Unexpected Sleep Connections

by Inga Yandell

We all know sleep is good for our health but science also reveals a few unexpected sleep connections with curious consequences.

Warning: once you read this post you’ll never look at sleep the same way again!

Who better to help us explore the science than Sleep Masters—designers of a unique mask with built-in sound-muffling to combat light and noise, a secret weapon for…

Incompatible bedfellows: late night readers, and tree cutters wielding snore soars.

Expedition Challenges: 24/7 daylight and howling winds.

Tiring travel: busy airports, jet lag inducing flights, and less than ideal accommodation.

Nap Needs: workplaces without sleep stations, snoozing between shifts on a multi-day adventure race, military training or operations, and long distance drives.

Sleep Connections

Sleep Master’s Top Six Unexpected Sleep Connections

At Sleep Master, we frequently hear about the life changing effects of a restful night’s sleep. Our customers reach out from around the world looking for the key to unlock their sleep obstacles ranging from a simple sluggish day at work to regular episodes of insomnia. Then we hear back about how our light-blocking, sound-muffling mask saved a marriage (“he snores” or “sleeps with the lights on”), helped our troops sleep in the barracks (“work is in round-the-clock shifts—there’s always someone getting up for their watch”), assisted in recovery from illness (“the nurses are in and out of the room all night”), and helped students make it through college (“my roommate sleeps all day and studies [or talks on the phone] all night”).

Funny, our reaction to the recent article on Kanye and Kim’s not sleeping together: http://www.lifeandstylemag.com/posts/kanye-west-kim-kardashian-don-t-sleep-same-bed-69764 was that a Sleep Master could save their marriage!

In recent years, sleep deprivation has been shown to influence heart disease, obesity, and diabetes as well as affect physical appearance. In the following articles we list some of our favorite recent studies detailing the consequences of improper and non-restful sleep.

#1 How to Get Quality Sleep Like a Professional Athlete

This study of athletes training for the Rio Olympics demonstrates how even the physically elite must conform to a proper sleep schedule for optimum performance. Team adviser Bryan Smith states, “If you can create the environment for sleep and for rest that allows you to feel rested … then you’ve set yourself up for success.”

Source: The Globe and Mail http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/get-quality-shut-eye-to-get-in-shape/article26134464/

#2 Study: Inconsistent sleep can lead to weight gain in college

Brown University’s Sleep for Science program studied 132 freshman Brown students tracking them over a 9 week period finding half of those studied gained 6 pounds and typically kept late hours sleeping under the recommended length. “The disruption of the circadian rhythm, the lack of sleep for whatever reason—all of this will add up to change their eating habits completely.” said Dr Samuel Potolicchio, medical director of the Sleep Center at Sibley Hospital.

Source: WTOP http://wtop.com/health/2015/10/study-disrupted-sleep-can-lead-to-weight-gain-in-college/

#3 Sleeping like a caveman?

Researchers study preindustrial societies to gain insight into the sleep patterns of our ancient ancestors. While this study has had critics due to its suggestion of successful reductions in sleeping time while maintaining health patterns, it highlights not only that hours of sleep important but the importance of quality of sleep and influence of your sleep environment to your overall health.

Source: Harvard Health Publications http://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/sleeping-like-a-caveman-201510288501

#4 The Spooky Effects of Sleep Deprivation

Article details the psychological and emotional effects of deprived sleep including hallucinations, delirium and even the possibility of death in extreme circumstances. David Dinges, a professor of psychology and the director of the Unit for Experimental Psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania states, “Everything we know about sleep loss is harmful. But—on a more positive note—most of the effects of sleep deprivation dissipate after you sleep,’ he added.

Source: Live Science http://www.livescience.com/52592-spooky-effects-sleep-deprivation.html

#5 Electronics in the Bedroom: Why it’s Necessary to Turn off Before You Tuck in

Experts detail the role of light connected to our circadian rhythms and how brightness supplied by electronics can miscue the brain by suggesting day time. These miscues can affect the sleep patterns of adults but particularly influence children. Using a quality sleep mask can alleviate these interruptions.

Source: The Sleep Foundation https://sleepfoundation.org/ask-the-expert/electronics-the-bedroom

#6 Failing to get the hint.

Insufficient sleep can also affect us in more subtle ways. Yes, if I didn’t sleep last night I could fall asleep at the wheel and crash my car. But if I am chronically sleep deprived, I could lose my job. I may not realize my boss is unhappy with my work performance. I may be unable to pick up on subtle hints during performance feedback. I might have thought he smiled when I handed my report in late, but it was actually a smirk. An interesting study at Berkeley shows when you’re tired your ability to pick up on facial expressions is diminished.

Source: Berkley News http://news.berkeley.edu/2015/07/14/brain-facialexpressions/

Ideal sleep environments are hard to come by especially when you live an active life, but a Sleep Master makes it easy to grab good zzz’s when, where and while you can!

Learn more: Sleep Master http://www.sleepmaster.us

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Inga Yandell
Explorer and photo-journalist, passionate about nature, culture and travel. Combining science and conservation with investigative journalism to provide educational resources and a platform for science exploration.
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