Author: Ivan Widjaya

There has been a lot of great press in recent years surrounding the benefits of probiotics for the body. In particular, the benefits of probiotics for digestive health and alleviating discomfort. With such good reports, it is natural that probiotics supplements are becoming more prevalent than before. Still, not all probiotics are created equal. Some are better formulated than others.

In this review, we are taking a closer look at Peptiva Probiotics and all that it has to offer those who use it.

About the Product: Your Digestion and Peptiva Probiotics

Your digestive system plays a critical role in your overall wellness and health. After all, your digestive system is where all your body’s food and nutrients are processed and passed through the body from there to create nourishment, health, and vitality. Peptiva is a clinically formulated multi-strain probiotic matrix designed to improve digestive health. One of the most important features of the product is how it releases the probiotic benefits to the digestive system.

Unlike other probiotic brands where the products are designed to work during the body’s waking hours, Peptiva Probiotics are designed to work while one sleeps. This is significant and perhaps makes the Peptiva Probiotic supplements even more powerful. The fact is, it is during the sleeping hours that the digestive system is the least active. As such, it is during that time that the ideal environment is created to have the healthy bacteria replenish the system. Importantly, Peptiva Probiotics, thanks to some of the potent active ingredients, is also designed to be a sleep aid to ensure that users have more peaceful and restful sleep.

The Main Benefits of Using Peptiva Probiotics

One of the standout features of Peptiva Probiotics lies in its two-fold function as both a restorer of digestive health and a sleep aid. Peptiva promises to leave users feeling refreshed and restored with each waking day thanks to the fact that the healthy active bacteria will go to work while one sleeps. Having taken the supplement right before bed, it goes to work in providing you with a restful sleep and with improving your digestive health. As such, when you wake up each day, you wake up with the benefits of an increasingly healthy digestive system in full effect.

How It Works: Product Formulation and Active Ingredients

Peptiva Probiotics are doctor formulated. As such, there are lots of benefits that those who use Peptiva Probiotics can benefit from have been clinically shown to work and are safe to use. Some of the products active ingredients include:

  • Proprietary Probiotic Matrix
  • Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid
  • Valerian Root Extract
  • Melatonin (immediate release)
  • Melatonin (delayed release)

These ingredients combine to improve both sleep and digestion. The Melatonin release, for example, is designed to help improve the quality of sleep as Melatonin is a tried and true sleep aid found in many effective sleep supplements. Similarly, the Valerian Root Extract is a well-known sleep aid that helps reduce stress and anxiety and improves sleep. The Proprietary Probiotic Matrix is designed to improve digestion by providing the body with the healthy bacteria needed to improve digestive functions and effectiveness.

Rave Reviews

As if the quality of the products natural ingredients and the clinical backing are not enough, there is a host of reviews from industry experts and users alike of the products praising its effectiveness. While results will not be the same for everyone, many users report seeing tangible results – that is, better sleep and less digestive discomforts – in as little as one week. Even better is reporting little to no negative side effects from use and that the results were tied to no other lifestyle changes. (Check out SupplementHunter.com, MorningHealthNews.com, and LadiesBeautyTips.com to read the full reviews).

Directions For Use

One capsule of Peptiva Probiotics should be taken once per day, right before bedtime at nights. In each supply of Peptiva, there are 30 capsules per container and so supplies should last for 30 days when taken daily.

Get Your Own Peptiva Probiotics Supplements

You too can try your own supply of Peptiva by visiting the official website and placing an order. Purchasing Peptiva through the official website is easy and straight-forward. You will be able to benefit from the manufacturer’s discount. By trying Peptiva, particularly at a discounted rate, you too can begin sleeping better and relieving digestive discomforts.

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If you have ever been awake at 3am trying desperately to fall back asleep to no avail, you know how problematic insomnia can be. Maybe you even researched sleep aids to help you fall asleep. If you did, you were undoubtedly alarmed to discover that many of them just don’t work, others leave you groggy the next morning, and the rest take so long to work that they’re simply not worth the hassle.

