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Little or too much sleep is not good for people and somehow, everyone knows this. Nevertheless, this time I will expose some facts that can be interesting, such as little sleeping increases the necessity of eating sugar, therefore, he who sleeps less will attack cakes and ice creams, as a sort of decompensation prize.
When it comes to behaviours, there is, however, other data that you may not know yet: several studies about this matter reveal that as a consequence, people further lie, steal and cheat on their neighbour. It may not be on purpose, but it does happen. As it happens also forgetting things, almost in the exact proportion of the ones they are currently learning: circa 40%. And of course the much-hyped attention deficit.
We also know that during the full moon we sleep less 20 minutes and lose 30% of deep sleep. Another study in 2014 showcased that there are 17% more road accidents to people with sleep deficiency. The skin dries out in only one night of lost sleep, making face features and wrinkles more creased. This so called the lack of sleep increments the desire to eat, leading to a progressive weight increase. Still associated with lack of sleep, there is also increased blood pressure, cholesterol, and diabetes.
Sleep is the tireless friend that cleans our brain toxins each night. We very much need this repairing and fresh time. A tip to make it happen? Find the ideal room temperature (the majority of people feel comfortable between the 18 and 22 degrees Celsius), do not ingest alcoholic drinks during the night, or the so-called exciting beverages that contain caffeine or theine, and avoid large meals at night or before going to sleep. Sleep disturbance is a vicious cycle that can lead to chronic depression and anxiety.
The so-called REM (rapid eye movement) occurs throughout the night and during deep sleep cycles. It is also during this phase that we dream. A person can usually have six periods of REM sleep per night. It is during REM that some of our memories and emotional questions are processed and solved.
According to sleep scholar Rick Wassin, and only after several studies, the REM phase is the one that mostly contributes to solve and regulate emotions. Now, if there are disturbances during such critical periods, this may result in several emotional memories being neither processed nor solved.
Another research done recently with a group of people in the Netherlands, revealed that individuals with these disturbances (during REM), had more conflicts during the day, became more aggressive with a bigger tendency to search for brawls, and also suffered from an increase in anxiety. Thus, we close the vicious cycle: bigger anxiety during the day, bigger difficulty to sleep at night.
An adult should sleep around 7/8 hours per day. But whoever thinks that too much sleep (more than nine hours), can avoid these sort of disturbances is dead wrong. ‘Oversleep’ and ‘hypersomnia’ may also bring similar problems – albeit not so serious – and even if not due to depression, tiredness or flu. In short: sleeping is a healthy way to process and solve problems. And now that we know why, we understand the reason of the wise expression sleep on it.
NB: The material presented here is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a psychological or psychiatric condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking it because of something you have read on the Internet.Read the full disclaimer here.
Ana Pinto-Coelho is an addiction counsellor who has gained her degree from the University of Oxford. She is committed to advancing her profession in Portugal. Currently, she runs a private practice in Lisbon, Portugal and her commitment is to help individuals, and their families, who are struggling with addiction. She believes that counselling is both an effective and safe means to self-understanding, and ultimately recovery. For this reason, she has called her clinic Safe Place. You can follow her on Twitter @AnaPintoCoelho1
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