16 February 2010

Princess Amygdala

I was reading an article about sleep deprivation today and while I know I do not get the required amount of sleep daily and haven't for some time, I was amazed at how the relationship between sleep and hormones and emotions and appetite were linked.

The 5 signs were (from the MSN Health and Fitness article "5 Surprising Signs You're Sleep Deprived"

1. You're flummoxed by even simple decisions (check)
2. You've been eating all day, and you're still hungry! (CHECK)
3. You keep coming down with colds (check - I presently have a head cold!)
4. The ballads on American Idol move you to tears (check - Emi pointed out last week that I cry when anyone sings...)
5. You've become a klutz (check... wait, I have ALWAYS been a klutz!)

"Don't automatically chalk up your sudden weepiness to PMS: Without sleep, you are more emotionally volatile. In one brain-imaging study, for example, people who missed a night of sleep and viewed disturbing images had 60 percent more activity in the amygdala, which is involved in processing fear and anxiety, compared with better-rested volunteers. The study also found that the sleepy volunteers' amygdala communicated less with the part of the brain that determines appropriate emotional responses, suggesting that they weren't doing a good job of tempering their emotions."

Uh-huh. This explains a lot. I am not going crazy (as far as we know) and all I need is to get 7-8 hrs sleep religiously and we will all be one happy family. I am willing to give it a try.

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