Prescription sleep aids are often more effective, but can be habit-forming. A new product called VitaSleep PM uses an all-natural formula to avoid these issues, giving you the sleep you want without the associated headaches.

The Importance Of A Good Night’s Sleep

Failure to get the recommended eight hours of sleep per night can have a broad range of health consequences. Your body naturally heals itself at night, so a lack of sleep can make you more susceptible to disease and make injuries take longer to heal. You may also have difficulty concentrating on daily tasks, leading to reduced performance at work. Mood swings, weight gain, memory problems, and depression are also common symptoms of inadequate sleep.

How VitaSleep PM Helps

VitaSleep PM was formulated specifically for individuals aged 50+ by Dr. Bronner Handwerger, a holistic medical specialist with decades of experience in his field. He has earned many accolades throughout his illustrious career, including membership in the American College for the Advancement in Medicine and American Association of Anti-Aging. He has also treated prominent athletes in his San Diego-based clinic, proving that the elite trust him with their care.

Dr. Handwerger formulated a supplement that improves both quality and quantity of sleep, giving you more energy throughout the day, a more consistent mood, and a more pleasant disposition. What more could you ask for?

Active Ingredients To Help Get You Inactive

VitaSleep PM contains a variety of ingredients that help it do its job. For example, melatonin is included as a proven all-natural sleep aid. The formula also contains magnesium, calcium, and Niacin to help your body repair itself while asleep.

Stress is among the leading causes of insomnia, so VitaSleep PM contains several ingredients to help you relax as well. Valerian extract, 5HTP, lemon balm, chamomile, and L-Theanine are among the many ingredients that serve this purpose.

Finally, GABA is included to help your brain recuperate from a busy day. It is a neurotransmitter that has been found to be lacking in insomnia patients, so having more of it can’t possibly be a bad thing!

Does It Really Work?

Multiple reputable websites are attesting to how amazing VitaSleep PM really is. For instance, MorningHealthNews.com praised the product’s all-natural formulation in their recent review. They also noted just how difficult lack of sleep can be to deal with.

Likewise, SupplementScope.com recently posted a favorable write-up about VitaSleep PM. They called attention to Dr. Handwerger and the science behind the formula, going into detail about how GABA levels are often found lacking in individuals struggling with insomnia. They also liked how VitaSleep PM is not habit-forming.

Finally, Born2Impress.com noted the viability of VitaSleep PM for busy moms. Faced with the dual-edged sword of teaching their children proper sleep patterns while simultaneously juggling housework and a job outside the home, nobody struggles with sleep more than moms. Habit-forming chemicals are obviously out of the question, but VitaSleep PM is the perfect way for moms to get the recuperative rest that they so desperately need.

Where Can I Find VitaSleep PM?

VitaSleep PM is currently sold exclusively on the manufacturer’s official website, VitaSleepPM.com. Each bottle contains 60 capsules (a one-month supply) for $73. However, you can get a much better price by taking advantage of bundle offers. Two bottles of VitaSleep PM cost only $118, while three will only run you $143. Obviously, you should place a bulk order whenever possible to get the best possible deal.

If you’re tired of lying awake at night wondering when the proverbial sandman will come to close your eyes, VitaSleep PM is for you. Its all-natural ingredients were each hand-selected by a respected physician to give you the quality of sleep you deserve!

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What is it all the mainstream experts are saying these days about how much sleep we all need?

  • You’ll sleep when you’re dead, hustle til the end…
  • Your body knows best, so trash the alarm and sleep to your heart’s content…
  • At least 7 – 9 hours, but no more or you’ll get heart disease or something just as bad…

It’s hard to keep up with all the advice about how much pillow time we all need, but there’s one thing that’s for certain: Don’t get enough and you’ll certainly feel it!

Are you sleep deprived? Watch for these signs

Here are just a few signs that you might not be getting enough shuteye:

1. You have the memory of an eighty year-old!

And you’re not even middle aged yet! Or maybe you are but you’ve always been considered one of the sharpest knives in the drawer by your peers. The fact is our brain needs sleep to rejuvenate. See, the brain never really gets to rest completely like much of the rest of the body does, it’s constantly working with our nervous and organ systems to keep the home fires burning strong.

