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Apr 29

Sleep Helps Prevent Disease

Not getting enough sleep has been linked to a greater risk of high blood pressure, diabetes, weight gain, stroke and heart attack. Lack of sleep has also been linked to loss of memory and decline in cognitive functioning. Now we're being told that getting enough sleep can help prevent disease.

In a 2008 study, for example, people who slept more hours had less plaque buildup in their coronary arteries, published Journal of the American Medical Association, December,2008. In another study, researchers found that people who slept eight hours or more at night were almost three times less likely to develop a cold after being exposed to the cold virus then someone who slept less than seven hours.

On the other hand, the researchers also reported that not everyone needs the same amount of sleep and no one seems to know why. Some people are considered as short sleepers; they sleep five or six hours a night and they can't sleep longer even if they want. Others need eight hours of sleep but they don't get it and they need it. They could be working strange hours or just staying up watching movies, watching TV or playing video games.

Sleep becomes a problem when not getting enough sleep makes someone always feel tired or fatigued and could be falling asleep while driving. That is when, say the experts, you need to figure out what is causing your problem. For most of us it is important to find out what is compromising our sleep time. It could be stress. Something like 65 percent of Americans say they lose sleep because of stress according to The Better Sleep Council.

Sometimes the reasons are about what is going on around you. For instance, there may be noise that you can hear such as a train going by, the temperature of your bedroom is too low, having a pet in bed, and having a bed partner who snores are all common reasons for your sleep getting interrupted.

There are several practical solutions to sleep problems. I will write more about them in my next post.

To your success at a good night's sleep.

Ruthan Brodsky

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