Take Charge Now

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    Taking charge of your life now involves more than exercise and diet.  Recent research is showing that there is another miracle drug in our control—Sleep.  Sleep problems and lack of sleep is now considered a health epidemic by the CDC. While the number of you who function quite well on less than the 7-8 hours of sleep, more than 40% of the U.S. population get less than the recommended 7-8 hours every night (adolescents and infants require more). And the per- centage is higher in Louisiana
    Sleep deficit has real and dangerous implications for your health. Lack of proper sleep is now being linked to cognitive decline, memory loss and is possibly linked to Alzheimer’s. When you sleep, certain parts of our brain are even more active than when we are awake. When we are sleeping, there is a newly discovered drainage system called the glymphatic system that is like a sewage and recycling center that clears out and recycles toxins and “sewage” from our brains. 
    Lack of sleep has also been linked to injuries to neurons in the brain that are responsible for cognition and alertness and may be permanent. Other studies that show chemicals released in deeper stages of sleep help repair the body including the brain
    One of these toxins is amyloid plague, one of the major implications in Alzheimers.  The thinking is that while lack of sleep doesn’t cause Alzheimers, it certainly may be a factor. 
    The thousands of stimuli your brain receives during the day can’t possibly be processed without adequate sleep.  That is why the expression “sleep on it” came about as the answer to many of your problems seem much more clear in the morning after a good night’s sleep.
    The right amount of sleep is also most important. More sleep is not necessarily better. While adults need 7-8 hours of sleep per night, infants require 16-18 hours a day, preschoolers require 11-12, elementary at least 10 and teens require 9-10. Studies show that more or less sleep than the recommended amounts are linked to many health issues such as certain forms of cancer, heart disease and even pre-mature death rate.
    So, take charge of your life. Improve your human experience. Sleep more and…. And take your ten-minute walk right now with someone you care about. A ten-minute walk will help clear your mind. When you first step outside, all your senses become engaged, your feel the sun and wind, scents of the outdoors become clear, changing scenery clears the mind and helps produce the endorphins in the brain that helps reduce your stress.  And don’t forget to call your Physical Therapist…You’ll be glad you did.
Tom Coplin, PT
Central Physical Therapy