Sleep = Health


Are you getting enough sleep? If you are like most Americans, you are not getting enough. You’ll feel better if you get enough sleep, but did you know you also get these benefits?*

You’ll be slimmer. Not getting enough sleep lowers the levels of Grehlin, a hormone involved in appetite control, say UCLA researchers. Grehlin levels may rebound, and then some, during the day – making you even more hungry.

Additionally, Serotonin is a chemical in the brain that is replenished during sleep. Serotonin helps control impulses. Impulsive eating is more likely if the Serotonin levels in the brain are not replenished. According to a new Carnegie Mellon University study, sleeping less than 7 hours a night makes peole almost 3 times more likely to catch a cold than those who get 8 hours.

You’ll be smarter. Researchers from the University of WI-Madison School of Medicine say that proteins build up in your brain when you have less than desired sleep levels. This protein gives you a foggy feeling in the morning.

You’ll be heart-healthier. If you spend fewer hours in bed than you ought, you could be at risk for high blood pressure, according to a new study from Penn State College of Medicine.

Children and Sleep

Are your kids getting enough sleep? Kid’s Health** and Dr. Greene*** recommend the following:

Birth to 6 months: 16-20 hours of sleep per day

6-12 months: 11 hours at night, and 3 hours naps per day

1-3 years old: 10-13 hours, including naps

4-6 years old: 10-13 hours

6-9 years old: 9-11 hours

10-12 years old: 9-10 hours

Teens: 8-10 hours

Adults: 8-9 hours

Did you know that kids who a particularly accident-prone might not be getting enough sleep? Tired kids have twice as many accidents as their well-rested peers, according to the University of Rochester School of Nursing.

Dr. Dennis Molfese, Ph.D. Researched the sleep schedules and response rates of kids ages 4-8 years old. He says, “With enough sleep, a child typically uses three or four areas of the brain to complete a task.” But, sleep loss makes the brain less coordinated and efficient. Skipping only one hour of sleep for just a week can have a significant effect on kids’ ability to concentrate.


*Parenting Early Years magazine, September, 2009, page 42, 128, 129.

anxiety resources

helpful websites

  • TroubledWith: Stress
    Excellent collection of resources on dealing with anxiety disorders, as well as when and how to seek treatment.
  • Anxiety Disorders Association of America (ADAA)
    National, non-profit membership organization dedicated to informing the public, healthcare professionals and legislators about anxiety disorders, promote the early diagnosis, treatment and cure of anxiety disorders, and improve the lives of the people who suffer from them.
  • Freedom From Fear
    National not-for-profit mental health advocacy association developed to impact, in a positive way, the lives of all those affected by anxiety, depressive and related disorders through advocacy, education, research and community support.