House Calls

WIN 2018

House Calls Magazine is a quarterly publication that focuses on health and wellness. It includes a wide assortment of articles with topics on the latest health and wellness information, nutrition, safety, lifestyles, and more.

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h o u s e c a l l s { winter 2018 } 25 Dangers of a Deficit So what happens when our sleep time gets cut short? Just one night of poor slumber can lead to daytime drowsiness, irritability, dulled mental acuity, and poor judgment. The effects of chronic sleeplessness, however, are eye opening. While we sleep, our bodies secrete hormones that regulate growth, appetite, metabolism, and mood; when the body is deprived of that production window, these functions falter. With metabolism off balance, we're more likely to gobble carbs and sugary treats for bursts of quick energy. Insufficient rest also slows glucose processing, elevating our risk for developing type 2 diabetes. And it's no wonder that chronic sleep problems correlate with long-term mood disorders like depression, anxiety, and mental distress: As sleep declines, the stress hormone cortisol spikes. "We also know there's an association between lack of sleep and obesity as well as cardiovascular diseases like hypertension, coronary artery disease, stroke, and heart attacks," says Dr. Carswell, explaining that experts can't be certain the relationship is based on cause and effect, but that these diseases are somehow linked with too little sleep. "All of these conditions result in decreased quality of life and increased risk for accidents." In fact, the Division of Sleep Medicine at Harvard Medical School reports that sleeping five hours or less each night raises a person's mortality risk by about 15 percent. WHAT HAPPENS WHEN WE DREAM? High-quality sleep includes periods of dreaming (including nightmares), though doctors are still unsure of the purpose behind these subconscious mental scenes. Dreams that chronically take a frightening turn, however, can disrupt a person's nights and impair their days with anxiety and persistent fear. These rare nightmare disorders may indicate a serious condition such as post-traumatic stress disorder, for which a sleep specialist can be helpful. "We also know there's an association between lack of sleep and obesity as well as cardiovascular diseases like hypertension, coronary artery disease, stroke, and heart attacks." —DR. JAMES CARSWELL We spend about a third of our life asleep. If a person lives to be 80, that totals roughly 25 years of snoozing. THE SNOOZE SCHEDULE How much sleep does the National Sleep Foundation recommend for you? It depends on your age: Young adults, 18 to 25 years old: 7 to 9 hours per day Adults, 26 to 64 years old: 7 to 9 hours per day Older adults, 65 and above: 7 to 8 hours per day

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