This Week In Sleep: October 11th 2013

Note for first time readers: This is the part of the SleepWellTimes where I round up what is making waves in the world of sleep each week. You’ll find the best 3 to 5 stories, covering a range of topics from the latest scientific research – all the way through to some fun or quirky items. If you see something you feel should be featured here, please let me know.

There never seems to be a quiet week when it comes to sleep research and news. This week sees a the adverse effects on the economy and health of the nation highlighted by the heavy-hitters of the Harvard Medical School. They have gone as far as stating that sleep is one of the 3 most important things we should focus on concerning health.

In addition, studies have started to show that your weekend lie-in might not be enough to make up for loss of sleep during the week. There is yet another study linking too much sleep to bad effects (this time cognitive decline), and finally, some trusty fruit flies (well, researchers using them really) have highlighted areas of the complicated relationship between hunger and sleeping.

#1 – Harvard Medical School And ‘Recharge America’

Slowly and surely, the importance of regular quality sleep is being realized by the general public. This new initiative from the Harvard Medical School should help push the message even further. Research shows that 50 to 70 million Americans suffer from sleep disorders, with pressure to perform and corporate cultures which reward all-nighters behind this epidemic. This is thought to cost US companies $63 Billion annually.

This initiative revolves around education and awareness and is aimed at decision makers, politicians and CEOs. The aim is to install Sleep as a ‘3rd leg’ of healthful living (along with exercise and healthy diet).

The main meeting has already occurred, let us hope that this is just the start of a more general educational movement. Seriously folks, bad or short sleep is linked to so many chronic health conditions – it is time we addressed the underlying cause (lack of sleep) rather than just treating the symptoms.

An interesting discussion here.

#2 – Too Much Sleep Linked To Cognitive Decline

Too little or bad quality sleep may be linked to a number of chronic conditions. As time goes on more and more studies are linking too much sleep issues too. Cognitive decline might sound vague to many readers – however when Dementia is mentioned, it becomes apparent that this is not a lightweight matter.

See Medical News Today for the full story

#3 – Your Weekend Lie-In Is Not Enough

weekend lie-in?I am sure most of us have been in the situation of desperately looking forward to Saturday or Sunday morning for a lie-in to make up for a week where there were not enough hours to get fully rested.

The good news is that that lie-in still feels great.

The bad news is that research suggests that this is not enough to make up for the lack of sleep during the week. To take better care of your health, you are better off having longer sleeps more regularly. This all sounds very idealistic to me, I am sure many people would love to have more hours in the day to get their 7 or 8 hours each night… At least if we know the most healthful way of organizing sleep we can make small changes – I am still keeping my Sunday lie-in though!

More in this article

#4 – Hunger And Sleep – A Complex Relationship

This one is interesting enough to follow up in a full-length article with other research. Hunger can prevent us from sleeping, and being satiated can make us drowsy. The types of food and other factors then have their effect – making the relationship a complex one… and that is just for fruit flies!

More in this fascinating article.

That’s all for this week, remember to bookmark the SleepWellTimes today!

<< Back To The Sleep News Blog