Need a creative solution? Get a night of quality sleep

According to the National Center for Health Statistics, more than 60 million Americans suffer from persistent insomnia.

According to the National Center for Health Statistics, more than 60 million Americans suffer from persistent insomnia.

In a sense, we are a nation of insomniacs, and the problem is not going away; in fact, it is getting worse.

In the highly demanding world of business, quality sleep can make a significant, positive difference, especially in terms of enhancing health, performance and creativity.

Generally speaking, sleep can be divided into two phases. These are called nonrapid eye movement and rapid eye movement sleep.

Even in the 21st century, we do not know exactly why we sleep. However, some of the complications that are brought on because of a lack of proper sleep can be quite serious.

Key studies in recent years have posited a strong link between sleep deprivation and cardiovascular disorders, the No. 1 cause of death in the United States. Another study demonstrated that insomnia, in particular, was a major contributor to stroke, especially in younger men who may be dismissive of their symptoms.

The past decade has seen an exponential rise in the number of people diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Several studies noted significant changes in glucose metabolism, insulin resistance and an increased risk of type 2 in people deprived of deep sleep.

There is a strong correlation between sleep deprivation and insulin resistance. Changes in glucose metabolism during sleep and throughout the day also have much to do with the activities of two hormones, leptin and ghrelin, which are regulated during sleep.

When we receive proper sleep, leptin levels rise, reducing the desire to eat. The body hence shifts into a restoration state, conserving and building up resources.

On the other hand, when we are sleep-deprived, the drop in leptin coincides with an increase in ghrelin levels, causing us to look for carbohydrates and salty foods during the day to increase much-needed adaptive energy.

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