Here’s Another Reason to Love Chocolates If You’re Sleep-Deprived

Chocoholics might not find it surprising that scientists have found another benefit for their favorite superfood as dark chocolate has already lots of health benefits that you can take advantage of. It’s packed with fiber and minerals that’s good for your diet, it’s a fantastic source of antioxidants, can improve blood flow, as well as boost your skin and heart health among many others.

While all of these may not sound much, the fact that you’ll be eating chocolate, a.k.a. one of the best treats in the planet, instead of some soggy green stuff can really motivate you to eat better. And now, with scientific proof that dark chocolate is also a great addition to the diets of those who don’t get enough zzz’s, you have more reasons to snack on these to keep yourself awake on your midday slump.

As 50% of Filipinos are deemed to be sleep deprived, getting only six hours of zzz’s nightly, looking for ways how to cope is essential. While improving one’s slumber is still the best solution to sleep deprivation, you will still need to manage the effects of the problem while you solve it. As improving your sleep doesn’t really happen overnight, you will need remedies to handle sleep deprivation’s consequences. And dark chocolate may just be one of the best examples of such.

According to a study conducted by Italian researchers, dark chocolate can boost brain power. By consuming the compound commonly found in cocoa and chocolate known as flavanols, proficiency on cognitive tests are seen to have increased in test subjects, heling scientists conclude that eating chocolate can help people focus better, react faster, and retain information better.

Chocolate and Sleep

But what does all of these have to do with sleep or the lack of it? With sleep deprivation often resulting to poor concentration, slower response, and poorer cognitive functioning, chocolate might just be the perfect instant remedy if you didn’t get a solid night’s sleep.

The study actually helped prove this as well. They’ve discovered that ingesting cocoa after a night of total sleep deprivation counteracts cognitive impairment effectively. They have also discovered that the bigger the cognitive challenge is, the more chocolate help.

Through the study, researchers discovered that chocolate can be a potential remedy to those who are chronically sleep deprived and that daily consumption can have a positive effect on one’s cognition over the long run.

A Word of Caution

While dark chocolate can be packed with lots of health benefits, you should also remember that it has high calorie and sugar content, so to prevent weight gain and other health complications from regular consumption, you should do so moderately.

Sleep Deprivation: Actual Solution vs. Remedy

It should also be noted that snacking on chocolates is still just a remedy for sleep deprivation. If you really want to have your cognitive functions in full swing, you’ll want to solve your sleep deprivation problem head on. To do that, improving the quality of your slumber with a solid sleep hygiene is still the best and most effective way to enjoy the benefits of getting ample shuteye. A regular sleeping schedule, less stress, good diet, ample exercise, and a Salem Bed can really help you go a long way.

This isn’t to say that eating dark chocolate for better cognitive performance while sleep deprived is something you shouldn’t try. If you feel like snacking post-lunch to perk yourself up, some dark chocolates can really be some of the best options as they will also fuel your brain and maybe even make you more productive for the rest of the day. What we’re saying, however, is that you shouldn’t be reliant on chocolates to keep you awake, alert, and capable.

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To Sleep In on the Weekends or Not, That is the Question

Experts have been quite adamant that sleeping in on the weekends isn’t the best solution to paying off your sleep debt. Especially if you intend to sleep the entire day away just so you can get back hours of the sleep you’ve missed during the weekdays, you won’t exactly be doing any favors to your body, but might actually make things even worse instead.

According to the National Sleep Foundation, sleeping in on weekends can throw off your body clock, which, in turn, can wreak your sleeping hygiene for the following week. This can actually be the very cause for your sleep deprivation issues, making the whole activity counterintuitive.

However, there’s no denying that sleeping in on the weekends is one of the most enjoyable and luxurious things that you can do without spending a lot of money. Lots of people may already know that they shouldn’t sleep in but still do it because of the sheer fun of it.

As we’re so fond of staying cozy, we’re also a bit guilty of doing this “bad habit” from time to time. This is why we’re a bit ecstatic to find an emerging research that shows some evidence that sleeping in on the weekends can be beneficial in terms of your BMI (Body Mass Index).

According to a study conducted by specialists in South Korea, those who doesn’t sleep too well during the week and compensates for it on the weekends tend to have slightly lower BMI compared to those who sleep little all week-long. The study has shown that every hour of extra sleep amounted to about 0.12 lower BMI, which can still be a good amount, given that all you have to do is sleep a bit more.

Another study has also shown that sleeping in on the weekends help those who are at risk of diabetes. As sleep deprivation can up your chances of contracting this blood sugar problem, not getting enough zzz’s can lead to serious complications that can even be life-threatening later on. So, a few healthy men were subjected to a few quick tests where they were sleep deprived for 4 days and then allowed extended sleep hours on the next two evenings.

