Can You Go Four Nights without an Alarm Clock?
Tom Kerr writing about how your alarm clock could be ruling your life…
The Surgeon General of the U.S. reports that Alzheimer’s typically strikes after the age of 60…and that the risk of developing the disease nearly doubles every five years.
If you’re a baby boomer like me, this information is not exactly encouraging.
But newly published research indicates that just getting a good night’s sleep every night may help protect you from Alzheimer’s disease.
Crankiness is the least of your problems when you don’t get enough sleep. Behind the scenes, unhealthy clutter is collecting inside your cerebral attic.
I’m not just talking about worrisome, negative thoughts. Actual physical gunk, called amyloid protein plaque, can build up along the brain’s delicate neurological pathways…similar to how cholesterol clogs your arteries.
People intentionally deprived of sound sleep for medical research showed immediate increases in amyloid plaque build up. After a couple of weeks, their memories got fuzzy and their ability to perform cognitive tasks dramatically diminished.
Just think how much harm might be done if you go without adequate sleep for months, years, or the rest of your life.
But studies now suggest that sound sleep cleans up the plaque…and reverses the process.
Is your alarm clock ruling your life?
The Mayo Clinic Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center recommends deep, uninterrupted sleep to fully allow your brain to wash away amyloid protein buildup. Getting your seven or eight hours also reduces risk factors for obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and depression.
As the director of the Center for Human Sleep Science at the University of California stated, “Every disease that is killing us in developed nations has causal and significant links to a lack of sleep”.
But humans are the only species that routinely deprives itself of sleep.
Fortunately, you have the freedom to curb that insanity for yourself.
Sleep experts suggest a DIY test. For four consecutive nights, don’t set an alarm…just sleep until you wake up naturally. Your body will tell you how many hours, on average, you require.
But if you cannot even find the time to perform this kind of experiment, that’s a definite sign that vital sleep needs to be a bigger priority. Curing an inevitable sleep deprivation health crisis may be as easy as tweaking your bedtime schedule.
Or you may find out what I discovered about myself many years ago…that you really need a completely rejuvenated lifestyle.
I used to wake up to the loudest alarm clock I could find, still tired and already feeling anxious.
My remedy was right-sizing to a more manageable, easily affordable lifestyle.
Since then it’s been no alarm clocks…just spectacular stars and soothing moonlight, the sound of a gently flowing river, and dozing off in the warmth of a wood fire.
Sleeping under a tin roof during a rainstorm…well, that’s just icing on the cake.
P.S. Discover how you can enjoy a more laidback, authentic, independent way of life in The Savvy Retiree Daily. Sign up below to have it delivered – free of charge – to your email inbox.