Do you get enough sleep?
Curt Rosengren on Health & Wellness
Is your life an exercise in sleep deprivation? Are you burning the candle on both ends and wondering how you can light up the middle too? If you and a good night's sleep are strangers, you might be surprised at how that affects you. In her career column in the Boston Globe, Penelope Trunk points out...
The Sleep Foundation determined that people who remain awake for 18 hours straight function similar to those drinkers with a blood-alcohol concentration of 0.08 percent, the level Massachusetts uses to determine whether someone is legally impaired to operate a car.
And, when you don't get enough sleep your brain starts thinking it needs to store food, according to Eve Van Cauter, a researcher at the University of Chicago. Leptin, a hormone that helps regulate hunger and body fat, drops from lack of sleep, triggering hunger.
Oh no! What to do?! (Well, besides get enough sleep, of course...) How about taking a "caffeine nap?"
Not a good long-term solution - but it'll do in a pinch.
Caffeine can clear your body of the chemical adenosine, which makes us want to sleep. Researchers at the Sleep Research Center at Loughborough University in England...found that the best way to regain alertness if you feel like you're falling asleep is to chug a cup of coffee and then immediately take a 15-minute nap. The idea is to get the sleep in before the caffeine takes effect.