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Researchers say that lack of sufficient sleep is associated with risky behaviors such as smoking, drinking alcohol, being sexually active, using marijuana, lower physical activity, and feeling sad or helpless.

“Insufficient sleep on school nights is common and is associated with participation in health risk behaviors including substance use, fighting, and consideration of suicide,”

Read more …Sleep-deprived teens take more risks - CNN (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.

Read more …Dreams Help Heal Painful Memories - PsychCentral (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."

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

CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta reports on why some people are more easily awakened than others.

- When a person sleeps they have different patterns or sleep spindles.
- A person that has a lot of sleep spindles blocks disturbances such as noise.
- People with the most sleep spindles were getting the best sleep.
- People with fewer sleep spindles would wake up 20-30 times a night but did not remember.

Read more …What makes some sleep more soundly? Spindles - CNN (video)

Three new studies link sleep deficits to major health problems.

- Men who slept less than 6 hours were 4 times more likely to die of any cause during 14 year study.
- when you don't get enough sleep there are changes in your hormones that control appetite.
- depression and anxiety more likely in young adults that sleep less than 8 hours a night, the risk increases for every hour lost.

Read more …Men who slept less than 6 hours were 4 times more likely to die of any cause during 14 year study...

Type 2 diabetes is caused by the body's inability to adequately use insulin, a hormone produced by the pancreas, to control glucose sugar produced from food. Sugar levels rise and can damage the eyes, kidneys, nerves, heart and major arteries.
- Partial sleep restriction during a single night reduced some types of insulin sensitivity by 19 - 25%.
- "Our findings show a short night of sleep has more profound effects on metabolic regulation than previously appreciated,"
- "Our data indicate that insulin sensitivity is not fixed in healthy people, but depends on the duration of sleep in the preceding night,"

Read more …Sleep deprivation; 1 sleepless night can hamper the body's ability to use insulin to process sugar...

Sleep expert, Dr Edward Suarez of Duke University, in his own words on the importance of sleep and the link between sleep deprivation and your health.
- Sleep deprivation causes inflammation, inflammation is implacated in both heart disease and diabeties.
- Sleep deprivation leads to weight gain.
- Poor sleep means less recovery and longer term can lead to poor health.

Read more …'Poor sleep may lead to poor health' says expert - NBC (video)

Adequate sleep reduces stress. A midday nap can help deal with information overload.

Fact: The late stage of sleep—sometimes missed by early risers—can boost by 20% your acquisition of coordination crucial for playing a sport, a musical instrument, or any fine motor control.

Sleep strengthens the nerve circuits that underlie learning and memory…Sleep deprivation may be an important contributor to obesity. It also elevates the stress hormone cortisol.

Read more …The Rewards of Shut-Eye