For years, we’ve been led to believe our brains power down and switch off while asleep. However, recent research published in Current Biology now suggests that our brains are quite capable of decision making while asleep. In fact, there’s new evidence to suggest that there’s much more going on in our heads while we sleep than originally thought. Continue reading
Adjustable beds are quickly growing in popularity due to the number of benefits they offer. Not only are they ideal for people who enjoy working, reading, or watching TV in bed, but they also provide a number of different sleep positions to promote a restful night’s sleep. There’s no longer the need to stack pillows up behind you to find the perfect incline position as adjustable beds allow you to find the ideal position without the discomfort of bulky pillows. Continue reading
If your teen is having a difficult time getting a good night’s rest, making it hard for them to get up in the morning, you may want to make sure electronic devices in their room are turned off at night. According to a recent poll by the National Sleep Foundation, more than half of parents with children ranging from 15 to 17 years of age report their child receives fewer than the recommended 7 hours of sleep per night. Of those surveyed, 68 percent sleep with an electronic device on throughout the night. In addition, sleep quality of 45 percent of children 6 to 17 years of age improved when sleeping with no devices turned on.
Choosing the right mattress not only contributes to your quality of sleep but how you feel during the day. However, finding the ideal mattress is easier said than done. Mattresses can be quite costly and the last thing you want to do is purchase a mattress only to find that it’s uncomfortable. Arya Shamie, MD, an associate professor of orthopedic surgery and neurosurgery, recommends choosing a mattress that supports the curvature of your spine, buttocks, heels, shoulders, and head to keep proper alignment while laying in a neutral position.
Purchasing a New Mattress
You’ll know it’s time to purchase a new mattress when you’re no longer able to relieve lower back pain within 30 minutes of waking in the morning. When testing mattresses, don’t be in too big of hurry to make a purchase by buying the cheapest or first mattress you test. When on the hunt for a new mattress, it’s best to lay on each mattress you test for at least 15 minutes to ensure it’s comfortable. Continue reading
Throughout history, as well as recently, there have been many extremely productive and successful individuals who have claimed they are able to function on much less sleep than the average person. And according to a new study some of them may actually be genetically wired to get by on fewer Z’s. If you count yourself among their ranks as a short sleeper, then maybe you’re wired the same way.
During a recent sleep study of 100 pairs of twins, researchers discovered that some of the participants still functioned well after an extended period of sleep depravation. Upon closer inspection the researchers found that those that needed much less sleep to function, all shared the same genetic mutation in p. Tyr362HIS, a variant of the BHLHE41 gene. While most people need between seven and eight hours of sleep to count themselves as healthy, productive members of society, these twins, and those that share the mutation, not only need less than that, but they also need less time to recover from sleep deprivation than other people.
Over the years many politicians, celebrities and artists have boasted and their short sleep patterns, often credited the additional waking hours to their success. Perhaps most famously, Margaret Thatcher claimed to sleep for a mere four hours, which is why the quest for this particular gene has often taken her name. Others include: Napoleon Bonaparte (three to four), Winston Churchill (five), Leonardo Da Vinci (five), Bill Clinton (five to six), Madonna (four), Martha Stewart (two to four) and Donald Trump (three to four).
Still count yourself among the chosen sleep “less” ones? Well, not so fast. As it turns out the genetic mutation in p. Tyr362HIS may actually be pretty rare. According to other sleep studies, out of 100 people who claim they can get by on less than six hours of sleep a night, only 5 of them are current.
According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, a pretty reliable source on the subject, most of us need at least 7 hours of quality sleep each night. Less than six hours and it starts to effect proper brain function, which can lead to problems in logical reasoning, concentration and even depression.
So, unless you need just one less hour of sleep tonight to solve world hunger or create your masterpiece, chances are you’re better off waiting until tomorrow and getting a good night’s sleep tonight.