Sleeping positions

With appreciation to Doug Bolston, this post is excerpted from “You can (and should) train yourself to sleep on your back.
Although it is commonly recommended that sleeping on your back is the best position to sleep in, comfort is key Most Americans sleep on their sides, according to the National Sleep Foundation. While many of them presumably do it without pain, this is not the best way to sleep. It can cause shoulder and hip pain, for one.
On top of that, several studies have shown that sleeping on your right side can aggravate heartburn. Scientists think that’s because lying in this position loosens your lower esophageal sphincter, the involuntary muscles that keep acid from rising up out of your stomach and into your throat. Sleeping on the left side, however, seems to keep the trap door between the throat and stomach shut, so leftie sleepers are less likely to feel the burn.
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How to nap

(with appreciation to Doug Bolston, adapted by Katarina)
Research has shown many benefits to naps—especially short ones. For example, over the course of a day, people’s ability to respond to stimuli—like an email from a coworker—naturally dwindles. A 2014 study in the journal Nature Neuroscience showed that people who took a 30-minute midday nap paused this decline in attention, and those who snoozed for 60 minutes actually reversed some of that day’s deterioration.

While everyone you know swears by a certain magic number (7 minutes! No, 17 minutes!), the National Sleep Foundation has this to say: “a short nap”—say, 20 minutes—“can help to improve mood, alertness and performance,” without side effects like grogginess.

Feeling really experimental? Try napping after drinking coffee. Several studies have shown that if you caffeinate before as short nap of 15 to 20 minutes, you’ll wake feeling even perkier than usual, because caffeine takes about 20 minutes to kick in. As Vox put it, “coffee naps are better than coffee or naps.”

Whatever you do, please do not try to replace your evening sleep with napping. While it has plenty of benefits, 20 minutes of shuteye in the afternoon is nothing like a good night’s rest.

Click here to read the entire article.

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How much sleep do you need?

(with appreciation to Doug Bolston, adapted by Katarina)

“Human beings are the only animal species that deliberately deprive themselves of sleep.”

One thing science knows for sure is that the less sleep you get each night,the less cognitively aware you are the next day, the day after, and every day after that

People think that sleep is like the bank. That you can accumulate a debt and then hope to pay it off at a later point in time. The brain has no capacity to get back all that it has lost.

You don’t know you are sleep deprived when you are sleep deprived,.That’s why so many people fool themselves into thinking thatthey are one of those people who can get away with six hours of sleep or less.

There’s no way you can effectively train yourself to need less sleep. You may get used to feeling tired all the time, but that does not mean you can suppress that tiredness and perform as well on cognitive tests as you would if you received eight hours.

One sleepless night is the cognitive equivalent of being legally drunk

Click here to read the entire article.

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Sleep helps the body clear away amyloid and tau (related to dementia)

(with appreciation to Doug Bolston, adapted and annotated by Katarina)

A single night of interrupted sleep causes an increase in brain proteins believed to cause Alzheimer’s disease, researchers reported.

They believe their research shows that “sleep helps the body clear away the compounds, called amyloid and tau, and that interrupting sleep may allow too much of them to build up”.

A study, published in the journal Brain, does not show that poor sleep causes Alzheimer’s, but it does add one more piece to the puzzle of what may cause dementia.

“When people had their slow-wave sleep disrupted, their amyloid levels increased by about 10 percent,” said Dr.. Yo-El Ju of Washington University in St. Louis, who led the study .

 

Click here for the entire article.  “Here’s How Sleep Loss Can Affect Alzheimer’s”

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