Results have shown that their insulin sensitivity fell by 23% and their bodies produced more insulin to compensate. After the nights when they slept more, their insulin levels bounced back to their normal levels, making the experts theorize that sleeping in may also have its own benefits. However, data for long term practice is unavailable, so we can’t say for certain if the pattern can be an ideal setup for regular people.

So where do we stand in all of these? We’re all for a healthy sleep hygiene, so we like to promote a bit of sleeping in. It should still be limited to an hour or less, though, so you won’t damage your internal body clock and feel tired and sluggish when Monday rolls in. As sleep debt isn’t exactly paid off in increments and can only be handled by sleeping better in general, it’s best if you’ll make the effort to have a better relationship with your slumber to get rid of your sleep debt once and for all.

We Need to Stop Glorifying Sleep Deprivation Right Now

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In today’s modern times, a lot of people choose to ditch sleep so they can do other things. We tend to glorify sleeplessness as if it is a testament to how hard working we are. It makes it appear that we are willing to sacrifice a bodily function so we can be more productive, which, of course, isn’t always the case. What we need to do is to stop glorifying sleep deprivation right now. It’s not good and it could hurt you.

The Elitism of Sleep Deprivation

The common idea among many is that if you don’t sleep, you do more. Being too busy for sleep is typically lauded in corporate environments because, for some, it showcases just how industrious you can be. If you don’t sleep, it should mean that you’re working on something else. And working on so many things tend to make some people feel so important and valuable.

For many, it’s their competitiveness that drives them to forsaking sleep. By thinking that if they work more, they’re automatically better than everyone else, sleep is just an easy casualty in reaching their goals. This, in turn, makes them respect others who are like-minded, spreading the idea that if you want to keep up with your top performing colleagues, you better be ready to miss out on some zzz’s.

The Problem with Not Sleeping

While being productive and being able to accomplish a lot of things in a day are all great, sacrificing sleep for it will have its own repercussions. First off, sleep deprivation will eventually get to you. As Ariana Huffington, founder and Editor-In-Chief of The Huffington Post, recounts her ordeal with sleep deprivation, it made her ask whether her collapse due to exhaustion is what success is all about.

Honestly, we don’t have to detail why not sleeping enough is bad for you. We’ve talked about it countless of times in this blog, so all you need to do is click on our sleep deprivation tag and you’ll see just how awful not getting enough zzz’s will do to your body. This makes it even more awful that so much people are praising those who don’t like to get ample shuteye, thinking that the less they succumb to this bodily need, the more wiser, more productive, or better person they are.

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The Case of Short Sleepers

This doesn’t mean, however, that you should sleep long hours as there are people who doesn’t need as much hours in bed as others tend to do. Commonly referred to as natural “short sleepers,” these folks are genetically wired to need less sleep. Sadly, not everyone who thinks they’re one of these folks are actually short sleepers. Out of 100 people who claim they don’t need as much sleep as others do, only 5 are actual short sleepers.

How do you know if you’re one of these rare breed of short sleepers? Experts note that some of their characteristics include:

  1. They only sleep for about 4-6 hours at night and don’t take naps or rely on coffee to stay awake during the day.
  2. They’re usually nocturnal, dozing off after midnight and waking up before sunrise.
  3. Always upbeat and optimistic.
  4. Have fast metabolisms, which is in complete contrast to those who are sleep deprived who are most likely to become obese.
  5. Their unusual sleep patterns go back to their early years. Some are even reported to stop napping as early as the age of two.
  6. Could have hypomania.
  7. The need for less sleep also typically runs in the family, so if a parent doesn’t need to sleep a lot, their child has a likelihood to require less zzz’s as well.
  8. Some short sleepers have a gene variation that could be the culprit for their need for less sleep.

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Bottom Line: It’s Bad for You

Just, please, get enough sleep. Sleep deprivation is bad for you, as well as glorifying it, as it propagates the idea that sleep is a dispensable activity. Just go to sleep. There are more benefits to sleeping than missing out on it, so please just get some shuteye. Sure, you can argue that staying awake lets you do more, but we can counter that with two questions: do you really need to do all of it on your own? Can’t you just do everything you need to do with better time management?

As yourself these questions and you might just realize that you can get some zzz’s and still get ahead in your field.

Is Your Teenager Extra Surly? They Might be Sleep Deprived

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Teenagers are moody, that’s a well established fact. However, their mood swings could be worsening because of sleep deprivation. According to recent studies, little to no sleep in teenagers is “associated with emotional dysregulation during adolescence,” causing them to be more surly than the normal.

Some may argue that hormones are the primary cause of teenagers’ moodiness, but according to some experts, “lack of sleep has a causal association with anger, sadness, fatigue and other emotions” as well. This could make them even more grouchy and a bit unbearable.