But during rest, brain cells regenerate and repair, brand new neurotransmitters are created, and science is now discovering that certain toxic molecules that accumulate in brain cells are mostly removed during sleep only (source). If your memory’s shot and you don’t sleep much, don’t rush out and book an appointment with your neurologist just yet!

2. You’re moody and impulsive, despite being someone known for their pleasant disposition

For much of the reasons mentioned in the previous paragraph, our inhibitions are lessened when we don’t get enough sleep. The brain, nervous system and body just don’t operate in tandem (and in peace) like they do when we get at least 8 hours of restorative sleep daily.

3. You’re hungry even when you shouldn’t be and have the new clothes to prove it!

You eat constantly and your pant-size keeps climbing despite getting lots of exercise. There are a number of nasty hormonal processes that contribute to this particular consequence of sleep deprivation. Three metabolic hormones in particular can make you go from Slim Shady to Fat Albert pretty fast if you don’t get enough shuteye: ghrelin, leptin and insulin.

Ghrelin tells us when we’re hungry and leptin tells us when we’re full. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out what’s going to happen when these two don’t work as they should. Worse, this study found that our body stops using insulin (responsible for regulating energy and keeping blood glucose normalized) properly after just 4 days of being sleep deprived. Insulin has a direct effect on both ghrelin and leptin. Getting fat in this case is just the least of your problems if this is you, as this hormonal foul-up is the direct precursor to diabetes (learn more).

4. You’re constantly ill, even with a clean bill of health from the doctor

This applies to illnesses of all kinds, since our immune system produces most of the cytokines it uses to fight infection and inflammation during sleep, not during the waking hours of the day.

A 2009 study followed 153 participants over the course of 2 weeks to determine how lack of sleep affected the immune system, particularly one’s ability to fight off the common cold. The results concluded that people who slept less than 7 hours were 3 times as likely to get a cold as those who slept for at least 8 (source). The body sure can get a lot done in an hour, no?

Woman catching cold

5. You can’t make even the simplest decisions anymore

A 2009 study performed by the Sleep Research Society found that decision-making was severely hindered in individuals suffering from sleep deprivation. Researchers lined up 49 healthy young West Point Cadets; 21 to run on less than optimal sleep, and 28 to get normal levels of sleep (ie., the control group).

All participants were given 2 test questions that challenge decision-making skills. The first question was asked and results noted, then the second question was asked 24 hours later. Accuracy went down 2.4% in the sleep deprived group when the second question was asked and results noted. The normal (control) group saw a rise in their accuracy on the second question by over 4% (source).

6. You’ve become like that klutzy dork you used to make fun of in high school

The title is meant purely tongue-in-cheek. Bullying and making fun of people isn’t cool at all. When we become sleep deprived, our motor skills get out of whack and can make walking a straight line down the sidewalk almost impossible. Worse, those suffering may not even notice this change in motor skills until, and if someone points it out to them.

7. You take things far too seriously on an emotional level

There’s no telling what direction things will go emotionally when you deprive yourself of sleep. Some get moody, as described above. Flying off the handle for missing out the Travelocity Groupon Coupons you’ve been waiting for since yesterday.

Other people will get giddy, to the point you’d swear their was a little leprechaun in their shirt tickling them. And still others might seem like they’re constantly falling to pieces over the slightest thing, crying uncontrollably for minutes or even hours at a time. Any sudden major change in behavior deserves further investigation.

8. You’re finding it hard to see these days, particularly when trying to read

Sight is something that we all take for granted for most of our life. When our brain and nervous system don’t get enough rest, the muscles in our eyes don’t work as well. This makes it harder in general to focus – both on things far off in the distance and during up-close tasks like reading that require a lot of work on the part of our “focusing muscles” called the ciliary muscles. This sleep deprivation issue is much worse in people who have eye problems to begin with.

9. You’re looking old

They don’t call it beauty sleep for nothing. Not that older folks aren’t beautiful, it’s just that we all lose that youthful glow as time takes a toll on our skin and hair. Causing wrinkles, dark circles, fine lines, along with gray and thinning hair.

