Sleep and Physical & Mental Health, Cause and Effect
The average human spends roughly one third of their lives asleep. Studies have proven again and again that everybody needs 7, if not 8 hours of sleep every night. If you struggle to sleep through the night, consider a consultation. Your sleepless nights may be easily curable. Continue reading below to learn more.
You may ask yourself, 'why, exactly, does the body invest such a large amount of time resting?' Could we find a way to sleep less and spend more of our lives awake?
Back in 1981, Mary Carskaden and Dr. William Dement asked these very questions. They conducted an experiment with students of Stanford University (Palo Alto), CA. The study asked the participating students to sleep only 5 hours every night as opposed to their usual seven hours.
After the second day, most students exhibited signs of fatigue. During the third and fourth days they demonstrated what DR. Dement described as "twilight zone" behavior. On the 5th and 6th days, they would fall asleep in less than five minutes whenever they found themselves in an environment conducive to sleep, such as lecture hall or classroom.
Some people exhibit this behavior outside of any kind of sleep study. They live with a condition know as chronic partial sleep deprivation. A person who sleeps only 5 instead of 7 hours is said to have acquired 2 hours of sleep debit, if that scenario is repeated for five consecutive days, this person has acquired 10 hours of sleep debit during the work week and it must be recovered over the weekend.
Sleep seems like a period when we are doing nothing, but in truth, it is a time of great activity for our bodies.
Consider the following measures we take to heal during sleep:
- During the slow wave of sleep (the deepest sleep) 75%-80% of total growth hormones is produced. In children and adolescents, these hormones are essential for growth of bones and muscles. In adults, HGH help metabolize lipids (fat) to generate energy need for physical recuperation.
- The heart rate and blood pressure is at its lowest during any given 24 hours period due to inhibition of the sympathetic nervous system. These periods of rest allow the body to concentrate its energy on healing, and not on pumping blood.
- During sleep, any damaged cells begin to repair themselves. They cannot begin this repair until the body has shut down, and they do not need to perform their given function.
For the last 20 years, I have seen patients with health problems such as diabetes and obesity achieve amazing improvement after treating sleep disorders such as insomnia, obstructive sleep apnea, and disruptive dreams. The path toward better health may lie in your sleep patterns. Schedule a consultation today.