Tag: sleep

A bedtime to-do list could help you sleep better

A bedtime to-do list could help you sleep better

For better shut-eye, don’t count blessings or sheep at bedtime; take stock instead.

A small but intriguing study found that writing a to-do list before turning in helps people get to sleep faster.

The reason? The mental housekeeping “offloaded” worry about what’s upcoming, according to research in the Journal of Experimental Psychology.

The study, led by Michael K. Scullin, Director of the Sleep Neuroscience and Cognition Laboratory in Baylor University’s department of Psychology, involved a team of researchers following 57 student volunteers. Each volunteer spent one night sleeping in the lab.

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Eating fish may help you sleep better

Eating fish may help you sleep better

Forget warm milk. A new study from the University of Pennsylvania says that fish may be the key to a good night’s sleep.

The paper, published Thursday in Scientific Reports, found an association between regular fish consumption and high sleep quality among Chinese schoolchildren, likely thanks to the omega-3 fatty acids found in fish. Largely as a result of that improved sleep, the researchers found, the children also scored higher on IQ tests.

“There’s a relationship between fish consumption and higher cognitive functioning. What what we document here is that it’s the better sleep that explains the relationship,” says Adrian Raine, one of the paper’s authors and a professor of criminology, psychiatry and psychology at Penn. “From A to B to C: From fish consumption to better sleep to higher cognitive functioning.”

 The researchers asked 541 schoolchildren in China between ages 9 and 11 to describe their eating habits, including how often they ate fish. Their parents, meanwhile, were asked to answer questions about the kids’ sleep patterns. Researchers then administered IQ tests when the children turned 12.They found links between eating fish regularly — the more, the better — and both improved sleep and higher IQ scores. But, Raine explains, it appears that many of the cognitive benefits can be traced back to bedtime. “The brain is so much more plastic early on in child development,” he says. “We might anticipate that fish consumption earlier in life may be particularly beneficial for a child’s sleep and cognitive functioning.”

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Better sleep linked with higher omega-3 levels in new study

Better sleep linked with higher omega-3 levels in new study

Omega-3 fatty acids are most commonly derived from fish oils, including tuna and salmon, and they have been linked to numerous health benefits. But now, a new study suggests that having higher levels of omega-3 DHA is associated with better sleep.

The researchers, from the University of Oxford in the UK, have published results of their study in the Journal of Sleep Research.

They conducted their research in 362 children from the UK between the ages of 7 and 9 years old, who were not recruited based on sleep problems.

According to the study, sleep problems in children are associated with poor health and behavioral and cognitive problems, the same health issues associated with deficiencies of long-chain omega-3 fatty acids.

As such, the team investigated whether taking 600 mg supplements of omega-3 DHA would improve sleep.

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Sleep yourself slim: how an extra 90 mins in bed can stop sugar cravings

Sleep yourself slim: how an extra 90 mins in bed can stop sugar cravings

Spending an extra 90 minutes in bed may not seem like the obvious way to lose weight, but according to a new study, it could be the key to shedding excess pounds.

Scientists from King’s College London have discovered that people who sleep for longer are less likely to pick sugary treats, or reach for comforting carbohydrates.

Lack of sleep was already known to be a risk factor for obesity because it alters levels of hormones which control appetite.

But a new study showed that by getting more sleep, people naturally choose healthier foods within a week, eating on average 10 grams less sugar each day.

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Interrupted sleep worse than not getting enough sleep

Interrupted sleep worse than not getting enough sleep

Being interrupted during sleep is likely to affect your mood more than not getting enough sleep, a study suggests.

Researchers at the John Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland, USA studied 62 men and women and split them into three experimental conditions.

One group were subject to “forced awakenings” during sleep, others went to bed late and the last group went to sleep uninterrupted.

The study analysed the participants over three days and published their research in the journal Sleep.

The group who were regularly woken displayed a “low positive mood” after the first night, however after the second had a reduction of 31 per cent in positive mood.

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Sleeping posture could affect brain health, study shows

Sleeping posture could affect brain health, study shows

Sleeping on your side rather than your back or stomach might play a role in helping reduce your risk of developing Alzheimer’s and other neurological diseases, according to a new study.

Side sleeping opens a passage in the brain called the glymphatic pathway that dispels waste and other chemicals, say the researchers from Stony Brook University in the US.

“It is interesting that the lateral sleep position is already the most popular in human and most animals – even in the wild – and it appears that we have adapted the lateral sleep position to most efficiently clear our brain of the metabolic waste products that built up while we are awake,” says Dr Maiken Nedergaard of the University of Rochester.

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Bad sleep ‘dramatically’ alters body

Bad sleep ‘dramatically’ alters body

A run of poor sleep can have a dramatic effect on the internal workings of the human body, say UK researchers.

The activity of hundreds of genes was altered when people’s sleep was cut to less than six hours a day for a week.

Writing in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the researchers said the results helped explain how poor sleep damaged health.

Heart disease, diabetes, obesity and poor brain function have all been linked to substandard sleep.

What missing hours in bed actually does to alter health, however, is unknown.

So researchers at the University of Surrey analysed the blood of 26 people after they had had plenty of sleep, up to 10 hours each night for a week, and compared the results with samples after a week of fewer than six hours a night.

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Insomniacs ‘should be given therapy not sleeping pills’

Insomniacs ‘should be given therapy not sleeping pills’

Tens of thousands of insomniacs could be helped to sleep better every year if NHS staff were trained to provide safe psychological therapies, according to a leading specialist in the field.

One in four Britons suffers from poor sleep and one in 10 has a sleep disorder, but the vast majority suffer in silence or turn to potentially harmful drug treatments.

Sleep problems can exist in isolation, but are more common in people with mental health problems and chronic physical conditions such as heart disease, dementia and Parkinson’s disease.

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Can Lack of Sleep lead to High Blood Pressure?

Can Lack of Sleep lead to High Blood Pressure?

Answer: Possibly. It’s thought that sleeping less than six hours a night could be linked to increased blood pressure.

People who sleep five hours or less a night may be at higher risk of developing high blood pressure or worsening already high blood pressure. There’s also an increased risk of high blood pressure for people who sleep between five and six hours a night, although that risk is not as high as it is for people who sleep five hours or less a night.

It’s thought that sleep helps your blood regulate stress hormones and helps your nervous system remain healthy. Over time, a lack of sleep could hurt your body’s ability to regulate stress hormones, leading to high blood pressure.

Sleeping seven to eight hours a night may play a role in the treatment and prevention of high blood pressure. Talk to your doctor for tips on getting better sleep, especially if you have high blood pressure.