Failure to get enough sleep seriously accelerates this part of the aging process (source). Poor skin health, and graying or thinning hair is a later-stage sign of sleep deprivation and if you’re not getting enough zzz’s, it’s time to take charge before things get out of hand.

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It’s so easy to get complacent working any job, regardless how much safety might be a factor in what you do. Doctors are renowned for running on fumes, as are the military, police and rescue personnel that exist in any trade. Somehow they all manage to get their job done in spectacular fashion, with nobody the wiser that they’ve only gotten a few winks here in there over the last few days.

Sleep deprivation causes accidents at work

But when you abuse your body, disastrous consequences can follow. If you’re lucky, it will just be you who suffers the consequences of sleep deprivation. At worst, lives can be lost.

Look at now famed New York Metro train engineer, William Rockefeller. He’s not noteworthy for heroics, excelling in sports, or scientific innovation. Rockefeller inexplicably nodded off while driving a train with over 100 passengers into a dangerous curve at 82mph in the Bronx section of the city a few years back. Over 70 were injured with 4 being killed. The last thing one conductor reported seeing before the crash was the engineer (Rockefeller) “nodding off” just before the train flew off the tracks (see the New York Daily News article).

Sleep deprivation causes colossal work accidents

A couple of the following at-work accidents resulting from sleep deprivation literally “shook” the world due to their extreme magnitude:

1. American Airlines Flight 1420 (1999)

Crashed American Airlines Flight 1420
photo credit: Wikipedia

There was plenty initial speculation that thunderstorms and overcast conditions were entirely to blame for this tragedy that happened back in 1999. The plane overshot the runway while landing. In total, 11 people including the captain were killed and 105 were injured (official NTSB report can be viewed here).

It was later discovered that the weather conditions did play a significant factor, but only because the flight crew were operating at less than 100 percent. The official stance of the National Transportation Safety Board was that sleep impairment in addition to the nasty weather conditions caused the crash:

“Impaired performance resulting from fatigue and the situational stress associated with the intent to land under the circumstances”

2. Exxon Valdez Oil Spill (1989)

Exxon Valdez oil spill cleanup
photo credit: Wikipedia

There wasn’t any need for speculation as to the cause of this accident which spilled over 250,000 barrels of crude oil into the Bligh Reef in Alaska, amounting to over 10.8 million total gallons of unrefined oil spilled. Much of the crew, including the captain had just spent several of the 22 hours on land drinking alcohol while the massive 987 foot ship was being loaded with nearly 1.3 million barrels of crude.

Third mate, Greg Cousins was sleeping at the wheel when the ship veered off-course, while much of the rest of the crew, including the captain were known to have been tossing back more than a few alcoholic beverages during a portion of this time, making one wonder just how fit they were to even help in any event.

This frightening tragedy didn’t directly kill any human beings, though 4 died during the cleanup effort. The accident did destroy a huge chunk of the Bligh Reef area of the Alaskan coastline (still scarred to this day), killed countless fish, birds and land mammals – along with decimating the local tourism and fish and wildlife industry for decades to come! (read more)

3. Challenger Space Shuttle (1986)

Challenger space shuttle, during take off
photo credit: Wikipedia

There is still much speculation about the true cause of this tragedy, whether human error or a technological failure. What we do know is that several members of the project management team on the ground had slept less than 2 hours before launch, likely in anticipation of the event and all the last-minute decisions that are needed when propelling a huge rocket filled with human beings into space.

When listening to what the Presidential Commission assigned to investigate the crash had to say, there’s little doubt what they and NASA truly thought about the cause of the incident:

“The willingness of NASA employees in general to work excessive hours, while admirable, raises serious questions when it jeopardizes job performance, particularly when critical management decisions are at stake.”

Regardless, seven of the bravest people to ever walk the planet died in this crash, which ended in a massive rocket-fueled boom. The impact felt worldwide was even more so, as the whole of the human race had such high hopes for what the shuttle team would learn and accomplish on their ill-fated mission. If you’re brave, watch this recently found video shot by Stephen Virostek before and during the crash. It’s not for the faint of heart as Virostek’s wife, Hope, is heard cheering on NASA’s first Teacher in Space, Christa McAuliffe (the first civilian, and teacher selected to go to space) before the ship erupted in a ball of flames.

