A lack of sleep ages the brain faster researches from Duke have determined. Here’s what they did. They measured the brain volume from MRI scans as people aged and they also tracked how much sleep they got. Can you guess what they found?
Lack of sleep ages brain faster
While it is no surprise that sleep improves athletic performance, cognitive performance, and health – now you can add anti-brain aging to the list of things sleep helps.
So, what does that mean for you?
Get Enough Sleep To Protect Your Brain
It’s that simple, get enough sleep. What does that mean though? It means getting at least seven hours per night. Interestingly, they have also found that getting too much sleep – say nine hours or more, may be harmful also. Those who sleep too long don’t get extra benefits of sleep, they start to see negative trends over people who get 7-8 hours of sleep per night.
What should you do?
- Go to bed consistently
- Get 7-8 hours of sleep
- Practice active relaxation before bed
- Control your room’s temperature
- Have good bedding
That’s It Right? Nothing Else?
Wrong, if you do all this but you drink alcohol right before bed guess what? Poor sleep… I’m all for a drink each night (so is the science it appears, but that’s still being worked out). Just don’t drink say two or three hours before bed. If you need a drink to get to bed substitute deep breathing. Deep breaths in for three seconds, hold for five, exhale for five. If that doesn’t feel right adjust it as required. Just concentrate on breathing for a 20 minutes before bed. You’ll have an easier time getting to rest each night.
What About My Spouse?
What should you do if your spouse can’t get on the program? You have a few options:
- Different beds
- Different rooms
- Sleeping masks
- Stern discussion
My advice is talk with your spouse about your need for rest, how it puts you in such a good mood. How your good mood translates to such a happier life (for both of you). Simply going to bed at a reasonable hour the same time each night would really show his/her love for you.
Who wouldn’t go for that talk? I’d adjust my bedtime based on that request.
Adjusting that bedtime could make all the difference. Remember, sleep is a marathon not a sprint. Remember, this study was on older people – you want healthy sleep habits your entire life.
You set your alarm every morning to wake up, why not set another alarm to tell you to go to sleep? We all have alarms in our pockets these days.
It’s no secret we love good pillows, that’s what this site is about. You can learn more about CPAP pillows on our homepage. If you want help winding down in the evening you could check out our friend’s blog on yoga.