As the National Sleep Foundation recommends teens to get 8 to 10 hours of sleep nightly, their homeworks, social life, parental leniency, and other activities could be preventing them to do so. Experts recommend a later school time for teens, but as this isn’t easily achievable, parents should try imposing an earlier bed time instead.

Promoting better sleep in teenagers is essential, not only for their emotional health and their parents’ sanity, but for their growth and academic performance as well. Extending their zzz’s even with just an hour every night will help improve their metacognitive skills and reduce daytime sleepiness, tension, fatigue, and anger.

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So the next time your teenager acts up, make sure to pay closer attention to their sleeping habit. Sleep deprivation have serious effects on people, especially on growing kids, so doing something about it right away is important.

 

7 Common Bed Issues That Can Be Preventing Your Good Night’s Sleep

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We’ve said it a few times before: it could be your bed that’s causing your sleepless nights. As it is the surface that supports your body when you’re tired and in need of recuperation from the day’s hard work, it definitely has a great impact on how you catch some zzz’s.

This is why it shouldn’t be surprising to know that your mattress can also be the very reason to keep you up all night. There are so many ways how a mattress can affect your ability to catch some shuteye, and some of these are the following:

You could be allergic to your mattress.

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Your mattress is composed of a lot of different materials that can be reacting to  your system. It is also a hot spot for insects like dust mites that love moist and warm areas. Both of these reasons can cause allergies that will leave you sneezing and coughing all through the night, leaving you sleep deprived.

To deal with this problem, you can always look for dust mite-proof beddings to prevent their infestation on your mattress and pillows. Cleaning your mattress thoroughly as often as possible is also helpful, as it can minimize the presence of these teeny critters on your bed.

Your bed’s firmness might not suit your needs and comfort preferences.

Being comfortable in your bed is highly important in getting a good night’s sleep. Your mattress should be able to support your body’s contours properly, so you won’t wake up aching and feeling sore in the morning. Getting comfy in your bed will also help you relax easier, allowing you to drift off to sleep faster.

If this is the very thing that’s causing your sleepless nights, you can always replace your mattress or look for a mattress topper that will provide the firmness you’re looking for.

Your bed could be brimming with junk.

Ok, technically, this is not your mattress’ fault, but yours because it’s most likely you (or the other person you share your bedroom with) who pile on stuff on your bed. These “junk” can be a wide array of things – pillows, clothes, books, plushies, blankets, or anything else that you think is okay to be put on your bed and were too lazy to put away after. Sleeping on a crowded bed can easily disrupt your sleep, so make sure to clean it before you doze off.

Your mattress’ old age.

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Mattresses need to be replaced every seven years because of the following:

  • You spend up to 9 hours in bed every day, so it’s safe to say that your bed can get worn out after clocking in thousands of hours supporting your body weight. This can take a toll on your mattress’ construction. Foam will lose some of its bounciness over the years and springs will eventually lose its tension. These will make your bed a lot less comfortable as it ages.
  • Hygiene also becomes an issue when it comes to old mattresses. As we lose up to half a pint of bodily fluids during the night and shed a pound of dead skin all throughout the year, your mattress can also get quite pretty gross over the years. Even if you use multiple layers of beddings to protect the mattress, with the tropical heat and the natural ways our bodies work, there’s still a high chance that your mattress won’t be squeaky clean by year 7.

Bed bugs and other things that bite.

In a lot of cases, bed bugs and other tiny critters that bite residing in mattresses can also cause a person’s sleeplessness. These bugs can really disrupt your sleep and even cause health problems, so dealing with them is highly necessary.

It can be quite tricky to get rid of, so make sure to get the right information in how to deal with a bed bug infestation.

Your bed can be too small for you.

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Personal space is essential in making us feel comfortable. It is also true even when we sleep, especially if you share your bed with someone else. Sleeping in a bed that’s too small for two people will leave you competing for room and getting disturbed in your sleep more easily. Having your feed dangle on the ends of the bed can also cause discomfort and leave you sleepless as well.

For folks who share a bed, we suggest to go for a queen size (60″x75″) Salem Bed mattress and bigger. If you don’t mind constantly touching and squeezing close to your bedmate, you might also be okay with a full size (54″x75″) mattress, but we don’t really recommend it. If you’re taller than the average, going for an irregular sized mattress that measures 80″ in length is a good way to ensure that you actually fit within the bounds of your bed.

It might be making weird creaking noises at night.

There are lots of reasons why spring beds creak, one of this is old age. The problem with a creaking bed is that you can always hear it loudly, especially when you’re lying down in it. This can easily disturb your sleep.

If this is the root cause of your sleep problem, you can either ask the manufacturer to check your unit and have it replaced.

 

All of these mattress issues are easily resolved either by replacing or cleaning your mattress. So, if you think one of these things are stopping you from getting a good night’s sleep, maybe it’s time to do something about it.

