The Power of Sleep: my new favorite article on one of my favorite things.

Sleep, as you know, is critical for me. I need a lot of it, and at

specific times during the day. It's paramount for my health and

wellness, and it's become an indispensable tool in allowing me

to stay healthy with lupus. That's why I

love this article titled "The Power of Sleep". It uncovers new

evidence that suggests that getting the proper amount of sleep

shouldn't be viewed as a luxury; it should be thought of as a

necessity. I couldn't have said it better myself!

Take a few minutes to read the article here - I really enjoyed

hearing about what my brain actually does while I'm asleep.

I'm going to start thinking of my sleeping brain as a big fat

street cleaner, sweeping up and clearing out all the debris so

that I'm able to think more clearly and efficiently.

If you're looking for a little motivation to start getting the extra

sleep you know you need, look no further. Read this article,

and it will have you shutting the lights off earlier starting today!

Here are some highlights below:

The Power of Sleep
Alice Park

"...when the lights go out, our brains start working–but in an altogether different way than when we’re awake. At night, a legion of neurons springs into action, and like any well-trained platoon, the cells work in perfect synchrony, pulsing with electrical signals that wash over the brain with a soothing, hypnotic flow. Meanwhile, data processors sort through the reams of information that flooded the brain all day at a pace too overwhelming to handle in real time. The brain also runs checks on itself to ensure that the exquisite balance of hormones, enzymes and proteins isn’t too far off-kilter. And all the while, cleaners follow in close pursuit to sweep out the toxic detritus that the brain doesn’t need and which can cause all kinds of problems if it builds up.

The trouble is, sleep works only if we get enough of it.

Which is why, after long treating rest as a good-if-you-can-get-it obligation, scientists are making the case that it matters much more than we think. 

Health experts have been concerned about our sleep-deprived ways for some time, but the new insights about the role sleep plays in our overall health have brought an urgency to the message. Sleep, the experts are recognizing, is the only time the brain has to catch its breath. If it doesn’t, it may drown in its own biological debris–everything from toxic free radicals produced by hard-working fuel cells to spent molecules that have outlived their usefulness.

“We all want to push the system, to get the most out of our lives, and sleep gets in the way,” says Dr. Sigrid Veasey, a leading sleep researcher and a professor of medicine at Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. “But we need to know how far we can really push that system and get away with it.”

And the cause of that sleep deprivation doesn’t always originate in family strife, financial concerns or job-related problems. The way we live now–checking our phones every minute, hyperscheduling our days or our kids’ days, not taking time to relax without a screen in front of our faces–contributes to a regular flow of stress hormones like cortisol, and all that artificial light and screen time is disrupting our internal clocks. Simply put, our bodies don’t know when to go to sleep naturally anymore."

All I can say to that is Keep calm and Sleep on! 


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