Sleep for longevity, diet, beauty, health, memory

  After recently reading an interesting article on “The Benefits of Sleep”,  I reflected on the time that I lived in Italy.  Certain facts about various diets and their cultures should be embraced and put into practice .  Although diet is an important factor when it comes to longevity,  it also seems that other variables, such as sleep need to be considered as well. Is it possible that these populations within Italy, Costa Rica, Japan and Greece, which have been linked to longevity, diet, beauty, health and memory could know something about the benefits of sleep? 

Sleep is something valued and apart of their daily routines and according to the study an attribute to longevity.  The work day in Latin cultures begin between 8-9 am.  Lunch is at 1-2 pm followed by a “siesta”, with their workday being recommenced at 4-4:30pm.  They return home for a walk at 8-8:30 pm and a small dinner at 9-9:30 pm.  Of course, certain industrialized cities may require you to skip your siesta and to work  from  9 am -7 pm.  The purpose of sleep and reduced stress is valued nonetheless.

Sleep is also linked to proper nutritional intake.  For example, the two hormones affected by sleep deprivation are related to eating: gherlin, which tells you to eat and leptin, which tells you when you are full!  Lack of sleep will confuse the hormones and you will overeat, because of the decrease in leptin function.  Additionally, cortisol levels increase and your metabolism slows down.

Dr. Michael Breus PhD and author of “Beauty Sleep”, discusses the fact of sleep deprivation halting the nutrients level of activity in the skin, therefore, you wake up pale and washed out.  While sleeping, the growth hormone is performing tissue and cellular repair, allowing for a decreased amount of wrinkles and and attribution to looking refreshed.

Other studies have shown an 21% increase in mortality rates of women who did not get 7-8 hours of sleep.  Research reveals that decreased sleep is linked to high blood pressure, diabetes and depression.

Scientists have suggested that sleep allows for your brain to “sort out short-term memories into other areas so that it’s ready to take in more the next day. It maybe the way the brain rebuilds  and strengthens it’s circuits says neuro-scientist Marcos Frank PhD.

So what do you think about sleep and how does it positively or negatively effect your life and daily routines?

By Kimberly Crocker

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