Thursday, December 18, 2014
A Tired Brain wants caffeine, drugs, nicotine, alcohol—a vicious cycle. Weight gain: if you get less than 5 hours of sleep, the body produces ghrelin—a hunger hormone—and you’re 50% more likely to be overweight. Sustained stress due to sleep loss can lead to cancer, diabetes, CV disease.
Tuesday, December 16, 2014
Sleep Deprivation: In 1950, we got 8 hours, but today we sleep only 6.5. Teens need 9 hours, but only get 5. Shift work: Body clock does not adapt—quality of sleep is poor—simulates jet lag. A result can be micro-sleep—involuntary sleep. Thirty-one percent (31%) of drivers will fall asleep at the wheel in their lifetime, and over 100,000 accidents a year are associated with sleep at the wheel. Poor judgment due to sleep deprivation contributed to the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster. Sleep deficits account for impulsivity, poor judgment, poor memory and poor creativity.
Monday, December 15, 2014
Why do we sleep? ~Russell Foster (2103 TED Talk)
We treat sleep lightly. Sleep was once revered—Shakespeare called it “the sweet honey-dew of sleep.” But later, people like Edison had a dimmer view—“Sleep is a criminal waste of time!” We spend 1/3 of our time sleeping. But you don’t eat, work, or do much of anything while sleeping, so we sometimes consider it a waste of time. BUT: The brain does not shut down when we sleep—it does important things: 1) Restoration—a host of genes are only turned on during sleep for restoration; 2) Sleep enhances both learning and memory consolidation—hard to learn when you’re tired; 3) Innovation is enhanced by 3 times with proper sleep. Neural connections that are important are strengthened and others loosened—basic consolidation.