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Sleep - that one thing we all hated as kids. Our strong objection to naps was followed by tantrums and loud wails. As we grew up, at least a few of us began to love a good sleep or a long nap on our weekends. As children, the slumber parties had very less slumber and more of the fun element to it. A flashback would reveal that once we reached teenage a lot of time was spent lazying around in bed, either with phones or with the headphones plugged in. Once we reached adulthood, all this changed and sleep became our best friend. Whether you are reeling from a heartbreak, a terrible hangover or even if you are sacked from your job, sleep is the best remedy. Sleep helps you zone out, and it is almost like an escape from reality. Read more to find out about:

However, sleep doesn’t come easy to many. Tossing and turning in bed in a desperate attempt to switch their minds off has become commonplace. Use of smartphones is believed to mess up with the body's natural circadian rhythm.  A new study conducted by Professor of Psychology at San Diego State University, Jean Twenge says that adolescents today are sleeping fewer hours at a stretch at  night. He blames smartphones for this.  The youth of today are trading their sleep for smartphone time! Sleeping for less than seven hours in a day is considered insufficient and can lower productivity.  The numbers crunched by the researchers suggests that the number of sleep deprived youth today is about 60% more that the ones in 1991. Shocking eh?

Wait, there is more. Researchers say that the more time, the youth spent online was inversely proportional to how much sleep they got. That is to say, more time online = less sleep! The data suggests that teenagers who spend 5 hours a day online were about 50% more likely to not get enough sleep than their peers who only spent about an hour online each day. Makes sense doesn't it? Kids nowadays are so bent upon building their online presence, that all the chatting, tweeting , texting and snapping have indirectly taken a toll on their mental health and even their shut-eye.

Latest Research: Gadgets Affect Kids Health and Sleep!

Now how do our youth compensate for this loss of sleep?

Researchers say that some way or the other, our body is going to try to meet its sleep needs, which means sleep is going to interfere other spheres of our lives. Teens may catch up with naps on the weekend or they make up for it by dozing during lectures and classes. This not only affects their grades, but can also make them develop bad sleep habits even during exam times in a desperate attempt to salvage their grades by burning the midnight oil.  So whats the solution to break this evil sleep pattern problem? One sure shot solution is to limit the usage to 2 hours a day. This is not just for the youth - it is a one size fits all solution.  

Sleep and ADHD- Any relation?

A latest research by European College of Neuropsychopharmacology states that about 75% of children and who have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder also have sleep issues. Up until now sleep and ADHD were thought to be two different problems.  Now researchers have begun to view it as two sides of one and the same coin. They suggest that  ADHD may in fact be a problem associated with a disrupted sleep pattern. Lack of a regular circadian sleep is thought to be why people suffer from ADHD. Research suggests that ADHD and circadian problems are intertwined.

There is a hilarous quote that says, "The future is shaped by your dreams, so stop wasting time and go to sleep!"  Researchers at American Academy of Neurology suggest that those who get less rapid eye movement (REM) sleep have a greater risk of developing dementia. Dementia is the medical term for Dementia for a decline in mental ability that can deal with ones day to day life. REM cycle is the final stage in the sleep cycle. The first REM sleep stage lasts around 10 minutes and happens only after after being asleep for at least 90 minutes. 

Lets look into the stages of sleep to be more clear

Stage one is very light sleep. This is when the person is easily stirred up or disturbed.

Stage two is when the body begins to go into deeper sleep. 

Stages three and four are also stages when the body transistions to a deeper sleep .

Stage five is called REM sleep. 

 Increased brain activity happens in the REM sleep cycle and researchers say that those who get less REM sleep are at greater risk for developing dementia. 

Sleep well to combat fear and anxiety

Beter sleep is linked to less fear-this is a latest finding that is revealed by Society for Neuroscience. Higher sleep patterns are associated with low brain activity. Sleep disturbances are a common feature of PTSD (Post traumatic stress disorder). This is a groundbreaking research that was conducted to reduce anxiet or fearful thoughts. REM sleep reduces the levels of norepinephrine in the brain, which may dampen an individual's sensitivity to fearful stimuli. Norepinephrine is also called noradrenaline. Norepinephrine reaches higher levels during situations of stress or danger. So sleep more to fear less.

Good sleep can help maintain proper body weight

Lack of sleep can increase your waistline. This is a research conducted by researchers at University of Leeds. In the UK, adults who have poor sleep patterns are at more risk to be obese according to this new study. Shorter sleepers were found to be on the heavier part of the scale. The findings showed that people who slept for  an average of about six hours at night had a waist measurement that was 3cm bigger than those who were getting nine hours of sleep a night. This points a finger to how a good shut-eye can even help with maintaining a proper body weight.

Sleep, cognition and schizophrenia- is it all linked?

The research conducted by University of Maryland School of Medicine has found some fascinating links between sleep and cognition. This means that sleep, can offer to be a solution to many cognitive problems. Did you know that  about 3.2 million Americans suffer from schizophrenia. Another staggering statistic is that about 100,000 people are newly diagnosed every year! Symptoms of  Schizophrenia include visual and auditory hallucinations. It can also cause cognitive problems and even motivational issues.  The cognitive problems that we talk about is the problems related to mental health that affect memory, learning, perception, and even problem solving ability of an individual.