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Catch That Elusive Sleep – Quick!

You’ll be surprised – it’s not just your job that affects how you sleep, but also how long takes you to get to your job. If your eyes suddenly felt heavy just by looking at those zzzz’s, it means one thing – ya gotta get some sleep. Seriously. Lack of sleep, according to a British study released recently, can be deadly. It can leave a person two times more susceptible to fatal heart disease.

More Surprises
Not getting enough sleep, according to a study conducted by the University of Warwick’s medical school, has been linked to rising blood pressure, which is in turn linked to higher risks of strokes and heart attacks.

The study, conducted over 17 years on 10,000 government employees, indicates that people who sleep two hours less, for example, turn their usual seven-hour snooze to just five or even less, twice the risk of death from heart disease, and greater risk of mortality from several other causes. The findings were presented recently at the British Sleep Society in Cambridge annual conference by University of Warwick’s medical school professor of cardiovascular medicine, Francesco Cappuccio, who headed study. A separate study, on the other hand, says that it’s not just the number of hours people spend at work that affect their sleep, it’s also the amount of time they spend commuting to work. according to recent published findings by a research team at the University of Pennsylvania.

Dr. Mathias Basner, lead researcher, said in the press statement, “These cross-sectional results in a nationally representative sample suggest that compensated work time is the most potent determinant of sleep time, in which case work time should be considered an important factor when evaluating the relationship between sleep time and morbidity and mortality.”

The study shows that people who work 93 minutes more during weekdays and 118 more during weekends than the average sleeper. get, on average, less than five hours of sleep a day. Simply put, if most your day is spent thinking of – and that includes the time spent traveling to work and bringing job worries at home and actually being at work, you tend to get less snooze time.

As you can see, not getting enough snooze time is not good at all. And it’s not just about being impatient or irritable, having a terrible time concentrating and being unproductive the next day. So if you have not been getting enough sleep lately, you have to fix that now and start getting ample snooze time.

Hit the Sack
Sleep, which is necessary for survival, is a state when the body is at its natural rest. The National Sleep Foundation recommends eight to nine hours of sleep while a psychiatry study conducted by the University of California. San Diego, seems to indicate that six to seven hours of sleep is best. The consensus is about 7 to 9 hours of sleep. Don’t oversleep, however, because that can also be bad for you. Separate researches done at the University College London and at the University of Warwick both indicate that oversleeping can also cause ill health.

So What do we do to make sure we get enough sleep?

  1. No alcohol before bed time, because alcohol can disrupt sleep.
  2. No nicotine (cigarettes and other tobacco products) before bedtime.
  3. No caffeine (coffee, soft drinks, tea, chocolate, etc.) before bedtime.
  4. Hit the gym or the floor, as the case may be -exercise. And do it regularly, too. But make sure you are not too pumped up before bedtime. It’s beat to work out at least three hours before you are supposed to hit the sack.
  5. Have a pre-snooze ritual. It should be relaxing, like taking a bath, easy reading, listening to music or laying in a hot tub.
  6. Setup a good sleep environment, one that will make you relax and enter dreamland instantly. A quiet, dark, cool and comfortable sleeping area usually does the trick.
  7. If you are having trouble sleeping, especially for an extended period or if you are experiencing daytime sleepiness on a regular basis, you may need to see a doctor. A sleep diary published by the National Sleep Foundation can also be helpful in tracking the number of hours of sleep you get and your sleep pattern.

By: Eden C. Carlos

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