The Sleep Diet

To some people, the need for sleep seems a sign of weakness. Getting by with less rest is the new macho – and women, especially, are buying into it. But while you’re asleep, every system in your body is being fine-tuned, reset, cleaned up and restored to its optimal operating mode by an army of molecular troubleshooters. New things you have learnt are being processed, memories are being organised and stored, and the immune system is building a new contingent of natural killer cells to fight off battalions of infectious agents. Growth hormone is being produced to repair damaged tissue (in adults) or build new tissue (in children) and to block the corrosive effects of stress.

When you sleep well, you’re in peak operating condition. When you don’t, you feel groggy and none of your systems is firing on all cylinders. You don’t think straight, make good decisions, remember where you parked the car or feel like making love. The resulting chemical glitches will put you on the fast track for heart disease, stroke, diabetes and even obesity.

The sleep dietHere are some surefire strategies from top specialists for a truly good night’s sleep.

The daily schedule
Wake up at the same time every day. A good night’s sleep actually starts in the morning. The second your eyes flutter open, light shoots down the optic nerve and into the brain’s biological clock. That stimulates production of hormones that regulate everything from how you think to how you feel.

"Sunlight activates the brain," says Frisca Yan-Go, medical director of the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) Sleep Disorders Centre. And activating it at the same time every morning teaches your body that at midnight it’s supposed to be asleep, and at noon it’s supposed to be awake.

Wake up at a different time every day and the clock is out of sync. You feel groggy and hungover for hours.

Give yourself an hour – the one right before bedtime. You need it to wind down and make the transition from the person-who-can-do-everything to the person-who-can-sleep. Unfortunately, most women are not giving themselves one single second. According to a 2007 poll by the US National Sleep Foundation, in the hour before bed about 60% of them do household chores, 37% take care of children, 36% do activities with other family members, 36% are on the internet, and 21% catch up on work.

Put yourself first. Women aren’t used to putting their needs ahead of others’, but sleep is so vital to health and happiness that we must make it a priority. If the dog’s snoring wakes you up, put him in another room. If your partner’s snoring wakes you up, help him get treatment. If he refuses to cooperate, put him in another room.

To some people, the need for sleep seems a sign of weakness. Getting by with less rest is the new macho – and women, especially, are buying into it. But while you’re asleep, every system in your body is being fine-tuned, reset, cleaned up and restored to its optimal operating mode by an army of molecular troubleshooters. New things you have learnt are being processed, memories are being organised and stored, and the immune system is building a new contingent of natural killer cells to fight off battalions of infectious agents. Growth hormone is being produced to repair damaged tissue (in adults) or build new tissue (in children) and to block the corrosive effects of stress.

When you sleep well, you’re in peak operating condition. When you don’t, you feel groggy and none of your systems is firing on all cylinders. You don’t think straight, make good decisions, remember where you parked the car or feel like making love. The resulting chemical glitches will put you on the fast track for heart disease, stroke, diabetes and even obesity.

Here are some surefire strategies from top specialists for a truly good night’s sleep.

Не ме будете – на диета съм!

The daily schedule
Wake up at the same time every day. A good night’s sleep actually starts in the morning. The second your eyes flutter open, light shoots down the optic nerve and into the brain’s biological clock. That stimulates production of hormones that regulate everything from how you think to how you feel.

"Sunlight activates the brain," says Frisca Yan-Go, medical director of the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) Sleep Disorders Centre. And activating it at the same time every morning teaches your body that at midnight it’s supposed to be asleep, and at noon it’s supposed to be awake.

Wake up at a different time every day and the clock is out of sync. You feel groggy and hungover for hours.

Source: www.readersdigest.com.au


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