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"Sleepless in America" - new documentary from National Geographic

Stashed in: Sleep!, Awesome, Sleep, National Geographic, Documentaries

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Sleep rejuvenates the learning capacity of our brains. It also helps cement new memories, effectively hitting the “save” button so we don’t forget. Sleep also refreshes our emotional brain circuits, preparing us for next day social and psychological challenges.

Beyond the brain, I should also note that sleep boosts our immune system to ward off sickness, infection and malignancy. Sleep stabilizes our body’s energy balance by optimizing factors such as glucose and insulin. Sleep further regulates our appetite and our food choices, helping control our weight. Sleep is also intimately tied to the fitness of our cardiovascular system, including the health of our heart and the management of blood pressure.

If I were to design living beings, I would make it so they don't need 1/3 of their life in recharging mode.

Article from WaPost on the documentary:

6) An NIH study reduced subjects’ sleep to four hours a night and saw the impact on their weight. Turns out, sleeplessness increases an appetite for fatty foods, and the study showed that “short sleepers” consume 500 more calories a day than people who get enough sleep.

What's the minimum acceptable sleep level? 7 hours?

One of the most frightening facts was all the benefits that we’re missing out on if we stay up too late every night. The good news is that sleep can “inspire creativity, re-balance emotions, help refresh cardiovascular health, metabolic health and boost our immune system.” We just have to figure out how to get it.

Does when we sleep matter as much as how much we sleep?

Can someone stay up late if s/he wakes up late?

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