, or obesity.

In 2008, approximately 28 percent of surveyed adults in the U.S. reported frequent insufficient sleep, which as been associated with fair/poor general health, frequent mental distress, depressive symptoms, anxiety, and pain.

Sleep insufficiency and poor sleep quality also can result from sleep disorders such as chronic insomnia, restless legs syndrome, and sleep apnea.

The National Sleep Foundation suggests that healthy adults need 7-9 hours of sleep per day, and school-age children might require 10-11 hours of sleep.

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