4. Chernobyl (1986)

Chernobyl playground
photo credit: Jakob Pfeiffer / Flickr

This one is the worst of the worst sleep-related disasters known to man. An epic nuclear reactor explosion in the Ukraine that had the world reeling in fear of the totality of the fallout. This is another tragedy that had more than just sleep deprivation to blame. There were a number of design and procedural errors made leading up to the event, but it’s well documented that many of the engineers in charge of the plant had been at work in excess of 13 hours when the explosion shook Europe and the world to its core.

Strangely, the explosion only killed 31 people instantly, though two plant workers died from radiation poisoning within 24 hours. The real damage occurred in the weeks, months and years following the accident with the cancer, birth defects and other health problems that are still occurring from the fallout to this day.

A report released by the World Health Organization in 2006 stated that:

“In reality, the actual number of deaths caused by this accident is unlikely ever to be precisely known.”

Some put the global death toll resulting from Chernobyl at somewhere in the range of 985,000 as of 2006. 400 times the radioactive material was released from this explosion than the USAF’s Hiroshima bombing at the end of World War II. Making this tragedy and the nuclear poisoning it caused one that will last for generations to come (Wikipedia).

Still Planning to Burn the Midnight Oil Indefinitely?

Or even occasionally?

Burning the midnight oil
photo credit: Leo Hidalgo / Flickr

As you’ve learned, the consequences of sleep deprivation on the job can have disastrous effects that are beyond what most of us are capable of comprehending. Imagine the regret of surviving a work disaster of your own creation? Lives that could have been saved had you took the time to do the one thing we all need even more than food or water on a daily basis?

Sleep related accidents can happen without warning and their effects can last for what might as well be an eternity, such as in the case of the coastal and marine destruction caused by the Exxon Valdez or the permanent “nuclear hotspot” created by Chernobyl that’s left a massive chunk of land in the Ukraine unhabitable for at least the next 20,000 years.

Now if you haven’t taken the time recently, get to sleep! Getting enough of it is one thing none of us should ever regret.

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The body can go at least 2 or 3 weeks without any food. Depending on the temperature and your activity levels, it can go at least 3 – 5 full days without water. Neither of these factors is a concern for most people living in a developed country, regardless of their economic situation.

But what about sleep?

Why do so many of us take this, the most important of all daily activities, so casually?

How many would sacrifice an hour or two to spend extra time with a friend? To watch the latest and greatest CGI feature from Marvel Comics at the theater?

A massive majority of people spend sleepless nights lying in bed thinking about all the stressors they had to deal with that day, and the mountain of worry that will be waiting for them when they wake up.

Somewhere between 30 and 50 percent of Americans suffer from insomnia more than once per week. Even worse, a few years ago it was estimated that upwards of $64-billion is spent by North Americans on prescription and other treatment costs for insomnia on an annual basis (source).

Sleeplessness and insomnia are an epidemic that causes serious health problems.

What are the effects of long term sleep deprivation?

Here’s a few health-crippling reasons why you need to spend more time minding your sleep habits.

1. Genetic changes

A 2013 study out of the UK observed that prolonged sleep deprivation of just one week resulted in up to 700 genetic changes in our body. What were some of these changes, you ask? Just some of the most important factors for controlling disease, metabolism, stress management and – surprise, surprise – getting processes needed to get adequate amounts of sleep, just to name a few. It’s quite safe to say that none of the results gleaned from this research were in favor of getting less sleep.

2. Poor cognitive performance

This side effect will come as no shock to most who read it. Those who can still thrive mentally after even one night of poor or no sleep are so rare they likely don’t even exist. Though if you’ve ever witnessed a hospital emergency room in action, many of us would put medical healthcare providers in the “maybe” column for professionals who can indeed run on mental “fumes”. Consider that every single process in the body has to be routed through the brain and that it can become tired just as easily as any other muscle (yes, it’s a muscle). When it becomes tired, things like cognition and memory go straight out the window.

