December 12, 2017

Stressed and Sleep Deprived?

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If I could charge a dollar every time I get this “your nuts” kind of look when I talk about stress and sleep and their effect on our physiology, biology and overall being, I could assure you that I would be writing this sitting in a tropical island surrounded by beautiful nature, dipping my feet in the warm waters, sipping my dink form a coconut!  Aww, just the thought and mere imagination lowered my stress level!

Sometimes that’s all you need. A few deep breathes, close your eyes and imagine the sunsets, the memories you’re creating with your loved ones, playing with your kids, sipping a drink, whatever floats your boat. Just a few minutes every hour or so, you may combine it with a little stretching to loosen up the built up tension, or just get up from your desk and walk down the hallways for a cup of water. Just 5 minutes!

In a new study that is now being published in the scientific journal Sleep, researchers from Uppsala University now show “that sleep does not only help form long-term memory but also ensures access to it during times of cognitive stress”. The study also revealed that “stress had an impact on the participants’ ability to recall these memories”. 

The men were acutely stressed for 30 minutes in the morning after a half or full night of sleep (for example by having to recall a newly learnt list of words while exposed to noise). Following short sleep this stress exposure reduced their ability to recall these card pair locations by around 10 percent.

They determined that even though losing half a night of sleep (which is typical for most Americans) may not impair memory functions under baseline conditions, the addition of acute cognitive stress may be enough to lead to significant impairments, which can possibly be detrimental in real-world scenarios

I know you are used to it, I know you have been successful sleeping only 5 hours a night, but just think how much more you can accomplish by reducing your stress and perhaps sleeping a bit more.

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