Sleep & The Brain: Why This Business Woman Tells You To Sleep Your Way To The Top

The most simple, yet most powerful advice you will find on the world wide web comes from Arianna Huffington.

I have one piece of advice for you: sleep your way to the top.

She is NOT telling you to do anything inappropriate, but she IS trying to warn hard working individuals for becoming sleep deprived. In her book The Sleep Revolution she shares that she once had dinner with a man who was bragging about the fact that he only had 4 hours of sleep that night. She thinks to herself: “This dinner would be much more interesting if you’d had five.”
It seems to have become normal, and even admirable, to get a minimum amount of sleep every night. It means you are busy doing things that are more important than getting sleep. Right? But what is MORE important than getting enough sleep?

The Consequences Of Sleep Deprivation

A chronic lack of sleep can not only make you very grumpy, but can also have more severe consequences.

1) Memory impairment

Sleep plays a vital role in the consolidation of memory: new neuronal paths are created during sleep which makes it possible for us to store the information we have learned.

2) Mood and Depression

Sleep and mood are very much connected. Insufficient sleep can lead to irritability and stress. Chronic insomnia can even increase the chance of developing a mood disorder.
In the Sleep in America poll, people who were diagnosed with depression or anxiety were more likely to sleep less than six hours at night. Sleep loss can make symptoms of depression worse, while depression can make it more difficult to fall asleep.

3) Heart disease

Lack of sleeps doubles our risk for heart disease. One study showed that when people cut their sleep from 7 to 5 or less hours a night, they were twice as likely to die from cardiovascular disease.

4) Weight gain

Study shows we choose calorie rich food when we are sleep deprived. The sight of this type of food has a different effect on us after a lack of sleep. On the one hand it causes our amygdala (a part of the brain that regulates basic emotions) to react more heavily. On the other hand, the frontal lobe (responsible for the regulation of decision-making and control over our basic instincts) shows diminished activity than it would show after a long night of sleep. As you understand, this makes it quite impossible to resist a delicious doughnut or tasty pizza.

5) Skin aging

When you are sleep deprived your body releases more of the stress hormone cortisol. High amounts of this hormone will lead to breakdown of skin collagen, the protein that keeps your skin elastic.

These are just a few of the MANY consequences of insufficient sleep. But how many hours of sleep a night is enough? This differs per person but 6 to 8 hours is considered a normal range.

Are you getting enough sleep?

Find this interesting?  Check out: How To Rewire Your Brain For Happiness And Success (VIDEO!)