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Posts Tagged ‘study

  Are you satisfied with your life? If not, how’s your sleep? A new study shows there may be a connection.

Life satisfaction and sleep quality are known to be important factors in your overall health and well-being. But how are they related?

Does poor sleep cause you to be less satisfied with your life? Or does low satisfaction with your life lead to sleep problems?

The researchers sought to find the an answer. Their study involved 18,631 same-sex twins in Finland.

They measured life satisfaction, sleep quality and other factors. Then they did a follow up six years later and recorded the same measures.

  What did they find? People who became dissatisfied with their life during the six years between study points were more likely to have had sleep problems. Fifty-nine pecent of these newly dissatified people had reported at the beginning of the styd that they sleep poorly.

The results also show that poor sleep predicted a consistent pattern of life dissatifaction. But the reverse wasn’t true; life dissatisfaction did not consistently predict poor sleep.

Studying twins also provided a genetic look at the connection. The study shows that both sleep quality and life satisfaction has a strong genetic component; there was substantial heritability for both traits.

Both genetic influence is different; the genetic component shared by sleep quality and lif satisfaction was relatively weak.

The study supports the idea that poor sleep may have direct effects on the brain, emotions and mood.

  So how is the quality of your sleep? You can get a better idea by completing this brief sleep evaluation.

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Studies have shown the lack of sleep speeds up risky decisions.

  Heightened expectations and low risk perception – that is what lack of sleep seems to induce when decision making during gambling was studied in an experimental study. This showed that parts of the brain, where regions were important in responding to losses were under-recruited when losses were encountered. This represents a double jeopardy – expecting a higher payout when none is really offered and being less sensitive to loss, when it might be prudent to be.

  Sleep deprivation affects many aspects of our well being. It impairs vigilance, flexible thinking, working memory, and executive functioning. People appear to make fewer optimal decisions when they lack adequate sleep.

  Understanding why we make poorer choices when sleep deprived is important not only because of the increaseing numbers of persons affected, but also because there exists today, unprecedented  opportunities to incur damaging losses by means such as online gambling. This work is one of many that evaluated the neutral correlates of decison-making but the first to apply such methods to sleep deprived individuals.

  It was observed that there are quite large differences to the necessity for sleep. While most lay persons do not question the need for sleep and acknowledge that sleep restriction for whatever reason is something they would avoid if given a chance, there are a surprising number of persons like Thomas Edison who felt that sleep was optional and that man would evolve to do away with sleep.

A 2007 study in the journal Sleep used a gambling task to show that risky decisions can be more attractive to a sleep-deprived brain. The study also cites other research showing that well-rested people learn to avoid high risks and choose what is most advantageous, while sleep-deprived people tend to continue making high-risk decisions.

Sleepy brains prone to power failure:

 Being deprived of sleep even for one night can make the brain unstable and prone to sudden shutdown, like a power failure- brief lapses that hover between sleep and wakefulness.

  It’s as though it is both asleep and awake and they are switching between each other very rapidly, causing such disorientation in a sleep deprived person. Imagine your sitting in a room watching a movie with the lights on. In a stable or wakeful brain the light stay on all the time, where-as a sleep brain, the lights will suddenly go off and you’ve dozed off, unaware.

  The findings also suggest that people who are sleep deprived alterante between periods of near-normal brain function and dramatic lapses in attention and visual processing. Researchers did brain imaging studies on 24 adults who performed simple tasks involving visual attention when they were well rested and when they had missed a nights’ sleep.

  The researchers used a type of brain imaging know as functional magnetic resonance imaging or fMRI, which measures blood flow in the brain.

  They found significant, momentary lapses in several areas of the brain, which seemed to frequently falter when the people were deprived of sleep, but when these same people were well rested. These people were doing tasks and trying to work very hard through their sleepiness, to remember what they had learned.

  These lapses seem to suggest that loss of sleep renders the brain incapable to fully fending off involuntary drive to sleep. The study also makes it clear how dangerous sleep deprivation can be while driving on a highway, when even a four-second lapse could lead to a major accident.


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