A lot is said and written about the importance of a good night sleep on a regular basis for all of us. Millions of people around the world suffer from insomnia and chronic lack of sleep, and they complain a lot about feeling always tired and exhausted, about inability to focus and get concentrated on their work, about being inefficient and more prone to many common health problems. Studies have shown that a chronic lack of sleep is linked to many negative processes in our body, namely slowed down metabolism and detoxification, common digestive problems like indigestion, flatulence, constipation, etc., linked to higher risks of gaining weight and developing cardiovascular problems which sometimes can turn into very serious diseases and health conditions. The effects of chronic sleep disorders on our daily life certainly go beyond only health condition and may affect our professional, social, and even personal life.
According to the latest findings of the scientists, a chronic lack of sleep cause by various factors (too much work, excessive stresses, certain health conditions, and so on) is very often linked to serious problems in sexual life, like decreased libido and a lack of desire. A group of American specialists led by Dr. Jennifer Peszka, Associate Professor of Psychology and Julia Mobley Odyssey Professor, the University of Southern Mississippi, decided to look closer at the issues related to workaholics and the effects of working too much on our sleep. For the study, they invited a group of 60 students studying in the University of Southern Mississippi, who were asked to fill up detailed questionnaires with plenty of questions about daily life and habits of the participants, about their common sleep patterns and sexual experience of the participants related to enough sleep or a chronic lack of sleep.
After summarizing and analyzing the collected information, the scientists came to the following conclusions. If a young couple reported having a good night sleep, both of the partners stated their good interest in sexual life. Both men and women reported that their sexual life after having a good sleep was very good, however, still most of men reported about believing that sexual interest that women demonstrated was quite low. At the same time, after a rough night and especially those who suffer from a chronic lack of sleep, some changes in the estimations of both men and women took place. Women did not change the estimations as to their sexual interest and sexual interest of their partners, but at the same time men reported that after improper sleep their women demonstrated much higher interest in sexual life comparing to the one they demonstrate after having a good night sleep.
“Sleep deprivation could have unexpected effects on perceptual experiences that could lead people to engage in sexual decisions that they might otherwise not when they are well-rested,” the study leader underlined. The scientists believe that there is a probability of the fact that the findings can be applied not only to our sexual interest, but to some other spheres of our life as well. In other words, those people who suffer from a chronic lack of sleep tend to make decisions and do things that they would never even think about doing if they would have a proper sleep. American researchers say that this can be one more reason to develop healthy sleeping habits and make sure that we have a good sleep on a regular basis. Keep in mind that having a proper sleep every night should be considered one of the most effective tool to reduce the risks of many health problems and improve our life.
The problems of chronic insomnia and a constant lack of sleep have turned into a real curse for many modern people. Many scientists and experts agree to the fact that those of us who live in big cities are at the highest risk of suffering from this kind of problems compared to the people who live in rural areas. Certainly, those who live in big cities spend most of their times indoors, in the offices or at other workplaces. They are more prone to suffer from stresses as they live a more active business life. They lead less active lifestyle compared to those people who live outside of big cities and mostly spend their time outside. Actually, there is plenty of lack of sleep causes which bring to chronic insomnia and more serious sleep disorders in modern people who live in big cities. Let’s try to look close to the most important and the most influential factors that cause us tossing and turning in our beds all night instead of having a peaceful and restful sleep.
Experts say that about 20 per cent of modern people suffer from a lack of sleep caused by stresses and nervous tension they regularly experience in their daily life. This phenomena is called adaptational insomnia. We tend to think about our problems at work or in our personal life all the time, get very sensitive to this kind of problems and can not sleep due to being too nervous and too much stressed out. Chronic insomnia can also be a result of stresses, as well as a result of more serious nervous conditions including depressive neurosis, mixed anxiety-depressive neurosis, and so on. Undoubtedly, as stress related load is increasing on most of modern people, stresses and depression should be considered among the major and the most dangerous lack of sleep causes, which can sometimes bring to very serious consequences and cause very serious health conditions in today’s people.
Leading too active lifestyle and getting involved into various overwhelming activities, especially before going to sleep, is another very common cause of sleep problems. We watch plenty of thrilling TV shows and horror movies, hear plenty of terrifying news, or play various computer games which have deep impact on our psychology and can cause chemical imbalanced in our brain. Those sometime result in inability to fall asleep or have a proper restful sleep every night. It is very important to control those kind of activities, especially in young children and teenagers since the effects can be really horrible. We should teach our children to follow a proper sleep routine, learn not to get focused on their problems in schools or colleges, to stop playing computer games or watching thrillers before going to sleep, as well as observe the rules of keeping their bedrooms in great shape for having a good night sleep. See some interesting tips here.
