Saturday, October 13, 2012

Health: CATCHING Z's

My motto has always been; I'll rest when I'm dead. Recently, my life has turned onto the fast lane and I'm starting to lose steam! I'd be lying to you if I said I get more than a few hours’ sleep a night. I seem to find the space to squeeze in one more thing, but I've been doing it by edging out sleep. Yesterday my coworkers ganged-up on me. They voice very loudly that my usually entertaining "high-spirited" personality was quickly turning into annoying and cranky. So they took it upon themselves to re-educate me on the importance of sleep.

The Harvard Women’s Health Watch suggests six reasons to get enough sleep:

  1. Learning and memory: Sleep helps the brain commit new information to memory through a process called memory consolidation. In studies, people who’d slept after learning a task did better on tests later.
  2. Metabolism and weight: Chronic sleep deprivation may cause weight gain by affecting the way our bodies process and store carbohydrates, and by altering levels of hormones that affect our appetite.
  3. Safety: Sleep debt contributes to a greater tendency to fall asleep during the daytime. These lapses may cause falls and mistakes such as medical errors, air traffic mishaps, and road accidents.
  4. Mood: Sleep loss may result in irritability, impatience, inability to concentrate, and moodiness. Too little sleep can also leave you too tired to do the things you like to do.
  5. Cardiovascular health: Serious sleep disorders have been linked to hypertension, increased stress hormone levels, and irregular heartbeat.
  6. Disease: Sleep deprivation alters immune function, including the activity of the body’s killer cells. Keeping up with sleep may also help fight cancer.

I called in sick today.

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