7 Game-Changing Things We’ve Learned About Sleep This Year

Sleep is the most essential elements of life.

Every single human has experienced it, but when it comes to sleep, there is still so much we don’t know. Why, for example, do we dream? And why can some people fall asleep within seconds, while others have to count sheep for an hour before get some remainder?

As research on shut-eye continues to expand, two things remain clear: Sleep is really good for you and sleep deprivation is really bad for you. But there have been some other interesting small findings along the way as well.

In honor of World Sleep Day March 18, we rounded up a few of the major findings from the past year. When you’re done, may we suggest burying yourself under the comfiest blanket you can find and celebrate the holiday the route nature intended?

1. Work should start at 10 a. m.

If you thought that starting work any time before 9 a. m. was an ungodly accomplishment, good news: Science agrees with you.

In fact, the healthiest and most efficient time to start the work day is at 10 a.m .~ ATAGEND in order to avoid the “torture” of sleep deprivation, according to Paul Kelley, an honorary clinical research fellow at Oxford University’s Sleep and Circadian Neuroscience Institute.

That’s because before the age of 55, the body’s circadian rhythm — the 24 -hour patterns of sleeping and waking — isn’t aligned with a 9-to-5 schedule, The Telegraph reports.

“It is tremendously injury on the body’s systems because you are affecting physical, emotional and performance systems in the body, ” Kelley said during the British Science Festival. “Your liver and your heart have different patternsand you’re asking them to shift two or three hours.”

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2. The brain has a “reset” button that can regulate sleep.

Working a graveyard shift or staying up into the wee hours of the morning can completely throw off your sleep cycle. Regrettably, sometimes it’s inevitable. But what if we could press a magic button that would reset our body, forcing us to sleep and stay awake during the course of its hours nature intended?

Last year, researchers at Vanderbilt University procured a route to control the brain’s circadian clock via a “reset button” in the brain. Utilizing mice as their test subjects, the scientists found that, by stimulating or inhibiting neurons in the brain’s suprachiasmatic nucleus( where the circadian clock is located ), they could change when the mice naturally woke up and went to sleep .~ ATAGEND In other terms, the researchers effectively “reset” their biological clock without changing anything in the mice’s external environment.

While this technique is not ready for human use, it could potentially pave the way for guys more efficient therapies for airplane lag and seasonal affective disorder and reduce the negative health effects of after-hours work shifts.

3. Smartphones are severely messing with our sleep behaviors.

Ever since the smartphone became a modern day staple, survey after survey has extol how harmful staring at a screen before bed can be for our health. But perhaps the scariest finding of all is the fact that, despite all that research, route too many Americans are still sleeping with their telephones.

A survey conducted for Bank of America’s annual Trends in Consumer Mobility Report found that 71 percentage of adults polled usually sleep with or next to their smartphones — 3 percent of those people said they sleep while holding their telephones, 13 percentage reported they keep it in their bed and 55 percentage leave it on the night sand.

What’s even sadder is that almost one in four people surveyed said that, at one time or another, they’ve fallen asleep with their phone in hand, while 35 percent of people said their phone is the first thing they reach for when they wake up — even before coffee, a toothbrush or their significant other.

This is proof that the research bears repeating: Utilizing your phone in bed not only messes with your sleep, it can mess you up for the entire next day. So, seriously, cut it out.

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4. The day you go to bed may determine how healthy you eat the next day.

Turns out that tonight’s bedtime may impact tomorrow’s food decisions.

After analyzing data from more than 850,000 Jawbone UP fitness trackers, researchers with Jawbone found that users who consistently went to bed before 11 p.m. eat healthier than their “night owl” counterparts who made the sheets between 11 p.m. and 3 a.m. The survey also found that the later a user went to bed, the more calories they logged the next day.

“If you go to bed an hour earlier, and do so consistently for a year, in theory, this could add up to[ a loss of] 4-5 pounds with no changes in activity, ” Dr. Kirstin Aschbacher, a data scientist at Jawbone, previously told HuffPost.

These outcomes fall in line with existing research that connects sleep behaviour with food behaviors. One such survey published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that people who sleep more tend to eat less saturated fat than people who get less remainder. Conversely, a study from the University of California, Berkeley found that teens who stay up late are more likely to gain weight over a five-year period.

5. Sleep resets the brain’s “emotional compass.”

Last summer, researchers found that sleep deprivation doesn’t merely put you in a bad mood, it constructs it harder for you to tell when others are in a bad mood, too( or a good mood, for that are important ). This, as you can imagine, can make the next day a minefield of awkward social interactions.

A study from the University of California, Berkeley found that a lack of sleep may stymie a person’s they are able to accurately read the feelings of others by dulling the person’s ability to read facial expressions.

But, on the bright side, this is something that means that get good night’s remainder could be the secret to emotional intelligence. In the same survey, researchers found that REM sleep — a type of sleep that’s associated with dreaming — was correlated with a person’s ability to accurately read facial expressions.

Dream sleep appears to reset the magnetic north of our emotional compass, ” Matthew Walker, the study’s senior author, said in a statement. “One question is whether we can now enhance the quality of dream sleep, and in doing so, improve emotional intelligence.”

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6. Most people who are sleepwalking don’t feeling ache during an episode.

Here’s a scary fact: One sleep survey that observed 100 sleepwalkers found that 79 percentage of the participants couldn’t feeling ache when they injured themselves during a sleepwalking episode.( This is why you really should wake up a sleepwalker, despite the myth .)

And if you thought sleepwalking is only a nighttime problem for the 1 to 15 % of the population that suffers from the condition, suppose again.

Nearly half of the sleepwalkers in such studies experienced chronic ache or headaches — 22 percent of them suffered from migraines. What’s more, the study found that sleepwalkers, when compared to the general population, were more likely to be tired throughout the day or experience insomnia at night.

7. Just one night of bad sleep can alter your genes.

Next time you’re contemplating pulling an all-nighter, remember this: A Swedish sleep survey found that it merely takes one night of sleep loss to alter the genes that control your body’s biological clock — aka your “clock genes.”

An analysis of the samples collected from the 15 men who participated in the the two-night survey revealed that one night without sleep altered the regulation and activity of these genes. Researchers also found that the absence of sleep altered the expres of the genes, or the process by which the information encoded in a gene is used.

While this isn’t the first time a study found that absence of sleep alters the genes, Dr. Jonathan Cedernaes, the study’s lead author, was surprised to discover that the genes could be altered so quickly.

It’s merely another scaring reason we should make bedtime a priority.

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