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Blog posts tagged with 'sleep quality'

Why a scary movie might be keeping you awake at night


You probably remember seeing a movie or a TV show that kept you awake at night. For me that show was Unsolved Mysteries. The show would highlight various unsolved gruesome crimes then highlight the fact that whoever did the heinous act they had just reenacted was still roaming free and ready to strike again. 

Perhaps there are nights you can remember lying in bed after a scary movie or television program.

What is going on in our body that makes a TV show affect us so much? Why do some people like to be scared even if it makes them lose sleep over it?

While you watch a good horror movie your heart rate and breathing speed up. Scary movies make you feel scared (go figure) and for many people watching a scary movie makes your body react the same way it would if there was something really scary there that could hurt you. You may have heard the term fight or flight, but the increase in heart rate and breathing helps your body supply more oxygen and blood flow to areas that would normally be needed to run away from something. Instead you may just need to run to get a refill of popcorn.

If you are really feeling scared your body may even tense up or even squeeze or move involuntarily that’s noradrenaline’s fault. Noradrenaline is a hormone that carries signals around the body and that tense feeling is a signal that something important is going to happen. Scary movies trick you into feeling like you are in danger so you tense up.

Scary movies can make you feel so stressed that cortisol levels in the body can rise. Cortisol is known as the stress hormone and is linked to memory loss and depression. It can also trigger bad memories because cortisol is released during trying times. Scary movies play with our fight or flight and stress management systems in our body. Adrenaline levels also spike. Scary movies make your body feel excited. The fun of watching a scary movie is being scared which may not seem to make a whole lot of sense.

However, recent research shows that dopamine gets released by your brain during a scary situation. Dopamine is generally considered a chemical the brain released to feel a sense of pleasure but it is also released during stressful and upsetting circumstances as well. This release of dopamine may be why we seek out scary movies despite the stressful feelings they may cause us to feel.

If you are not as affected by scary movies the reasons may be genetic. I no longer feel the strain of Unsolved Mysteries when I catch it on reruns. Scary movies may not cause strong reactions in every one but some research has suggested that some people may be more likely to be affected by disturbing imagery than others based on the doubling of a particular gene. If you have two copies of this particular gene you are much more likely to feel scared by scary movies.

No matter how scary a movie is you should not suffer from sleepless nights very long. Your body should be able to comfortably relax in bed most every night. If you are lying awake or feeling less than refreshed in the mornings visit Mattress Direct for a proper mattress fitting. Trained sleep specialists from Mattress Direct can keep you from feeling like a zombie or any other horror monster by ensuring you get the right mattress with characteristics that match your body type and sleep styles.

Kids need quality sleep too...

          Kids need a lot of sleep. Depending on their age, children need to sleep anywhere from 9 to 14 hours a night to provide optimal time for their bodies to rest and recharge for the next day. Without the proper amount of sleep kids can be less attentive in school, have delayed response time, loss of short-term memory, and develop behavioral issues such as anxiety and anger management. Not only does it affect cognitive development but not having the proper amount of sleep can also lead to obesity. Setting a proper schedule for sleep in children can help kid’s growth and prevent them from having sleep problems in the future. The average adult who doesn’t get the proper amount of sleep can develop heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, sleep apnea, strokes, depression, anxiety, forgetfulness, and impaired judgement. Setting the right schedule when people are younger allows people to continue this into adulthood and prevent future problems.


            Not only can lack of sleep affect behavior in children and have future consequences it also affects growth.  The pituitary gland excretes growth hormone during the day, but most of the gland’s release is right after a child falls asleep and continues throughout the night. If a child is not receiving a full night’s rest of quality sleep the child might grow more slowly or have a lack of regulating hormones in their body. These hormones do more than just regulate growth; they regulate how the body reacts to food and again how children react to certain stresses or situations. When the body doesn’t get enough sleep and hormones children begin craving higher calorie carb food which can lead to insulin resistance and possibly diabetes.


Recommended quality sleep for Children per Day

1-3 Years Old: 12 - 14 hours

3-6 Years Old: 10 - 12 hours

7-12 Years Old: 10 - 11 hours

12-18 Years Old: 8 - 9 hours


                Children need more than just the hours of sleep their sleep quality is just as important, if not more so, as it is in adults. These are the years that people grow the most physically and mentally. Sleep is crucial to maintaining health for child’s whole life. They need pressure relief and support on their young bodies so that they do not develop chronic pain and get the full rest they deserve. When looking at support systems for your child the number one thing is get something new. Hand me down clothing is one thing, but a hand me down mattress produces a myriad of problems. The mattress is older and has been slept on by, more than likely, two people and if the mattress is not providing enough support for the original user(s) then why would it provide enough support for a child? Second a hand me down mattresses have dust mites, sweat, dead skin cells, etc. inside of the mattress and it could create issues for children, especially for those who have allergies.

                When looking at the different types of support for the child let them have a say in picking out a new mattress. It is remarkable to watch children picking out a new sleep system—they really know what they want and how it feels to them. Just like adults the type of support they need is determined by how they sleep. Ask your child what position they like to sleep in. More than likely they will know the answer.  If your child tends to sleep on their side a mattress with more pressure relieving material or foams would be a better choice; while back and stomach sleepers tend to need a little bit less. Finding the right amount of pressure relief is unique to every child. Just because a child can sleep on anything or anywhere does not mean they should. Also children need room to grow and stretch. Get the biggest mattress the space allows for.  

                Starting kids out right allows for them to be healthier for the rest of their lives.


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