If you’re having trouble sleeping at night try getting into this routine…avoid stimulants like caffeine and nicotine 6 hours before bedtime and stay away from alcohol. While alcohol may make you sleepy, it can actually disrupt the quality of sleep.
New research suggests that people who get less than 6 hours of sleep a night have a 50% increased risk of developing colon cancer adenomas or benign tumors. This is compared to those who are lucky enough to get at least 7 hours of sleep time. If not treated, adenomas can turn into cancerous tumors. Sleep problems have also been connected to heart disease, diabetes and obesity.
Sleep walking is a real disorder that’s most common in children but it can also happen to adults. Some sleep walkers actually eat while they sleep, which has been well documented. Walking in your sleep can be dangerous because you can fall down the stairs, walk outside, or even climb out of windows. If you encounter a sleepwalker you should gently try to guide them back to their bed. If the problem persists, there is help available in the form of medications and hypnosis. If the sleep walking is being triggered by a medical or other problem like sleep apnea, then treatment is typically geared toward the underlying cause.
How much sleep does your child get on the weekends? The answer to this question may give you some indication as to whether your child is at risk for gaining weight. According to a report in the American Journal of Pediatrics, overweight children are more likely to stay up late on the weekends. The children averaged 8 hours per night throughout the week, but on the weekends the obese children had shorter and more irregular sleep patterns.
If kids do not get enough sleep it starts a vicious cycle triggering hormones that can make them more hungry, hence increasing the risk of obesity even further. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine recommends that pre-school aged children get 11-13 hours of nightly sleep, while school aged children should get 10-11 hours per night.
How is it that some people can get away with just a few hours of sleep, while others need 8 or more? The answer may be found in your genes. New research from The University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine suggests there is a common genetic link to those who just can not get enough sleep. The gene variant is connected to narcolepsy. It can be found in about 30% of people who are always tired. In this report, over 100 people were studied. Researchers measured their sleep quality over several nights. Those with the gene variant were found to be more tired and had fragmented sleep, waking up as often as 4 times per night. So, if you slept through your alarm this morning and you were late for work, try blaming it on your genes! Probably won’t fly with your boss…