3. Obesity and weight fluctuation

There’s a very compelling scientific reason behind sleep deprivation’s effects on bodyweight. For some strange reason, the body ramps up its production of the hormone responsible for our hunger response, called ghrelin. Worse, leptin, the hormone that tells our brain our stomach is full and to stop eating is also reduced as we get less sleep. Essentially, sleep deprivation makes us want to eat more food, more often, and the “off switch” for hunger stops working (source).

Sleep deprivation disrupts eating habits

4. Higher risk of diabetes

Unfortunately, this sleep-deprivation-related problem extends far past the initial insulin resistance that’s leading us toward the current projections of 366,000,000 type-2 diabetics in the year 2030! There have been numerous studies into less-than-optimal sleep schedules and increases in insulin resistance. These studies aren’t promising for those who like to burn the midnight oil often. Sleeping less than 7 hours per night has a marked increase in insulin resistance, even in the face of a low sugar diet (source). Diabetics are more likely to develop diseases of all kinds including cancer, kidney, liver, and have a 65% higher heart disease and stroke risk!

5. More risk of heart disease and stroke

Insulin resistance and high blood glucose is just the beginning of a vicious cycle brought on by diabetes. As the disease progresses, cholesterol levels rise and the good/bad ratio between LDL (bad) and HDL (good) falls by the wayside, serum triglycerides rise, and arteriosclerosis (ie., narrowing of the arteries) becomes near inevitable without intervention. And this is just one factor in heart disease. Consider that sleep deprivation will have you in a constant state of stress due to higher cortisol (ie., stress) hormones, be carrying more weight around than is ideal for your body type, and that you’ll be eating more of the foods that you shouldn’t. All this makes for a perfect recipe for heart disease and stroke.

6. Higher chance of osteoporosis

Who would think that sleep deprivation can make our bones weaker and more susceptible to fractures and breakage? While long-term studies have only been performed on mice and rats at this stage in time, the results indicate that we need sleep just as badly as we do calcium in order to ensure strong bones. Even more frightening is how fast the rodents who were studied started to lose significant bone density. Just 72 days is all it took for the early onset of osteoporosis to begin.

7. Increased risk for certain cancers

This is another health risk that doesn’t have a great deal of tangible data to back it up. But keep in mind that the body needs sleep to recoup from inflammation and injury, and cancer is a disease born largely due to uncontrolled inflammation in the body. This study showed over 300 out of 1240 patients diagnosed with colorectal cancer got less than 6 hours sleep per night. Another study, discussed here, showed an increased recurrence of breast cancer in women who get less than 6 hours of shuteye every night.

Afterword

If you don’t relish the idea of dealing with these or any other sleep-deprivation-related health disorders in the future, it might be time to rethink just how much sleep is actually idea for you, if you don’t currently get the 7 – 8 hours that’s currently recommended by most sleep experts.

So strange that the most important daily activity humans and other animals need so much has the power to end our life earlier than nature intended, isn’t it?

Here’s wishing you a good night’s sleep!

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How much or little you sleep has a profound effect on several key areas of your health. Some may shock you depending on whether, after reading the following, you currently fall into the group of sleepers who’re getting “just enough but not too much” sleep every night to both maintain health and avoid serious health complications.

Life is all about balance. And walking that fine line to a long, happy and prosperous life has never been easier thanks to all the great research being done in this area over the last decade or two.

There’s always been two sides to the “how much should you sleep argument” up until now. One says “sleep 5 – 6 hours then get up and start grinding!” While the other side says “If your body wants it, your body needs it. Sweet dreams!”

It appears neither group is right. We all need just the right amount to function properly and, if the current research is correct, we need just the right amount to avoid a number of nasty health complications.

Health issues caused by having too much sleep

So, what are the potential health problems that are caused by having too much or too little sleep?

Depression

While too little sleep can easily cause depression and a number of other brain-related disorders, it appears that sleeping too much can cause the same problem. Adults that sleep at least 7 hours appear to function just fine, whereas those who sleep upwards of 8 ½ to 9 hours have shown a 27% higher risk of depression when doing so on a regular basis (source).

