50 Ways to Put the Boom Back in Boomer #6 – Sleeping In

Ah…the Sunday morning sleep in. What is it about sleeping in that is so enjoyable? You know, personally, I enjoy it more than a quick round of……

Almost anything else!

And after Super Softball Saturday, it’s a necessity.

Sleeping has long been touted as a cure all for many of life’s ailments. Whilst we know that sleep is vital for learning and memory, it also gives added value for your heart health and longevity. Here are a few surprising sleep facts to give you your Boom back:

1. Circadian rhythms influence immunity

If you’ve ever been afraid of getting sick when your sleep patterns are off, you might be on to something.

A study in mice published just last month in the journal Immunity shows that the circadian clock — which determines when we are tired, hungry or alert — is also in charge of controlling an immune system gene, HuffPost’s Catherine Pearson reported.

“People intuitively know that when their sleep patterns are disturbed, they are more likely to get sick,” study author Erol Fikrig, professor of epidemiology at the Yale School of Medicine, said in a statement. “It does appear that disruptions of the circadian clock influence our susceptibility to pathogens.”

2.  Insomnia can kill

Almost a quarter of adults aren’t happy with their sleep patterns, and as many as 10 percent of adults could actually have insomnia, according to a study that came out in January in the journal The Lancet.

The review of sleep shows that many Americans are plagued by sleep problems, like insomnia — which is linked with a higher risk of health conniptions like high blood pressure, diabetes and depression.

“Insomnia remains vastly under-diagnosed,” Russell Rosenberg, Ph.D, a board-certified sleep specialist and HuffPost blogger who was not associated with the report, told HuffPost’s Catherine Pearson. “There’s still a fair amount of confusion about where to go for help, and what kind of help there is for this very common — if not the most common — sleep disorder.”

3. Older people may sleep better than us all, suggests a new study in the journal SLEEP

Dr. Michael Grandner, a research associate at the Center for Sleep and Circadian Neurobiology at the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine, said the finding “flies in the face of popular belief,” and compels us to think about how we think about older people and sleep.

The study, which included 155,000 adults, showed that the oldest (people age 80 and older) were the least likely to report sleep disturbances and tiredness.

The researchers also found that as people got older, they reported fewer and fewer of these sleep issues (with the exception of people between ages 40 and 59 — especially women — who reported a small uptick in sleep problems, though the problems then appeared to decrease afterward).

4. Sleeping in may prevent Alzheimers

Having trouble staying asleep at night could also be linked with build-up of amyloid plaques — linked with Alzheimer’s disease — in the brain, according to research that will be presented at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology.

Researchers found that the more “efficient” sleepers in the study — that is, the people who spent more than 85 percent of time in their beds actually sleeping — were less likely to have the amyloid plaques than the “inefficient” sleepers — defined as people who spent less than 85 percent of time in their beds actually sleeping.

“Further research is needed to determine why this is happening and whether sleep changes may predict cognitive decline,” study researcher Yo-El Ju, MD, of the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, said in a statement.

5. Lack of sleep leads to fat kids

Australian researchers found last year that kids who go to bed late and wake up late have a 1.5 times higher risk of being obese, compared with kids who go to bed early and then wake up early.

Plus: The kids who slept late and the kids who slept early got the same amounts of shut-eye, meaning that the “timing of the sleep is even more important,” said study researcher Carol Maher, PhD, a postdoctoral fellow with the University of South Australia, said in a statement.

The early-to-bed, early-to-risers went to bed 70 to 90 minutes earlier and woke up 60 to 80 minutes earlier than their late-sleeping counterparts, as well as exercised 27 more minutes a day than the late risers, according to the SLEEP study. The late risers also played video games or watched TV for 48 more minutes a day than the early risers.

That’s because mornings might be better for physical activity, while late nights are more conducive to activities like TV-watching, researchers said.

6. Sleeping in helps to progress through all the sleep stages

For most adults, seven to eight hours may be the prime amount of sleep to get a night, while kids and newborns require even more sleep. As the NIH puts it, “how well rested you are and how well you function the next day depend on your total sleep time and how much of the various stages of sleep you get each night.”

7. Most people need more than 8 hours of sleep

Before the invention of the electric light in 1879, most people slept 10 hours each night, and this has recently been discovered as the ideal amount of sleep for optimum performance. Additionally, people in cultures that are free from the demands of modern society typically sleep 10 hours each night. There are big benefits to sleeping ten hours per night:

Research Center of the Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, Michigan, have demonstrated that alertness significantly increases when eight-hour sleepers who claim to be well rested get an additional two hours of sleep. Energy, vigilance, and the ability to effectively process information are all enhanced, as are critical thinking skills and creativity.

-James B. Maas, Power Sleep

8. Sleeping in allows for more time to practice Lucid Dreaming, allowing you to control your dreams and rehearse for waking life

A lucid dream is a dream in which you are aware that you are  dreaming. There are many reasons people decide to try lucid dreaming.  Here are a few of the more popular reasons:

  • Fun (ex. flying, superhero abilities)
  • Treatment for nightmares
  • Rehearsing an activity for your waking life (ex. sport, musical performance)
  • Self knowledge and personal growth

So Boomers – don’t wait ’til you retire, quit your job or swap it for a night time gig. Sleep, sleep, sleeping in is the key to long-gev-ity

 

You know you’re a Boomer when….

 

You REALLY need your beauty sleep and may kill someone if they upset your slumber!

 

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