Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Sleep Loss Undermines Normal Emotional Responses

A lack of normal emotional responses in a person under stressful circumstances does not necessarily mean that person is a cruel person or that that person is mentally ill. The University of Arkansas reported on March 25, 2015, sleep loss is associated with emotional reactions. Researchers have found that a person’s loss of sleep can be associated with their likelihood of reacting emotionally to a stressful situation.


Matthew T. Feldner, a professor of psychology in the J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences, says in this study the researchers wanted to determine if there is an association between the loss of sleep and our emotional response. It was observed if a person lost a night of sleep they responded with greater emotion to a laboratory stressor. This finding supported past work which has found an association between chronic sleep loss and anxiety and mood disorders.

Feldner said a theme which emerged in this study was that certain components of emotion seem to be particularly linked to sleep. Stressors seem to be more emotionally arousing for people who haven’t slept well. Furthermore, it appears that emotional arousal interferes with sleep quality. It is felt by the researchers that by improving sleep it may be possible to improve treatments for anxiety problems.

The book Sleep and Affect reviews the vital association between sleep and emotions. Evidence has emerged that normal sleep plays an emotional regulatory role in healthy people. It is clear that the functions of some of the neurobiological structures which we believe are involved in regulating emotional or affective experiences are negatively influenced by a lack of sleep.

Harvard Medical School Division of Sleep Medicine offers some good suggestions to help you sleep well naturally. Avoidance of caffeine, alcohol, nicotine, and other chemicals which interfere with sleep is very important. Exercise can also help you sleep well naturally. To avoid being kept up from the release of the stress hormone cortisol, which helps activate the alerting mechanism in the brain, it's a good idea to exercise at least three hours prior to going to bed. Exercise stimulates the body to secrete cortisol. So remember it's a good idea to live a healthy lifestyle to help you sleep well and experience normal emotions.

Source: http://www.edtreatmentindia.com/

Monday, October 7, 2019

Lack of Sleep May be Associated With Eating too Much

There have been heightened concerns about how to best control appetite due to the obesity epidemic. An interesting consideration in this regard is that sleep appears to be associated with how much we eat. Sage Publications reported via EurekAlert on June 1, 2015, less sleep is associated with eating more.



It has been suggested by researchers that disrupted sleep may be a significant factor which contributes to excessive food consumption therefore leading to long term chronic health damage in both adults and kids. Although it has been well known that a poor night’s sleep can have a negative affect our ability to perform daily activities, it has not been well understood how disrupted sleep can influence both our choices of food and how much we eat.

This is important because food consumption is associated with many chronic health issues which include obesity, diabetes and heart disease. Diet itself is often a vital target of treatment to prevent the onset of these serious conditions. Therefore an understanding of the mechanisms which link disrupted sleep patterns to increased food consumption is important in considerations of both prevention and treatment interventions for chronic  health conditions.

Food consumption is driven by emotional, cognitive, biological and environmental factors. Diet is clearly important in a consideration of the treatment for chronic health disorders associated with food intake. More careful considerations should be given to how sleep affects these factors. The researchers say that these mechanisms are heavily influenced by sleep patterns.

Consider that after a bad night's sleep the hormone which controls appetite is affected, emotional stress is heightened, more food is wanted to compensate for a lack of energy and we see an increase in impulsivity. All of these factors affect the amount of food that you would consume on any given day. Sleep therefore should be given active consideration in efforts to modify eating behavior.

This research has been published in the Journal of Health Psychology. Clearly the type and amount of food which we eat has a substantial impact on our health. Eating too much is associated with many long term health conditions. It is therefore important to understand the factors which influence this vital health behavior. Sleep problems have been identified as one such factor which influences eating habits. It’s an interesting thought that sleeping well may actually help you eat well.


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