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Sleep Matters!

Lack of adequate sleep costs the U.S. $411 billion annually.

Lack of sleep among the U.S. working population is costing 2.28% of the GDP because of lower productivity levels and a higher risk of mortality. Each year employees lose 1.2 million working days a year, and experience 13% increased risk of mortality. Researchers estimated that increasing nightly sleep by 1-1-1/2 hours per night could add $226.4 billion to the U.S. economy.

PositiveTip: Are you sleeping enough? Daily physical activity, set bedtimes, and limited use of electronic devices before bed can help.

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Sleep Deprivation Associated with Excess Weight

Short sleep duration linked to increased body mass index (weight)!

Increasing evidence demonstrates inadequate sleep may significantly influence obesity rates. Researchers with the Wisconsin Sleep Cohort Study found participants with short sleep (less than 8 hours per night) experienced changes in the appetite regulatory hormones. Leptin (tends to suppress appetite) levels were reduced and ghrelin (tends to increase appetite) levels were increased. Chronic sleep restriction combined with an abundance of food availability contributes to excess body weight.

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Kids, Smartphones and Sleep

Forty percent of kids have poor sleep quantity and quality when using smartphone before bed.

Two-thirds of high schoolers sleep next to a phone or tablet--and 47% awake at least once per night to respond to messages! A meta-analysis of 17 studies finds the use of smartphones and tablets at night are a significant problem for the amount and quality of sleep kids get. These studies were not randomized, so more research is needed.

PositiveTip: Phones are a part of life today--including kids. We need to find ways to keep phones out of their bedrooms, and maybe ours, too!

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84 Million U.S. Adults Don't Get Enough Sleep

One third of U.S. population not sleeping enough!

One third of U.S. adults get less than the recommended 7 hours or more of sleep each day. The U.S. Centers for Disease control analyzed the sleep habits of almost 450,000 participants. Those aged 25-44 were the most likely to report inadequate sleep while those over 65 were most likely to be getting enough. Residents of South Dakota slept the most, and those living in Hawaii got the least.

PositiveTip: A regular schedule for sleep and wake times, and keeping screen devices out of the bedroom help improve sleep time.

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Video: What if You Didn't Sleep?

Are you getting sufficient sleep?

In spite of growing evidence that adequate sleep is essential to every aspect of healthful living, estimates suggest that in the U.S. 66 percent of teens and 30% of adults are sleep-deprived. This short video animation provides an excellent summary of the importance of sleep. (Take a moment to complete the quiz that follows to test you knowledge!)

PositiveTip: Sleep is not optional. It is essential to physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health.

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Just One Night of Sleep Deprivation?

Adequate sleep could be the unsung hero of obesity treatment.

When thinking about treating obesity, most of us think of diet and exercise. However, sleep loss increasingly appears to be an important factor. Dogs deprived of sleep for one night suffered a 33% drop in insulin sensitivity. The same 8 dogs had a 21% drop when fed a high-fat diet for 6 months. These results cannot be applied to humans--but poor sleep may yet be linked with overweight, obesity and type 2 diabetes.

PositiveTip: Remember, most adults need 8+ hours per night.

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Short Sleeping Equals More Colds

Not enough sleep increased the risk of getting a cold 4 fold.

Your mother may have told you that if you don't get enough sleep you will get a cold. Now researchers have found that sleeping less than 6 hours per night does increase your risk of developing a cold when exposed to rhinovirus (the virus responsible for most colds). After adjusting for confounders, those who slept less than 6 hours had 4 times greater risk than those who slept more than 7 hours. 

PositiveTip: Adequate sleep is essential for the health of body and mind.

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Smart Napping

Cat naps may improve your memory.

German researchers have found that napping for less than an hour helps the brain consolidate newly learned information. Forty-one participants were tested on their memorization of individual words and word pairs. Then half were allowed to sleep and the others could watch DVD's. Immediately after the break they were tested again. The nappers essentially forgot nothing, scoring the same as before they slept. The DVD watchers remembered significantly less. 

PositiveTip: If you must process a lot of new information daily (students!) consider napping. At minimum ensure you sleep 8-10 hours each night. 

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"Eveningness" and Diabetes Risk

Many factors in modern life--lights, computers, Internet--keep us awake at night!

If you tend to be a night owl, you may be at higher risk for diabetes. Korean researchers found middle-age adults with a preference for going to bed late were 1.73 times as likely to have diabetes and metabolic syndrome. These differences persisted after adjusting for sleep length and other lifestyle factors. This early study did not show causation. It could be that unhealthy lifestyle habits influence circadian rhythms, or the opposite could be true.

PositiveTip: Establish good sleep habits and reduce your risk of diabetes.

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Improve Your Game with Optimal Sleep!

Optimizing sleep positively impacts functioning and enhances performance.

When crunch time comes sleep is often sacrificed first. Athletes are no exception! Stanford University researchers found basketball players who got at least an extra hour of sleep each night for 5-7 weeks experienced increased shooting accuracy and sprint times by almost 10%. They also reported increased vigor. less fatigue along with better physical and mental well-being scores.

PositiveTip: Make optimal daily sleep a priority. It improves your chances to reach peak performance--physically, mentally, socially and spiritually.