Aging

Using the same criteria as listed above, people who are having too much sleep were found to subtract, on average, more than 2 years from their expected life span. It appears there’s a fine line between too much and too little and sleeping much more than 8 hours per night can take years off your life if you regularly engage in the practice of getting too many “restful” hours of sleep every night.

Diabetes

In as few as 6 years, people who sleep more than 8 hours every night are two-and-a-half times as likely to develop insulin resistance; the precursor to full-blow type-2 diabetes. It would be expected that some in the group tested were already well on their way to diabetes due to a diet high in sugars and processed foods. But, after weighing all the variables, researchers still concluded that the eight-hour-plus group were twice as likely to develop the disease. Considering that over 60% of all afflicted with this condition eventually develop heart disease, and most certainly kidney problems at some point, the consequences of too much sleep with regards to diabetes and its many complications are far reaching.

Weight Gain

It should come as no shock that more time spent lying on your back or side and not moving around can lead to more weight gain. A six-year-long National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey completed in 2012 by the Chicago Medicine School, found that people who slept between 8 and 9 hours, or more every night over a period of six years had gained over 11 pounds in comparison to those who slept less than 8 hours per day during the study. There are a number of reasons behind this. Like sleeping too little; sleeping too much can increase cortisol levels (ie., stress hormones) in the body, leading the body to store more fat. “People who sleep too much may also not make the best food choices,” said researcher Dr. Rohit R. Arora.

Heart

Increased aging, diabetes and carrying more dangerous fat stores in the midsection are each on their own contributing factors to fatal heart disease and stroke. Each brings with them a plethora of problems including cholesterol imbalance, high triglycerides, kidney disruption, hyperinsulinemia and hypertension, among other problems. Sleeping beyond 8 hours increases your risk of angina by double and has been found to slightly increase one’s risk of coronary artery disease – usually when combined with one of the other complications listed already.

Wasted Life

So few consider this side effect of sleeping too much until they start to get older and begin to realize how fleeting time is. Consider an adult who sleeps 7 hours per night (ie., the low end of the National Sleep Foundations recommendation), then compare that to someone who sleeps 9 (ie., the high end of the NSF’s recommendations):

The adult sleeping 9 hours every night is losing 3024 hours of living per year over the 7-hour sleeper. That’s 60,480 hours of life experiences lost just over the course of 20 years! Imagine the difference made to the quality of one’s life and career when choosing to get “just enough” sleep at night.

Higher Risk of Death

A 2010 study compiled data from 16 studies featuring over 1,300,000 participants, found some surprising increases in death rates in groups whose sleep times fell out of the ideal time range set out by the NSF currently. While having a 1.3 higher chance of death from health complications brought on by too much or too little might not seem like a big deal, it is. Using data from the study, that means 17,979 more people who slept outside the 7 – 9 hour time range set out by the NSF died when compared to those participants who were found to get just the right amount of sleep!

Recap:

The National Sleep Foundation currently recommends between 7 – 9 hours of sleep per night for optimal performance the next day. From what you’ve learned in this post, it’s probably safe to say that 7 – 8 hours is the real optimal range, as next day and overall health appear to start to decline when exceeding 8 hours per night on a regular basis.

It all comes back to balance: Just the right amount of “A” and just a sprinkle of “B” and you have the makings of a perfect dough or pastry. Get either wrong and you’ll have a culinary disaster on your hands.

We all need a few extra ZZZs than normal once in a while when we’re sick, injured, or overworked. And yes, sometimes we have to sacrifice a few hours, even an entire night on occasion. However, getting too much or too little on a regular basis could well be a death sentence.

Cover photo credit: Benjamin Busch / Flickr

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Sleep may seem like it is something that comes natural to us all. And it is. At least until we hit our formative early teenage years and life starts to throw curveballs at us like late night get togethers with friends, caffeine filled mornings that soon begin to spill into after-dinner lattes and espressos, all-nighters spent studying for a big test the next day, new and exciting television shows popping up on the tube several times a year…

Not to mention later issues like relationships, kids, career, and all those other passions that keep us up all night as adults!

