An explanation of the relationship between sleep and stress,

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Have you ever noticed that no matter how difficult the situation, if you can find humor in it, it becomes more manageable? Even in moments of loss, people remember their loved ones by reminiscing about the funny things they did or said. Many circumstances are judged by how they make you feel. Even in the face of serious illness, an active sense of humor can lessen its effects and improve the likelihood of a more positive outcome. These examples suggest that humor appears to buffer against the effects of stress. The effects of a good sense of humor benefit the body in a variety of ways.

Participating in a good laugh is not the only activity you might overlook when it comes to managing stress. A restful sleep provides a wealth of benefits to the mind as well as the body.Think back to the last time you had to get up early and despite having too little sleep, you had to keep going. Consider how the lack of sleep affected your mood, appetite, energy level, performance, and your interactions with others. People often trivialize their need for sleep, despite the numerous benefits it provides to mood, concentration, and coping with stress. The focus on connections between sleep, stress, and health are particularly timely because sleep patterns are changing. Between the late 1950s and the early 1990s, the average reports of adult sleep dropped from 8 to 9 hours a night to 7 to 8 hours a night. Recent studies report increasing numbers of individuals sleeping less than 6 hours a night. The annual direct cost of dealing with sleep deprivation in the United States is estimated to be $16 billion a year. Indirect costs are estimated at $50 to $100 billion and include motor vehicle and other accidents, resultant litigation, property destruction, medical costs, loss of productivity, and death. 

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