Monday, August 6, 2012

Are You a Sleepaholic?

by Kate Collins

If I’m any kind of “aholic” at all, I’d have to say sleepaholic first followed by chocoholic because, in my humble opinion, there’s nothing like a good night’s sleep, and now a new study proves me right. Sleep deprivation can actually make you ill.

According to recent researched published in the journal Sleep, (how appropriate) sleep deprivation has the same effect on our immune systems as physical stress, and we all know what stress does to the body.
The article goes on to explain that the lack of sleep causes our immune systems to become hyperactive and start producing white blood cells—the body's first line of defense against foreign invaders, such as infectious diseases. So the body reacts to sleep deprivation in much the same way it reacts to illness. And that, in a nutshell, is why we feel bad.
Some people are more sensitive to a lack of sleep than others. My husband was able to get by on five hours, although not for extended periods of time. Me, not so much. I simply don’t function well without my seven to eight hours a night, although I can make do with six on occasion. I feel so much better having gotten a full night of Zzzzzs.

How about you? Do you love your sleep or are you one of those energizer bunnies who can get by on five hours?

(Source: Sleep 2012; 35 (7) pp933-940