Mackie Shilstone / Fitness Expert
There have been plenty of studies along the way that link a lack of sleep to a host of health problems, and I have discussed many in the past. However, a new study possibly links even more health problems to those who get under six hours of sleep a night, and possibly less than eight. The study was based out of the Surrey Sleep Research Centre at Surrey University and reported just last month.
The study looked at 14 men and 12 women between the ages of 23 and 31 who were reported to be in good health. They separated the group into those who would get 10 hours of sleep a night and those who would get six hours a sleep a night. At the end of the study they deprived both groups of sleep and conduct a battery of blood and diagnostic tests. The group that received 10 hours of sleep did remarkably better in tests, even in the genetic testing that was performed.
The article is quoted describing the results as, 'Tests on people who slept less than six hours of sleep a night for a week revealed substantial changes in the activity of genes that govern the immune system, metabolism, sleep and wake cycles, and the body's response to stress, suggesting that poor sleep could have a broad impact on long-term wellbeing.'
The takeaway is that researchers are still trying understand exactly how, and to what extent, a lack of sleep negatively effects the body, but it is clear that without proper sleep, the body suffers. The general guide is that adults should get a minimum of eight hours of sleep a night, and maybe more depending on your current health status. My top five tips for getting a full night's sleep are:
- Modify your lifestyle so that you can get into a routine with a consistent bedtime.
- Turn off the electronics that over stimulate the brain an hour or two before bedtime. That way you can better transition into sleep.
- Avoid caffeine at least a few hours before bedtime as it stays in your system and can affect your ability to have quality sleep.
- Avoid big and heavy meals about four or five hours before bedtime.
- Eating healthier and exercising earlier in the day will fuel the body and naturally allow for better rest.
For more helpful health information, visit www.mackieshilstone.com.