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  • Too Much Or Too Little Sleep Can Increase Risk of Depression

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    When you’re scrambling to meet the countless demands of your day, cutting back on sleep might seem like the only answer. Who can afford to spend so much time sleeping, anyway? The truth is you can’t afford not to. Even minimal sleep loss takes a toll on your mood, energy, and ability to handle stress. By understanding your nightly sleep needs and what you can do to bounce back from chronic sleep loss, you can finally get on a healthy sleep schedule.

    Too much or too little sleep can increase the risk of depression, according to two new studies.

    Inappropriate amounts of sleep may activate depression-related genes, researchers report in the Feb. 1 issue of the journal Sleep.

    One study included more than 1,700 adult twins. Among those who got normal amounts of sleep (seven to nearly nine hours a night), the genetic influence on symptoms of depression was 27 percent versus 53 percent for those who slept only five hours a night, and 49 percent among those who slept 10 hours a night.

    “Both short and excessively long sleep durations appear to activate genes related to depressive symptoms,” lead investigator Dr. Nathaniel Watson, an associate professor of neurology and co-director of the University of Washington Medicine Sleep Center in Seattle, said in a journal news release.

    Ensuring that patients get optimum levels of sleep may be one way to boost the effectiveness of treatments for depression, …

    Many of us try to sleep as little as possible. There are so many things that seem more interesting or important than getting a few more hours of sleep, but just as exercise and nutrition are essential for optimal health and happiness, so is sleep. The quality of your sleep directly affects the quality of your waking life, including your mental sharpness, productivity, emotional balance, creativity, physical vitality, and even your weight. No other activity delivers so many benefits with so little effort!

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    michael

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