Considering your health and well-being, things have got to change. Fortunately, there is a way.

Form healthy sleeping habits

Here’s 5 great sleeping habits that can really help you to get past the “sheep counting stage” and into that dreamy nighttime bliss we all so look forward to every night:

1. Start your bedtime routine at the same time every night.

And go to bed at the same time every night too! Have you ever noticed that same colored squirrel or bird darting and hopping around your yard by their favorite tree every morning? Or the big fat raccoon lumbering around near your garbage can at the same time every night? Your mind and body both thrive on a predictable wake/sleep routine that they can count on.

All animals and mammals work on the same principle, whether they’re naturally awake in the morning or evening. This is how things are supposed to work. Your body has a circadian rhythm governed by its “master biological clock” which prepares it to wake up and also to go to sleep, and this system will reward you with better sleep quality when you embrace it and stop changing things up all the time.

2. Avoid all those nasty chemical stimulants that are known to interfere with sleep.

Sorry folks, caffeine, nicotine, alcohol, sugar, and anything else known for its ability to wake you up and/or increase alertness is going to make it harder to go to sleep. Many caffeine junkies have uttered the phrase “this won’t keep me up” over the years. And sometimes this is true, but most times it’s just an illusion.

Same for alcohol, it might help you drift off more easily, but will soon have a stimulatory effect on the brain shortly after you drift off. Booze significantly lowers the levels of galanin in our brains. Galanin is the neurotransmitter responsible for getting us to sleep and keeping things that way. You may not wake up entirely, but you’ll definitely toss and turn and will not go into REM sleep mode as many times as you should during the night.

3. Make your sleeping space NASA Clean Air approved.

Nasty chemicals like benzene, formaldehyde, toluene and ammonia are all around us in the air we breathe, particularly in confined spaces like our homes and vehicles. These chemicals can have a huge impact on our short term sleep quality, and our overall long term health in general. Worse, most of them are brought into our home by us in the cleaning chemicals, air fresheners and various fabrics we clean and decorate our homes with.

Check out this list of NASA-approved air filtering plants and make sure you have at least one, like an English Ivy or Bamboo Palm somewhere near your bed, so it cleans the air as you sleep. Never forget that air quality is synonymous with a good night’s sleep.

Good sleeping habits can help you to sleep well

4. Keep your sleeping space dark and cool.

Remember that our body prefers a predictable schedule in order to get to sleep and stay that way. Our bodies have adapted to Mother Nature during our existence on this planet and our genetics have several stimuli from our surroundings plugged into it to tell us when to sleep and when to wake.

Our eyes know the sun is rising as the early morning blue-spectrum lighting it gives off penetrates our eyelids, signaling the brain it’s time to finally wake up. If you tend to leave lights on, or don’t shut your blinds at night, this process can be triggered too soon, waking you up.

Same goes for temperature. Our bodies naturally use the ebb and flow of natural heat outside to manage our internal clock. Heat rises as the sun comes up and intensifies throughout the day, before it starts to cool as the sun dips below the horizon. Temperatures below 74 degrees are considered optimal on the high end, whereas temps falling below 54 degrees can be disruptive to sleep.

5. Make a conscious effort to shut your brain off leading up to bedtime every night.

A busy, worried brain is a brain that’s not going to want to go to sleep and even if it does, you’re likely to be awoken in the middle of the night due to some errant worry (or more typically, several annoying worries) that your brain has to deal with. For you, this might be reading a book or lying back on the pillow and sorting out the day’s events in your mind.

The most important thing is to begin this process well before you actually need to drift off, to ensure you’re not kept awake half the night trying to wind down. Having a good stress management routine is key to making sure you can tune out for some shuteye for at least 7 hours every day.

Ready to apply what you’ve learned?

Now that you’re armed with this information, it’s time to apply it to your own life and start getting the restful, rejuvenating, stress reducing sleep we all deserve – starting from forming good sleeping habits.

Time spent tossing, turning and/or lying in bed awake means you’re not going to be operating at 100% the next day. You owe it to yourself to get the best night’s sleep possible each and every night!

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