We have all experienced lying awake at night, counting the hours until sunrise, or the time when you should be up and how many hours of sleep you have left. Eventually, we end up thinking of the effects this night’s lack of sleep will have on our performance the next day. We lie awake thinking of how tired we’ll feel the next day and how many cups of coffee we will need to consume to help fuel our bodies.

To top it all off, a new study revealed that poor sleep can also have long-term effects. Researchers at the Johns Hopkins University’s Bloomberg School of Public Health looked at data from 70 adults with an average age of 76 and it was found out that older people who don’t get enough sleep have brain imaging patterns similar to people suffer from Alzheimer’s disease.

These people have beta-amyloid in their brain. It’s a protein which tends to form into clusters and turn into a plaque, closely linked to the development Alzheimer’s. A great way to regulate the levels of beta-amyloid is to have normal sleeping patterns.

Other studies have also shown there’s a relationship between memory and lack of sleep. Earlier, a study revealed older adults can suffer memory loss attributed to lack of good sleep.

On the other hand, an extra hour of sleep can do wonders for your body! It’s even better because the end of Daylight Saving Time lets you sleep for on more decadent hour.

An extra hour of sleep can boost your performance in physical activities. So if you feel like you get tired easily when you’re walking to your office or you’re unable to add more weights to your sets in the gym, try sleeping for an extra hour.

Your heart will also be thankful for the extra hour of shut-eye. Research shows heart attacks increase when Daylight Saving Time begins in March, when people lose that extra hour of sleep. And when it ends, incidence of heart attacks decreases.

Back in 2008, a study showed adults who slept for 7 hours a night had a 33 percent lower chance of having calcium deposits in their arteries compared to those who only slept for 6 hours a night. These calcium deposits are one of many factors which can contribute to a heart attack. Also, sleep provides overall heart health by dropping overall systolic blood pressure by 16 points.

And finally, that extra hour of sleep gives you longer, deeper REM sleep which contributes to learning and memory.

If you’re missing out on a good night’s sleep, then you’re missing out on one of the ways to lead a healthy life.

For all your sleep problems, get in touch with Rebecca Ginder, sleep therapy specialist, at (561) 450-5255.