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How Sleep Can Help Your Brain

Updated on October 29, 2016

This nation is sleep deprived. Most people are not getting enough sleep due to stress and heavy work load. Some of us are having a hard time catching sleep at night due to insomnia. There are people who run a to do list in their heads before they go to sleep leaving no room for rest. The quality of sleep affects the brain and how we function throughout the day. Seventy -five percent of women sleep seven hours or less. According to Arianna Huffington, founder of the Huffington Post, the reason why women sleep less is because women put themselves last. When we lack sleep, our entire body is out of sync. Here are some of the effects of being sleep deprived.

1. Lose self-control- Our impulse control regulates our mental energy. When we are sleep deprived, we couldn't think clearly and there will be lapses in judgement.

2. Immune system gets weak- When we lose sleep, we are more likely to catch a flu. We tend to be more sickly during flu season.

3. Weight gain- Our metabolism slows down when we lack sleep. As a result, we crave things that are more harmful to our body such as sugar, fatty foods.

Michale Breus, known as the sleep doctor introduces us to a groundbreaking therapy that will aid us in our sleep. This is called Cognitive Behavioral Therapy or better known as CBT1. This is the first line of defense for people who are suffering from insomnia. It answers 3W questions such as:

Why can't you sleep?

What you need to change?

When you need to sleep?

According to studies, 80 million Americans have trouble sleeping. There is a myriad of techniques that can help sleep deprived individuals get some zzz's. According to Breus, technology is the tool. Unfortunately, they come with a price tag but, it's worth every penny.

First one is Concrete Insomnia Program. This costs $49.00. The next one is Shut I. It's a 40 minute program where you can use once a week for six weeks. This costs $135. The next one is Sleepio. This is where you get to talk to a virtual sleep expert for $300. These programs were put to the test by Core Export Tia Brown. They talked to people who have tried these programs and monitored the effects on their sleep habits. They found out that the Sleepio app is good for social people. They were put on a restricted schedule and had a sleep diary to track down their progress. According to the people who have tried it, there was an hour and twenty minute increase on their sleep. The Concrete Insomnia Program was able to figure the "stressors" that are causing sleep deprivation. This app gave tips on how to sleep on schedule. Those who have tried it reported to have slept 30 minutes longer. Meanwhile those who have used the Shut I program told the researchers that their REM went up and the quality of their sleep has improved.

Drew Ackerman, the host of Sleep With Me podcast has formulated a quiz for those who are sleep deprived. He has a series of questions which the quiz taker will answer with the use of a point system. This quiz will determine your sleep score. These are the questions:

1. How often does your body react to stress?

2. How many caffeinated drinks do you take after lunch?

3. How many times a week do you exercise?

4. How many hours of sleep do you get at night?

If your score ranges from 0 to 65, you are in the danger zone. People who sleep four hours or less fall into this category.

If you score falls between 66-75, then you are a below average sleeper.

If your score is between 76-90, you are doing fairly well and this means you are an above average sleeper.

If your score falls within 91-100 range, then you are considered a super sleeper.

There is a plethora of ideas and tips on how to get seven to eight hours of sleep. It may cost us a fortune, but if it improves your well- being, it is worth the try. We need to improve the quality of our sleep to help us get through the day.

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