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Research recommends sleeping on it
Senior moments
Rich DeLong is the executive director of The Suites at Station Exchange. - photo by File photo

There’s a whole bunch of news out there on TV lately. As usual with news reports, you have the good, the bad and the ugly.
The “bad” always outweighs the other two. The “good” always is limited but still mandatory for most TV news outlets, which typically end a broadcast with a feel-good story. And then there’s the “ugly,” which probably doesn’t qualify as news, but does seem to sell a lot of commercial time.
For example, take the latest report concerning “NBC Nightly News” anchor Brian Williams. He embellished a story on which he reported 12 years ago. Last week, he had an attack of good conscience, recanting portions of his account regarding an enemy grenade taking down the chopper in which he was a passenger. It appears he was not in the chopper that was forced down. Instead, he was in a helicopter that was following behind.
In the familiar style of Hillary Clinton, I ask, “What difference, at this point, does it make?”  
There was some recent news that did catch my eye. The National Sleep Foundation released new guidelines for how much time people should spend snoozing. To me, this is news you can use because everyone needs sleep. Most of the new advice recommends a wider range of sleep hours. And the least amount of sleep recommended for any of the nine age categories is seven hours.  
Wow! I’ve got to start going to bed earlier.
In a Wall Street Journal report that ranked cities by their average number of sleep hours per night, Melbourne, Australia led the way with an average of 7 hours, 5 minutes. Tokyo was at the bottom of the list with just 5 hours, 46 minutes. Americans overall are in the middle somewhere, but it’s safe to say we could always use a little more sleep.
The benefits of getting more sleep are many. Sleep helps solidify learning, form memories and clean up your brain. Our brain works hard throughout the day and needs sleep in order to keep it functioning at peak levels when awake.
What parent wouldn’t like their kids to get higher grades? Sleep can aid in higher test scores (just as long as your kids are not sleeping in class). Research indicates that more sleep also means fewer days away from school and work.  
Probably the most interesting results I read came from research conducted by the University of Pennsylvania. This study supported other findings that indicated significant weight gain in people who had reduced or irregular sleep patterns. Yikes! And men were more susceptible to increases in weight than women.  
That makes sense since I often find myself eating when I’m awake. It’s hard to eat three peanut-butter and jelly sandwiches while sleeping.
The science of slumber makes it clear that healthy sleep patterns are important for our overall well-being. And don’t forget the importance of a good bed. After 12 years of living in Coastal Georgia, we just recently replaced our mattress and box spring. I was amazed at how quickly my back and shoulder pain disappeared.  
One more reason for getting quality sleep relates to Alzheimer’s disease. According to researchers at the University of Wisconsin, there may be a link between lack of sleep and the formation of plaque in the brain. Need I say more?
Sleep well, my friends.

Call DeLong at 912-531-7867 or go to

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