Why You Shouldn’t Make Important Decisions When You’re Sleep Deprived

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Aside from the light-headedness, grogginess, and endless yawning, scientists just recently found out that sleep deprivation can also cause optimism. It doesn’t really sound like a bad thing at face value, because everyone could really use some positivity in their lives, right? Yes, but with reservations. Excessive optimism can get risky, especially if you need to make important decisions when you’ve just missed out on some zzz’s.

We all know that making an important decision while sleep deprived is not a good idea. Without the right amount of sleep, we’re less focused, we don’t remember things right, and it’s hard to integrate feedback properly. In short, because we’re unable to focus on the matter at hand, making a decision when you didn’t get enough zzz’s is never a good idea. You’ll most likely neglect important points worth considering, making your call flawed and problematic in the end. Coupled with exaggerated optimism, you might just commit yourself to something that you won’t even touch with a ten foot pole after a good night’s sleep.

A study was conducted by neuroscientists from the Duke University medical schools tested the effects of sleep deprivation in decision making. With the help of an MRI, the experts determined that lack of sleep can increase brain activity in the areas that assess positive outcomes and a decrease in the areas for negative consequences. This helped them conclude that a person who has slept less than needed is more sensitive to positive rewards and tends to ignore the cons.

This means that when we’re sleep deprived, we’re more likely to only recognize the good things an opportunity brings. We tend to ignore the possible consequences and we’re not really able to rationalize the situation. We’re more likely to jump at something because our brain is only focused on the good part, blinded by sleep deprivation.

So, the next time you haven’t gotten a good night’s sleep and you’re offered a major opportunity, give yourself some time before you make a decision. Experts even suggest to sleep on it first. As your body is able to integrate conscious deliberations with unconscious processing when you’re fast asleep, sleeping on a big decision gives your body some time to think it through, since your brain isn’t really resting when you’re dozing off. Clear your mind with some zzz’s and get your ability to weigh pros and cons back before making a call.

Sleep While You Can: A Few Tips for Expecting Parents

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According to studies, new parents lose up to 44 days or 1056 hours in the first year of having a child. What with all the feeding, changing, and keeping the house in order, sleep goes to the last spot in the list of priorities for people who just had a kid.

This staggering amount of sleep deprivation is especially bad for your health. A lot of new parents buckle to the mildest viruses and suffer from weak immune systems in the early years of their kids. It’s not too surprising, especially among hands-on parents, as they work so hard to keep up with the demands of being a new parent. However, you don’t have to suffer harder than necessary. With some proper preparation, you can get ahead in the parenting game without compromising your health and sleep.

If you’re an expecting parent, there are a few things that you can do to prepare for the inevitable sleep deprivation that you will suffer from. Here are some examples:

Sleep while you still can

If it’s your first time getting pregnant, people will surely tell you to sleep while you still can. Losing sleep while taking care of a newborn is a typical experience that people with experience will surely give out such a wise piece of advice. Many experienced parents will tell you to get more sleep while you’re still pregnant, so you can preempt the upcoming sleep loss you’ll surely experience. This way, you can also bank on some sleep, so you can lessen the impact of your impending sleep debt.

The only problem that you can experience in having to sleep more while pregnant is that pregnancy can also cause some sleep issues. The frequent need to urinate, occurrences of heartburns, discomfort, and bouts of RLS (restless leg syndrome) typically disrupt a pregnant woman’s sleep, making it difficult to catch more zzz’s. This article from Metro Parent Magazine can give you some tips in dealing with some sleep woes.

Understand pregnancy sleep better

There are lots of sleep issues that you can experience while pregnant, as pointed out earlier. However, there are tons of tips and tricks that you can learn about with the right amount of research. Read up on various pregnancy and sleep topics starting with the National Sleep Foundation.

Stop stressing out

Whether you’re pregnant or not, stress is one of the biggest hindrances to sleep. Of course, while carrying a child, there are just tons of worries that you could be fretting about. Remember, however, that worrying too much will get you nowhere and may even damage your baby’s health, so try to relax a little and try to nod off as much as you can.

Welcome the idea of getting some help

A lot of new parents are determined to enter parenthood on their own. While there’s no problem in having the drive and confidence of doing that, you should also welcome some help from relatives and loved ones. It will be especially hard for new parents to deal with sleep deprivation, catering to a newborn’s every need, as well as run a household, so some assistance should be a welcome thing.

Being a new parent is definitely an exciting and challenging phase of one’s life, so many are just over the moon in being one. While every parent only want the best for their little ones, also remember to take better care of yourself, so you can make sure that you’ll be able to care for your child.

For a good night’s sleep, get a Salem Bed today! We offer a wide range of product options to choose from, so you can be sure to find an excellent match for your needs.