Monday October 15, 2018

Healthy Sleep Key to Ward off Depression Later

This new research emphasises that we can make an investment in our health by prioritising sleep

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Sleeping too much can affect your mental skills: Study Pixabay
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Don’t sleep deprive yourself as it may be a precursor for major depression as you reach adulthood – occurring before other symptoms of major depression and additional mood disorders hit you hard.

A genetic study of adult twins and a community-based study of adolescents has reported novel links between sleep duration and depression.

Both short and excessively long sleep durations appear to activate genes related to depressive symptoms.

“We were surprised that the heritability of depressive symptoms in twins with very short sleep was nearly twice the heritability in twins sleeping normal amounts of time,” said Nathaniel Watson, associate professor of neurology and co-director of the University of Washington Medicine Sleep Centre in Seattle.

This new research emphasises that we can make an investment in our health by prioritising sleep, added M. Safwan Badr, president, American Academy of Sleep Medicine.

A study of 1,788 adult twins is the first to demonstrate a gene by environment interaction between self-reported habitual sleep duration and depressive symptoms.

Results suggest that sleep durations outside the normal range increase the genetic risk for depressive symptoms.

Healthy sleep is a necessity for physical, mental and emotional well-being
Healthy sleep is a necessity for physical, mental and emotional well-being. Pixabay

Among twins with a normal sleep duration of seven to 8.9 hours per night, the total heritability of depressive symptoms was 27 percent.

However, the genetic influence on depressive symptoms increased to 53 percent among twins with a short sleep duration of five hours per night and 49 percent among those who reported sleeping 10 hours per night.

Another study of 4,175 individuals between age 11 and 17 is the first to document reciprocal effects for major depression and short sleep duration among adolescents using prospective data.

Sleeping six hours or less per night increases the risk for major depression, which, in turn, increases the risk for decreased sleep among adolescents, said the study.

Also Read: Even Light Exercises Have Health Benefits

Optimising sleep may be one way to maximise the effectiveness of treatments for depression such as psychotherapy.

“Healthy sleep is a necessity for physical, mental and emotional well-being,” said Badr.

According to Robert E. Roberts, professor of behavioural sciences at University of Texas, “sleep disturbance and hours of sleep should be part of the medical history of adolescents to ascertain risk”.

The studies were published in the journal Sleep. (IANS)

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6 powerful ways to boost your energy with effective power nap

Power nap is quick way to treat sleep deprivation. Power nap of 15-20 mins can energize them, making their brain more alert and enhancing motor activity

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power nap, spring mattress
Spring mattress, made of good quality springs, can enhance your comfort level Image: Freshup mattress

Power naps are essential for many people. Although, some people are fresh even without power nap, but yet many people cannot feel refreshed without it. It is a form of sleep only for few minutes. It is quick way to treat sleep deprivation. Many people do not sleep sufficiently during the nighttime due to their busy schedule. So, a power nap of 15-20 mins can energize them, making their brain more alert and enhancing motor activity.

So, here are some of the ways to extend power nap:

Watching the time:

During the period of power nap, a person should not sleep more than a specified period. Such short naps only allow a person to enter through two stages of sleep. Usually, a person does not dream during this period. But, prolonged sleeping can make a person enter REM sleep which lasts for about 90 minutes. Sleeping for this long will make him feel slightly lethargic. But if the person has slept only for a short period, then can improve his mood, concentration and also enhance motor skills.

Choose napping zone:

The place where a person wants to take a nap should be quiet and peaceful. The person should shut down the nagging voices and also should remember the chores that should be completed. Most of the researchers suggest that the person should choose meditative techniques for sleeping.  The person should undergo a power nap just to relax muscles and other parts of the body. Some of them even use co-ordination methods to calm him.

Right place

The place where the person wants to sleep should be quiet and dark. The place should not be too noisy and everywhere calmness should exist.  The light of the room should also be limited. If the place is noisy, then the person should put ear plugs to sleep peacefully. He can use the eye blinds to cut the light. Use of gadgets should be limited too as the blue light suppresses the secretion of melatonin, a sleep inducing hormone.   

Choosing the right mattresses:

For an ideal power nap, a person should choose mattresses that are comfortable for him. The mattress may be made of foam, memory foam depending on his body type and comfort level. Alternatively, a person can even choose a spring mattress. Spring mattress, made of good quality springs, can enhance your comfort level as the body weight evenly gets distributed and you feel relief on pressure points.  

Power naps are very short naps, if you are not comfortable enough on your mattress you might take a long time to fall asleep. Mattresses play a vital role in your sleep-wake cycle. Memory foam mattress is a good option as they adjust to your body shape when you lie on it and ease your pressure areas.  Spring mattress too is a good option as they provide good firmness level. Pocket spring mattress on the other won’t let you feel your partner’s toss and turn at night because of the spring’s independent placement inside the cage. So if you tend to switch your sides a lot when you sleep, then pocket spring mattress should be in your consideration list. 

power nap, spring mattress
Sleep deprivation can hurt performance and health, image: Wikimedia Commons

 

Limited caffeine and tea

A person should not consume caffeine or tea 20 mins prior to sleeping. Caffeine is a stimulant that increases the alertness of brain preventing you from falling asleep. It also delays your sleep cycle. Keeping it away at night or even before a short nap during the day helps you sleep better

Setting an alarm

A person should keep his alarm to get up as early as possible. If a person sleeps more than the extended time, then he or she would feel lethargic. Such people cannot perform their daily chores. They lose their capacity of speed, so that they cannot sleep comfortably. During the nighttime, some people do not get proper sleep. They would upset their health, digestive system and their overall discipline. Waking up immediately to alarm is a healthy habit. Set one alarm and wake up to that. Fresh and Healthy!