Sleep is total restoration and rejuvenation of the body and mind. Sleep is essential in preventing the aging process and maintaining optimum health.
Weintraub (2006) found research on sleep deprivation showing that even at six hours a night, there are many changes occurring in the body. Insulin rises to pre-diabetes levels and there's an astonishing increase in heart disease. (Maher) 2006 found insomnia is the inability to sleep, a condition in which many people deal with today.
Stress, too much caffeine, depression, changes in work shifts, and pain from medical problems, such as arthritis can trigger insomnia. Poor sleep is related to large amounts of anxiety causing stress, worry and tension, and especially if marked by failing memory, consider adding the combination of Phosphatidylserine and DHEA. These are 'nootropics' (smart nutrients) which improve learning and memory, reduce fatty deposits in aging nerve cells (lipofuscin), and even support nerve and memory regeneration while relieving stress caused depression. They also counter the effect of excess cortisol, the "great brain ager".
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Exercise As A Sleep Aid:
Exercise is one of the most powerful sleep aids known to medicine. A study at Stanford found that moderate exercise, four days a week, resulted in almost an hour of additional sleep among people over 50 with mild sleep disorders.
Sleep For Optimum Health:
In an article by Winkelman (2004), ample sleep is absolutely necessary for optimum health, ranking right up there with eating right and exercising. Lack of sleep makes people more vulnerable to infection.
Recent experiments have shown that when not getting enough sleep, the human immune system produces fewer infection-fighting antibodies which will result in illness and an increase in disease. Inadequate sleep also makes one vulnerable to several other diseases.
Click To Enlarge.
When Not Getting Enough Sleep, The Human Immune System
Produces Fewer Infection-Fighting Antibodies.
Researchers at the University of Chicago studied volunteers who slept just four hours a night for six straight days. They found hormonal and metabolic systems in disarray. The researchers found that chronic sleep loss might both hasten the onset and increase the severity of diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity and memory loss.
The researchers showed that just one week of sleep deprivation altered subject's hormone levels and their capacity to metabolize carbohydrates. Winkelman (2004) found that during sleep-deprivation, the men's blood sugar levels took 40% longer to drop following a high-carbohydrate meal, compared with the sleep-recovery period. Their ability to secrete and respond to the hormone insulin, which helps regulate blood sugar, dropped by 30%.
These changes echo the effects of insulin resistance, a precursor to type two diabetes. In addition, the sleep-deprived men had higher nighttime concentrations of the hormone cortisol, which also helps regulate blood sugar, and lower levels of thyroid-stimulating hormone. These raised cortisol levels mimic levels that are often seen in older people, which is linked with age-related insulin resistance and memory loss.
Sleep & Obesity:
Vgontzas (2005) found the newest study on obesity, from Columbia University, is just the latest to find that adults who sleep the least appear to be the most likely to gain weight and to become obese. People with disrupted sleep or people who are up late at night or get up frequently in the night are putting their health at risk causing their body to age more rapidly.
Getting Enough Sleep:
Naps can be extremely beneficial and can help counter harmful effects of sleep loss. Mercola (2005) researched subjects who got at least 9 hours of sleep. The subjects' blood sugar and hormone concentrations were restored after the sleep-recovery period.
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Research has shown that in developed countries, the average night's sleep has grown shorter since the beginning of the century, from 9 hours to 7.5 hours.
Many people are giving up sleep to make room for work and leisure, which is greatly accelerating their aging process. Yet more than 65 percent of Americans regularly don't get enough sleep, according to the National Sleep Foundation, in Washington, D.C.
Researchers found numerous benefits that will help minimize the negative effects of aging. They found that that the right amount of rest boosts your immunity, helps you maintain a healthy weight, preserves muscle, and wards off conditions ranging from diabetes, hypertension, cancer and heart disease.
Related Conditions & Diseases Articles:
Some studies also show that missing just three hours of sleep a week can cheat your body of these benefits, and this deficit may cause you to age faster.
Physiologic studies suggest that a sleep deficit may put the body into a state of high alert, increasing the production of stress hormones and driving up blood pressure, a major risk factor for heart attacks and strokes.