There are other less important and less common factors to play a role of lack of sleep causes that specialists are pointing at. Many people who live in big cities work shifts, and this is a key factors which causes huge sleep imbalances and inability of people to have normal rest for months and even years. In our times, as a result of globalization and internationalization, people have to travel a lot, and changing time zones has become one of quite frequent lack of sleep causes. Finally, bad ecology and terrible environment of big cities also contribute to bad health and a lack of sleep in many modern people. In order to fight against sleep problems and taking advantage of restful sleep every night, we should master some effective stress management techniques like yoga, aromatherapy, chatting with friends, or getting a new hobby. It can be good to spend more time outdoors and get involved into moderate physical activities like swimming, cycling, jogging, etc. According to the experts, drinkings sedative herbal teas (like Melissa tea or passion flower tea), having warm foot bath, or listening to some calm music before going to sleep are among the most effective remedies for insomnia.
Most of us are aware about the fact how many health risks and serious diseases are linked to poor sleep. Those who suffer from sleep disorders like insomnia or chronic insomnia. restlessness, seeing nightmares and horrors while sleeping, snoring or sleep apnea have considerably higher chances to develop chronic fatigue syndrome, depression, insufficient nutrition and weight gain, metabolic syndrome and metabolism imbalances, elevated blood pressure, brain function disorders, and even a few very common types of cancer. Plenty of studies and researches related to the issue were published recently bringing to light plenty of scientific evidence to the health risks and dangers of chronic sleep disorders and poor sleep. The findings of one more study carried out by a group of Norwegian experts appeared earlier this month in the European Heart Journal, following an extensive 11-year study of the effects of poor sleep in people’s cardiovascular health.
Researchers at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology are convinced that those people who often wake up at night and can not fall back asleep are actually at quite high risk of suffering from serious cardiovascular problems in the future. According to the published findings, interrupted and poor sleep are strictly linked to increased heart failure risk. In the framework of their study, the scientists monitored sleep patterns and health condition of over 50,000 participants aged between 20 and 89 on a long-term basis. In the beginning of the experiment, none of the participants was diagnosed with any sleep disorder and did not display any sing of insufficient or poor sleep. In addition to that, none of the participants was under the influence of other factors that could increase risks for heart failure or other serious cardiovascular condition. As it is stated in the report, none of the participants reported having such common symptoms of heart problems as feeling shortness of breath or being too exhausted.
During the study, the participants were asked to regularly report about their possible sleep problems, and those of the volunteers who started displaying the signs of various sleep disorders were monitored closer. After analyzing the data collected for 11 years, it became apparent for the scientists that those of the participants who reported disrupted sleep, inability to fall asleep when waking up at night, and other signs of poor sleep are three times more likely to develop such serious cardiovascular condition as heart failure. Even when the scientists ruled out the influence of such factors as smoking, obesity, type 2 diabetes and others, which always play a role in developing serious cardiovascular conditions, the discovered link between poor sleep quality and high heart failure risk remained. The researchers are convinced that even those people who have problems when falling asleep are also at risk for the mentioned disease.
At the same time, the scientists failed to learn about the mechanisms of the discovered link and obtain more information about the issue. “We don’t know whether insomnia truly causes heart failure. But if it does, the good thing is it is a potentially treatable condition,” said Dr Laugsand, one of the study leaders. The scientists only came up with a hypothesis that those people who suffer from poor sleep have high levels of hormones associated with stress which affect their overall health to a great extent. Many other experts underline the necessity to continue scientific work in this direction and learn more about the connections between poor sleep and elevated heart failure risk. If you want to get more info about this interesting research, you can check out the relevant report about this study in one of the latest issues of the European Heart Journal here.
Since bad or disrupted sleep is a curse of our times, a great deal of researchers are studying and analyzing this problem with the objective to find effective solutions and inform people about the related dangers and risks.
The most recent studies have found out that chronic sleep disorders and even such a common problem as a lack of sleep are closely linked to numerous harmful health effects, including increased intolerance to stresses, higher risks for heart diseases and obesity, and many others. Poor sleep impacts our brain function and genetics, makes us prone to overeating and suffering from serious mental diseases, including even dementia. It is estimated that about 12 per cent of modern time’s Britons suffer from serious sleep disorders or sleep disturbances like sleep apnea, inability to fall asleep and insomnia, thus suffering from a chronic lack of sleep (or sleep less than 6 hours a day). This impacts their health to a great extent, regardless of such people being aware or unaware about the dangers and risks linked to sleep disturbances.
According to the newly published findings by a research group from the University of Surrey, only one week of disturbed sleep or sleeping less than 6 hours a day is enough to visit a serious damage upon our overall health. It can disrupt over 7 hundred of genes and sky rocket our risks for very serious diseases, especially infectious diseases, as well as the conditions caused by poor function of our immune system and stresses. The research involved analyzing the info collected on 26 volunteers, young men and women in good health, who suffered from sleep disorders. Their sleep, daily activities, nutrition and other relevant factors were monitored for a few weeks. The first thing that the researchers could notice was different effects of disrupted sleep and sleep deprivation on people. In particular, in some participants disrupted sleep caused hyperactivity, but in some participants, on the contrary, a lack of sleep has become a cause of being inactive, sleepy, and ineffective in their daily activities.
