Sleep Inspiration: Memory, Relaxation, Sex

I took a research web dive into dreamland today for psych class.  I liked how it came together, so here it is for you.

5 reasons why and how you should get some shut eye.

1.  “Short sleep duration was associated with weight gain and the development of obesity over 1 year in men, but not in women.”

Gents, do you see that this is a male-only butterball statistic?  This fact is a double whammy; other studies demonstrated relationships between work stresses and sleep quality, and unfortunately men’s professions tend to be much more stressful and run longer hours.  Don’t let that stress you more, though, I found a key to great sleep, so read on.

2.  “Only during deep, restful sleep, can human brain cells replenish the energy stores they deplete during a full day of thinking, sensing and reacting.”

As you think, your brain uses glycogen, its stored energy source.  This thought fuel is replaced during prolonged mental relaxation, which, according to Stanford University, happens to occur while you are sleeping.

3.  “Evidence supports a role for sleep in the consolidation of an array of learning and memory tasks.”

Newly learned items stored during the day in working memory evolve into long-term memories overnight.  You need sleep to solidify what you memorize into what you know.  It’s like storing a file on your hard drive from RAM.

4.  “Cell division and protein synthesis reach their maximum values during hours of sleep.  When tissues have been damaged, the rate of healing is greatest during sleep.”

Healing applies to everything:  replenishing energy stores, flushing out toxins, repairing damaged muscles.  When you work out, the way you gain muscle and burn calories is by tearing and subsequently rebuilding muscle tissue.  This elucidates partly why two-a-days are so brutal; there’s no sleep/repair interval in between.

5.  “Adults with moderate sleep complaints can improve self-rated sleep quality by initiating a regular moderate-intensity exercise program.”

Everyone knows it is important to get exercise.  Beyond improving the quality and duration of your sleep, it elevates confidence, energy level, happiness, and the other task to which your bed is predisposed.  If you have trouble sleeping, studies suggest using your bed exclusively for sleeping and sex (seriously); so get busy (exercise) and satisfy your body’s needs (for sleep).


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