Sleep is still balm of hurt minds

Sleep tight, you will get up calmer tomorrow. Or else, it will increase your anxiety levels.

And the wise words of William Shakespear (in Macbeth) that sleep is `the balm of hurt minds’ still hold truth.

A study has found that a sleepless night can cause your anxiety levels upto 30% while a good sleep would stabilise your emotions.

A recent research by the University of California, Berkeley, has found that deep sleep, known as non-rapid eye momement (NREM) is the best way to calm the brain. In deep sleep, neural oscillations become highly synchronized, and heart rates and blood pressure drop.

“We have identified a new function of deep sleep, one that decreases anxiety overnight by reorganizing connections in the brain,” said study senior author Matthew Walker, a UC Berkeley professor of neuroscience and psychology. “Deep sleep seems to be a natural anxiolytic (anxiety inhibitor), so long as we get it each and every night.”

The study has rather suggested sleep as a natural, non-pharmaceutical remedy for anxiety disorders, which have been diagnosed in some 40 million American adults and are rising among children and teens.

“Our study strongly suggests that insufficient sleep amplifies levels of anxiety and, conversely, that deep sleep helps reduce such stress,” said study lead author Eti Ben Simon, a postdoctoral fellow in the Center for Human Sleep Science at UC Berkeley.

After a full night of sleep, during which participants’ brain waves were measured via electrodes placed on their heads, the results showed their anxiety levels declined significantly, especially for those who experienced more slow-wave NREM sleep.



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