I’ve been interested in this topic ever since, months ago, I watched an interview on CNN with the neuroscientist Matthew Walker. Eight hours of sleep, he says, is what we need. Eight hours of sleep in complete darkness (otherwise our brains won’t release melatonin, something I didn’t know…).
An important point (again, something I didn’t know!): taking naps to catch up on our sleep doesn’t count.
“Unfortunately, says Matthew Walker,” “sleep is not like the bank. You cannot accumulate a debt and then hope to pay it off at a later time.”
And, he added, “Human beings are the only species that deliberately deprive themselves of sleep.” Now I sort of envy my cats who sleep most of the day, as can be seen in these recent photos …zzzzz…!!!
Anyway, since that interview, I’ve come across other articles on the negative effects of not getting enough sleep, which a 2019 study has tied to increases in two Alzheimer’s proteins (http://bit.ly/33q1uJ9).
A 2013 study (https://n.pr/316zAQT) showed that our brains need a certain amount of time to get rid of harmful proteins, and that time has to occur at night. The brain, says the main researcher, is like a dishwasher. I really like that simile…It helps us visualize how things work. I mean, if you turn off your dishwasher before it has finished its full cycle, you will end up with a bunch of dirty dishes, right? Same thing if you wake up before you SHOULD …Those dirty dishes can really clog your brain!
I’m actually writing about this topic today because this morning I read about a NEW study showing that sleep deprivation shuts down the production of essential brain proteins: http://bit.ly/2nDzimP
Oh, and sleep deprivation has also been linked to cancer…quelle surprise…not!
This topic therefore isn’t entirely unconnected to myeloma. The main thing is that we need our sleep…all eight hours of it!
Oh, one last thing: since reading about the importance of sleeping in “total darkness,” I’ve begun wearing a mask at night, nothing fancy, just a plain black mask that covers my eyes. Oh boy, it does make a difference: I don’t wake up as much during the night…and even the cats don’t disturb my sleep (well, not as much as they did before!) when, e.g., they walk over my body or rub up against my face…Give it a try!