Risk Of Disease:
Winkelman (2004) also found that people who are sleep deprived have elevated levels of substances in the blood that indicate a heightened state of inflammation in the body, which has emerged as a major risk factor for heart disease, stroke, cancer.
This study showed for the first time that getting less sleep may increase your risk of having a heart attack, which is the number one killer. Other studies have found that sleep influences the functioning of the lining inside blood vessels, which could explain why people are most prone to heart attacks and strokes during early morning hours.
Research is finding that lack of sleep can cause cancer. Schernhammer (2005) researched and found that people who work at night appear unusually prone to breast and colon cancer, researchers investigating the possible explanation for this association found exposure to light at night reduces levels of the hormone melatonin. Melatonin is believed to protect against cancer by effecting levels of other hormones, such as estrogen.
"Melatonin can prevent tumor cells from growing, it's cancer-protective," said Eva S. Schernhammer of Harvard Medical School (2005), who has conducted a series of studies on volunteers in sleep laboratories. The theory is, if you are exposed to light at night, on average you will produce less melatonin, increasing your cancer risk.
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Sleep & Growth Hormone:
Goh (2006) found as part of his natural ageing study, conducted an 18-month study on 47 people who have a low level of growth hormone. These subjects were put on a regime of growth hormone injections. In the trial, growth hormone improved muscle mass and lower fat mass. It also improves sexual functions as well as other benefits such as well being and improvement in cognition as well as short-term memory.
"Growth hormone has been billed as the elixir of youth," said Professor Goh. "And so far, from preliminary results, we have shown that when monitored and strictly regulated, growth hormones have shown not to have adverse side-effects."
Goh (2006) found that one key element on how sleep prevents aging is the growth hormone is only secreted when one is in deep sleep. You will get the best sleep if you go to bed between 10pm to 12 midnight. That's when the body produces the most melatonin which will help you go to sleep.
Sleep is essential in helping middle aged individuals minimize the negative effects of aging. Lack of sleep can cause serious health problems which is accelerating the aging process. Lack of the proper amount of sleep can cause diabetes, memory loss, high blood pressure, anxiety, chronic fatigue, depression, obesity, cancer, increased cortisol levels and heart disease.
Research has shown that lack of sleep causes a spike in cortisol. This is serious in minimizing the negative effects of aging, since an increase in cortisol levels are proven to accelerate the aging process!
In order to live a healthy life and to slow down the aging process, sleep is essential. Sleep strengthens and rejuvenates the heart and body. Research has found that nine solid hours of non interrupted sleep prevents the aging process.
Goh (2006) found that growth hormone has been called as the elixir of youth, and is released when the body is sleeping. The best time to get the "Elixir of Youth" (natural growth hormone) is going to sleep between the times of 10 PM and 12 midnight. By going to sleep at the correct time and getting at least nine hours of sleep a night, you are effectively minimizing the negative effects of aging.
- Goh, Victor. (2006). Preventing the Preventable in Aging. National Institute of Singapore, 1-5.
- Hoeger, J. (2007). Healthy Aging and Physical Activity. Journal of Medicine, 2-17.
- Maher, John. (2005). Deep Sleep: Preventing Aging. Dynamic Chiropractic Journal, 1-10.
- Mercola. (2005). The Proven Plan to Prevent Premature Aging. Dr. Mercola Health Journal, 1-15.
- Raymond, J. (2001). Fitness, nutrition, beauty. Fighting back with sweat. Journal of Alternative Medicine, (138) 28-96.
- Schernhammer, Eva. (2005). Preventing Aging. American Cancer Society Journal, 1-25.
- Tackett C. (2006). Benefits of Strength Training. Journal of Medicine, 1-25.
- Vgontzas. (2005). Anti-Aging Strategies. Journal of Medicine, 1-8.
- Westcott. (2007). Strength Training Prevents Aging. Journal of American Family Physician, 1-12.
- Weintraub, Arlene. (2006). Napping Your Way to The Top. Business Week, 17-19.
- Winkleman. (2004). Anti-Aging Secrets. Journal of Medicine, (138) 1-15.