Further analysis has shown that chronic disrupted sleep has negative effects, first of all, on genes of such people. It primarily damages the function of the genes responsible for our metabolism, biological clock, immune system and our responses to stresses. Professor Derk-Jan Dijk, one of the study leaders and a specialist at the University of Surrey, is convinced that the findings should receive a serious public attention and contribute into public understanding of the dangers behind sleep disorders. ‘Multiple studies have shown self-reported short sleep duration – defined in most studies as less than six hours – is associated with negative health outcomes such as all-cause mortality, obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and impaired vigilance and cognition,’ he wrote in the report. The findings of the British scientists were recently published in one of the online issues of the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, and reported by a great number of the most popular mass media, both printed and online.
The study included an interesting experiment on making a person remain sleepless for about 40 hours. It gave scientists plenty of ideas about the mechanisms how disrupted sleep affects out genes and damages out overall health. It is interesting that not long ago, the findings of another study were published saying that disrupted sleep has extremely negative effects on kids, causing mainly slowed down brain activity, inability to focus and get concentrated, as well as decreased ability to think, memorize things, and think. These findings of a research group the University of Tuebingen, Germany, should be taken into account by all modern parents, and it is very important to prove modern kids with proper amounts of sleep. This issue is especially topical for those people who live in developed countries and in highly industrialized societies, who extensively use the amenities of modern technologies, including computer games, the latest communication technologies, and other various types of entertainment which is the leading cause of disrupted sleep in kids.
Many people like spicy food, and these kind of foods are especially popular in South Asian countries like China, Japan, India, Thailand, and others. Adding plenty of spices to our daily diet is sometimes linked to excellent health effects. For example, there are plenty of positive properties to benefit from using curry seasoning. Some studies suggested that using curry and curcumin is very good for reducing our risks to suffer from dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Spices are great appetite stimulants, and such a spice as cinnamon can be used to speed up metabolism and prevent obesity. In combination with honey and ginger, it is possible to use cinnamon for reducing the symptoms of common cold, a flu, and other common respiratory system problems. Most of the specialists recommend us adding some spices to our daily diet. However, not many of those are aware about the adverse effects of consuming spicy food, especially about negative effects of a diet rich in spicy food on our sleep quality.
The idea that the diet we eat can have certain effects on our sleep is not a new one. Especially the foods we eat in 5-3 hours before going to bed play the most important role. For example, just recently it was found out that consuming alcohol beverages before going to bed can seriously affect our sleep quality. According to the recent findings published by a group of researchers at Sleep Disorders Center at the Cleveland Clinic, eating spicy foods before going to sleep is linked to developing serious sleep disorders, which can include even nightmares. For their experiments, they asked a group of about 400 volunteers to consume some Thai food before going to bed, and the scientists observed decreased sleep quality patterns in most of the participants. Also, the participants themselves reported about sleeping bad, feeling not rested, and even suffering from bad dreams, meaning that spicy food consumed affected primarily the RAM sleep of the study participants.
The scientists evaluated possible reasons why spicy foods cause such effects. There is a hypothesis that spicy foods tend to speed up metabolism in our body, make all chemical processes more active, including the processes in brain, and rise body temperature which also has negative effects on our sleep quality. As a result, such people have more active REM stage, suffer from more muscle activity, display more activities during this stage of sleep, and feel more disturbance when dreaming. For some people, it can result in seeing bad dreams, and even nightmares. It is also known that seeing nightmares is linked with some imbalances in the frontal lobe, which is also responsible for regulating memories and emotions. Therefore, disturbed sleep and seeing bad dreams is linked with poorer memory, more intense and frequent negative emotions, depressive thoughts, more effects of stresses, which all together may have quite serious effects on our overall health.
Besides, consuming spicy food has its negative effects on digestion. It stimulates digestive system, makes it work really hard and does not allow it to rest properly at night when the person is asleep. As we can see, there are plenty of factors linked to negative effects of consuming spicy foods before going to bed. According to the estimations of the scientists who conducted the experiment, the risks of suffering from nightmares after eating some spicy food before the bedtime can be as high as 9.5 per cent. Finally, the scientists are convinced that negative effects of spicy foods can be caused also by personal sensitivity to some components in such foods. Since most of the spices like ginger, cinnamon, curry, and others are not produced by European manufacturers and are mostly imported, for many people spices are something not usual. That is why some of us may even not be aware about being sensitive or having allergic reactions on some spices. Try to avoid eating heavy or spicy foods, as well as fried food or the foods rich in saturated fats, especially before going to sleep.