Sleeping just 90 minutes or so less than usual can have a significant impact on how quickly and accurately our brains function the next morning, according to new research from Norway.
In the study, individuals who ate their last meal of the day at 10 p.m. rather than 6 p.m. burned less fat overnight. They also had higher blood sugar levels.
Three-quarters of the people surveyed said they were sleeping longer on most nights — from 25 to 51 minutes more.
An elevated resting heart rate is a known risk factor for cardiovascular disease.
Not getting enough sleep was found to be particularly associated with eating more added sugars and more food in general.
Americans are significantly sleep deprived. Up to 70 million have a chronic sleep disorder severe enough to affect their daytime ability to function.
The research revealed that after a sleepless night, people are three times more likely to experience lapses in concentration and twice as likely to make errors in placekeeping, which is the ability to perform a set of steps or tasks in a particular order without making mistakes.
The study also reports that these benefits can, in some cases, continue for months after the therapies have ended.
Few previous studies have examined how physical activity influences the quality of sleep of healthy adults.
When it comes to academic performance, sleep “really, really matters.”
Hormonal changes that occur with puberty affect young people’s circadian rhythms, the internal “clocks” that set the timing of the body’s physiological functions — including the daily sleep/wake cycle.
No association was found between the length of the naps and the risk of cardiovascular disease events.
The analysis found that the optimum time to take a shower, bath or footbath was one to two hours before going to bed.
Every extra hour of physical activity was associated with an 18-minute earlier bedtime and with 10 more minutes of sleep throughout the entire night, on average.
Almost a third of American adults have high blood pressure, and more than a third don’t get enough sleep.
Americans aren’t good at separating myths from fact about many health issues, and sleep is no different.
“Our findings suggest that the common behavior of burning the candle during the week and trying to make up for it on the weekend is not an effective health strategy,” said Kenneth Wright, the study’s senior author.
Six years after the birth of their child, mothers in the study were sleeping about 20 minutes less and fathers were sleeping about 15 minutes less per night than before the pregnancy.
“These observations support the early evening as a viable time of day for individuals to engage” in high-intensity exercise, the study’s authors conclude.
Researchers describe the findings as “startling.”