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Last updateWed, 01 Oct 2014 1pm

Sleep Deprivation

Sleep Deprivation and Sleep Aids

Sleep deprivation, insomnia, or sleep loss can lead to depression, acid-base imbalance, inflammation, weight gain, heart disease, stroke, and cancer.


Supplements and Sleep Aids

Magnesium and Calcium
Magnesium and calcium are both sleep boosters, and when taken together, they become even more effective.

Hops
This extract has been widely used as a mild sedative for anxiety and insomnia.

Valerian
One of the most common sleep remedies for insomnia. Numerous studies have found that valerian improves deep sleep, speed of falling asleep, and overall quality of sleep.

Passion Flower
Traditionally used as a nerve tonic to treat nervousness, insomnia and restlessness as well as nervous agitation and irritability.

Kava kava
Induces physical and mental relaxation and can relieve muscle spasms and ease pain.

L-theanine
This amino acid comes from green tea and not only helps maintain a calm alertness during the day but also a deeper sleep at night.

Lavender
Very popular in aromatherapy and can relieve stress and depression.

Melatonin
The hormone that controls sleep, so it's no wonder that it naturally induces sleep.


Bright Light, Internal Clock, and Sleep Cycles


Working on a laptop or bright screen late at night or in the middle of night can apparently mess up your internal clock and sleep cycles, which can result in insomnia or sleep deprivation.

Try turning off all sources of light at night for a month and see what results you get.


Mental Health and Depression

Sleep deprivation reduces brain function, activity, cognitive ability, judgment, logic, concentration, and performance.

A person’s emotions can become unstable.

Research indicates that insomnia or sleep deprivation increases the risk of depression and sleep loss often precedes depression.

Stress and Cortisol

Sleep deprivation can increase your cortisol levels, the stress hormone, by 50%. Cortisol and stress suppresses the immune system making a person more vulnerable to viruses and illness.

Acid-base imbalance and Inflammation

Sleep deprivation can increase acid-base imbalance and increase inflammation. (see article)

Hormones, Weight Gain, Obesity, Diabetes

Sleep deprivation can slow down your metabolism.

Hormones like testosterone can be disrupted or lowered.

In research studies some participants became pre-diabetic after one week of sleep deprivation. Lack of sleep also disrupts hormones that control hunger and appetite but with less exercise due to fatigue.

A 2009 research study found a sharp increase in the risk of type 2 diabetes in people with persistent insomnia. People who slept less than five hours per night for over a year had a 3 times higher risk of type 2 diabetes.

High Blood Pressure, Heart and Stroke Disease

In a research study researchers found that the risk of high blood pressure was 3 ½ times higher among people with insomnia who slept less than 6 hours per night.

Sleep deprivation is linked with higher stress hormone coritsol and higher cholesterol, triglyceride, and blood pressure levels.

One research study in Japan found that women who slept less than 4 hours a night were more 2 times more likely to die from heart disease.

One study found that people with sleep apnea were 3 times more likely to die of heart disease, without the breathing machine the risk increased to 5 times more likely.

Growth Hormone and Tissue Repair

During sleep the body releases the growth hormone which stimulates the bodies repair. With sleep loss the damage accumulates.

DNA Mutations, Repair, and Cancer

During sleep the body releases chemicals into the body that repair DNA damage and mutations. With sleep loss the damage accumulates and increases the risk of cancer or disease.

 

Articles

Sleep problems triple women's risk of developing fibromyalgia - CNN (article link)

"sleep deprivation has been shown in previous research to increase inflammation and reduce the body's ability to manage pain"

"Doctors have long been aware of the link between poor sleep and fibromyalgia, a chronic condition characterized by widespread pain and tender points in the soft tissues."

http://www.cnn.com/2011/11/14/health/insomnia-triple-women-risk-fibromyalgia/index.html

Dreams Help Heal Painful Memories - PsychCentral (article link)

Berkeley researchers discovered that during REM sleep the brain processes emotional experiences and takes the painful edge off difficult memories.

The findings offer a compelling explanation for why people with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), such as war veterans, have a hard time recovering from painful experiences and suffer reoccurring nightmares.

They also offer clues into why we dream.

http://www.psychcentral.com/news/2011/11/25/dreams-help-heal-painful-memories/31862.html

Sleep Apnea Linked to Cancer - NBC Nightly News (video)

Sleep apnea linked to sleep deprivation increased the risk of any kind of cancer.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/3032619/#47527080