"The groundwork of all happiness is health." - Leigh Hunt

Presidential candidates need sleep too.

The demands of being a presidential candidate blow away sleep. And whoever is elected is unlikely to make any less demands.

President Obama They say they schedule six hours of sleep an evening but that's not all the time possible, and Bill Clinton It is reported to take five to 6 hours. How much sleep do senior executives like our president need to operate optimally?

It's also a crucial query when presidential candidates go into full campaign mode. Does sleep affect their work? And how do they maintain their tight schedule? Can lack of sleep cause certain errors and malfunctions?

As a neurologist who has studied sleep for a few years, I do know that sleep affects our functioning and health. While a really small percentage of individuals can function on 4 or five hours of sleep an evening, most of us need more.

Scientific research has not yet led to a “grand unified theory” for the evolutionary purpose and performance of sleep, but studies have shown that sleep serves many essential functions in our bodies and brains. Based on a meta-analysis of the clinical research literature, the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and the Sleep Research Society jointly issued a consensus statement last 12 months recommending Adults get at least seven hours a night. To maintain optimal health. This suggestion was based on a scientific review of previous studies. Also said to get Less than six hours An evening's sleep is commonly “insufficient to maintain health.”

Stages of sleep and their function

The baby is sleeping.
Reuters/Mike Black

Our sleep occurs in cycles of stages including rapid eye movement (REM) sleep and non-REM sleep. REM sleep is the stage of sleep when we’ve got probably the most vivid dreams. Non-REM sleep is defined as light sleep (stages N1 and N2) and deep slow wave sleep (stage N3). Slow wave sleep It is taken into account particularly essential for physical recovery and health as a consequence of its function in cellular maintenance and repair.

We need each REM and NREM sleep to operate normally to make sure a well-functioning memory. REM sleep is the principal stage of sleep. Memory ConsolidationEspecially for procedural and spatial memory. NREM slow-wave sleep enables information processing and memory consolidation, particularly declarative memory Remembering facts and events.

Our brain cells (neurons) communicate with one another through synapses, that are junctions that connect neurons through chemical messengers, or Neurotransmitters. Slow wave sleep is important for trimming and improving these networks and connections. This refinement is required to preserve strong connections and eliminate weak connections as a part of consolidating objects in memory.

Over the past several years, there was emerging evidence to clarify this. The importance of sleep In reducing age-related memory loss and progression to mild cognitive impairment and dementia. Animal studies have shown that sleep Allows clearance Waste products from the brain comparable to amyloid. Accumulation of amyloid plaques is taken into account to be one among the pathological features of Alzheimer's dementia. There is considerable interest on this recently recognized “brainwashing” function of sleep. Removal of toxic products from the mind.

Cognitive effects of sleep deprivation

There are quite a few research studies that show various forms of performance impairment. Cognitive measures of the brain After lack of sleep. These include measures of attention, emotion regulation, learning and memory, and “executive functions.”

In these studies, executive function refers to the flexibility to multitask and manage complex sequences. It may also seek advice from Ability to self-regulate And filter our behavior and speech to avoid inappropriate comments.

Of these functions, cognitive measures of attention are most affected by sleep deprivation, with moderate effects seen on complex attention and dealing memory. Thankfully, research has shown that straightforward reasoning skills are preserved with sleep deprivation. Obstructive Lack of sleepprobably the most common disorder of sleep quality, affects the a part of the brain most answerable for maintaining executive functions.

As we learn more in regards to the importance of sleep and its role in cognitive performance, duty rules have modified to limit the variety of hours an individual can work and guidelines for supervision. To prevent mistakes From sleep deprivation in medical residents and professionals comparable to airline pilots.

Physiological effects of sleep deprivation

There are a variety of Physiological effects These include sleep deprivation, from chronic insufficient sleep to weight gain and obesity, diabetes, hypertension, depression and increased risks of heart disease and stroke, in addition to death. There are also associations between insufficient sleep and decreased immune function Increased pain perception.

The American Sleep Foundation periodically conducts its Sleep in America Poll. There are statistics that show that 40 percent of respondents reported getting lower than seven hours of sleep an evening. The US Department of Health and Human Services' Healthy People 2020, an initiative to enhance the nation's health, has identified a goal to “increase the proportion of adults who enough sleep

There have been several studies that show that. Incremental errors and a rise in sleep-deprived driving accidents. Given the link between sleep and performance, there have actually been studies which have shown improvements in performance in elite athletes who increased the quantity of hours they slept at night through sleep extension exercises. Now there are a lot of. Professional sports Teams that use a sleep specialist to assist maximize the performance of their players.

How to address lack of sleep.

A cup of latte.
From www.shutterstock.com
  • Caffeine: The longer we're awake, the more a chemical in our brain's frontal lobes called Adenosine Which is expounded to the need to sleep. That's what happens. Caffeine Blocks these receptors, temporarily stopping the buildup of adenosine and reducing the drive for sleep.

  • Naps: There is evidence to suggest that short naps (ideally not than 20 minutes) can increase alertness and performance. There has been a trend for some executives to make use of these “power naps.” Having an uninterrupted space within the office or workspace where a brief power nap could be used for those spare minutes between meetings could be helpful. According to the National Sleep Foundation, there are several Presidents Those who tried to make use of regular afternoon naps. They include John F. Kennedy, Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush.

  • Organizational assistance: Our society is increasingly depending on using smart phones and electronic devices to administer our schedules and supply essential reminders in addition to access essential information when needed. They were at one time called “peripheral brains” by some.

A senior executive often has a staff that helps manage the multiple functions and communications needed for normal operations, in addition to managing problems or crises as they arise. This speaks to the importance of getting enough highly qualified staff (a few of whom will not be sleep-deprived) who may also help act as “organizing minds”.

In theory, a president could manage sleep deprivation by utilizing a mixture of those strategies. Maybe that's how candidates get saved.