Posts Tagged ‘sleep’

Staying Mentally Healthy

Tuesday, May 28th, 2013 by American Senior Fitness Association   View This Issue of Experience!

To promote your mental health put these recommendations from Womenshealth.gov into action:

  • Perform physical exercise on a daily basis.
  • Follow a well balanced, nutrient-dense diet.
  • Get an adequate amount of sleep on a regular nightly schedule.
  • Make a concerted effort to manage stress, both physical and emotional.
  • Take time every day to enjoy something that pleases and delights you.
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Sleep and Memory

Monday, March 4th, 2013 by American Senior Fitness Association   View This Issue of Experience!

Recent research published in the journal Nature Neuroscience looked at the effects of lighter sleep — which often accompanies aging — on memory skills. The small study involved 18 young people (average age 20) and 15 older adults (average age 72).

Given a memory test after sleeping, the older persons scored 55 percent lower than the young persons. The researchers think that the older adults remembered less than their younger counterparts during the memory task because the older persons’ sleep was not as deep.

With age, sleep may become lighter due to sleep interruptions caused by aches, pains and/or the need to urinate. However, sleep quality can be improved which might, in turn, lead to better everyday memory function.

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Get Some Sleep

Tuesday, October 5th, 2010 by American Senior Fitness Association   View This Issue of Experience!

Researchers have identified what they believe is the most healthful length for sleeping: between six and eight hours per day. More specifically, they concluded that short sleep increases the risk for death and that over long sleep may indicate serious illness. Following is a news release on the study from the University of Warwick in the United Kingdom:

Research carried out by the University of Warwick in collaboration with the Federico II University Medical School in Naples, Italy, has found that people who sleep for less than six hours each night were 12 percent more likely to die prematurely than those who get the recommended six to eight hours.

The study, published in the journal Sleep, provides unequivocal evidence of the direct link between short duration of sleep (less than six hours sleep a night) and an increased chance of dying prematurely.

The research also notes that consistent over long sleeping (over nine hours a night) can be a cause for concern. While, unlike short sleeping, over long sleeping does not in itself increase the risk of death, it can be a significant marker of an underlying serious and potentially fatal illness.

The study looked at the relationship between the level of habitual duration of sleep and mortality by reviewing 16 prospective studies from the UK, USA, European and East Asian countries. The study included more than 1.3 million participants, followed-up for up to 25 years, with more than 100,000 deaths recorded.

This study provides unequivocal evidence of the direct link between both short (less than six hours sleep a night) and long (nine hours or more) duration of sleep and an increased chance of dying prematurely, compared to those who sleep six to eight hours a night on average.

Professor Francesco Cappuccio, leader of the Sleep, Health and Society Programme at the University of Warwick and Consultant Physician at the University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust, said, "Whilst short sleep may represent a cause of ill-health, long sleep is believed to represent more an indicator of ill-health."

He said: "Modern society has seen a gradual reduction in the average amount of sleep people take, and this pattern is more common amongst full-time workers, suggesting that it may be due to societal pressures for longer working hours and more shift-work. On the other hand, the deterioration of our health status is often accompanied by an extension of our sleeping time."

"Consistently sleeping six to eight hours per night may be optimal for health," he continued. "The duration of sleep should be regarded as an additional behavioural risk factor, or risk marker, influenced by the environment and possibly amenable to change through both education and counseling as well as through measures of public health aimed at favourable modifications of the physical and working environments."

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A-h-h-h-h

Tuesday, October 5th, 2010 by American Senior Fitness Association   View This Issue of Experience!

 

The English Elizabethan poet and dramatist, Thomas Dekker, who lived from 1572 to 1632, knew that slumber plays an important role in life:

    "Sleep is the golden chain that ties health and our bodies together."

    – Thomas Dekker

 

 

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Boosting cardiovascular fitness improves sleep, vitality and mood for insomniacs

Thursday, September 16th, 2010

A Northwestern University study has shown that “aerobic exercise is a simple strategy to help people sleep better and feel more vigorous.” The study results indicated that “aerobic exercise … resulted in the most dramatic improvement in patients’ reported quality of sleep … compared to any other non-pharmacological intervention.” Phyllis Zee, M.D., director of the Sleep Disorders Center at Northwestern, noted that “by improving a person’s sleep, you can improve their physical and mental health.” A report from Northwestern University’s health sciences editor, Marla Paul, is shown below.

 

 

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Overcoming Lack of Sleep

Wednesday, August 18th, 2010 by American Senior Fitness Association   View This Issue of Experience!

SFA author Jim Evans is a 42-year veteran of the health and fitness industry and an internationally recognized senior fitness consultant. Today Jim offers some healthy advice for getting sufficient, good quality sleep.

DEAR JIM: For the past several years I’ve been tossing and turning all night and can’t seem to get a good night’s sleep. Worse, when I look in the mirror I can’t believe how old I look. I realize that at 74 I’m not a "spring chicken" anymore, but my age seems to be accelerating. I eat a well balanced diet and try to stay physically active, but I just can’t sleep as soundly as I used to and I’m tired all the time. Any suggestions? SLEEPY IN SANTA CRUZ

DEAR SLEEPY: For starters I would recommend a complete physical examination to see if there are any underlying medical issues that might be causing your sleeplessness. A lack of sleep can have numerous undesirable side effects.

Research indicates that the consistent lack of a good night’s sleep can negatively impact your ability to handle stress, compromise your health, increase motor and neurological deterioration, hasten the aging process, and ultimately shorten your life. You might have been able to tolerate less sleep when you were younger without any immediately noticeable side effects but not so when you are older.

"We’re beginning to identify some of the underlying mechanisms that may help explain why organisms age," said Natraj Krishnan (krishnan@science.oregonstate.edu), a research associate in the Oregon State University Department of Zoology. He noted that "… young individuals may be able to handle certain stresses, but the same insults at an older age cause genetic damage and appear to lead to health problems and earlier death. And it’s linked to biological clocks."

If your physical doesn’t turn up anything unusual, try some of the traditional methods of improving your sleep such as curtailing physical activity before you go to bed, avoiding caffeine for several hours before bedtime, and not going to bed hungry (but don’t eat too much late at night either). And, no, a warm glass of milk before you go to bed may not help you sleep despite what your grandmother used to tell you, but if you think it does, go for it. Most of us already know that drinking too much fluid before bedtime is usually asking for trouble, so go easy on beverages of any kind.

Your room temperature can make a big difference in how you sleep, too, so turn off the heat at night (or at least turn it down if you live in a colder climate) and snuggle under the covers. You might even try reading in bed to help you wind down from the day’s activities.

There are also other ways to improve your sleep habits, but definitely start with the physical check-up to rule out any medical issues. The important thing is to get to the source of the problem so that you can start looking — and feeling — more refreshed in the morning.

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