Lack of Sleep Leads to Decline in Brain Function
by A. Grano
We all know that not getting enough sleep can impair functioning on a day-to-day level – but recent studies have shown for middle-aged adults who slept less than six hours had lowered scores on six various cognitive tests, including reasoning, vocabulary, and memory.
Further, the studies concluded that chronic short sleep increases the risk of developing other ailments due to the production of hormones and chemicals formed in the body from the deficit, such as heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and obesity. In addition, lack of sleep impacts emotional well-being, leading to deterioration of overall mind-body wellness.
One of the largest problems researchers saw across the study participants was overscheduling themselves and not creating a healthy work/life balance. However, experts agree sleep is a vital component to overall health, and must be regarded with the same attention as following a proper diet and being physically active. In addition to being restorative, proper sleep is required for proper body functioning, including brain health and performance.
Sleep tips for adults
- Make sleep a priority. In addition, establish and maintain regular bedtime and wake-up time patterns, including weekends to help the brain’s natural circadian rhythm
- Avoid working or other stimulating activities prior to bedtime
- Establish relaxing bedtime rituals, such as taking a hot shower, reading a book or magazine, or listening to music
- Maintain a healthy weight, as being overweight or obese also affects sleeping patterns
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