ARE YOU GETTING ENOUGH SLEEP?
By: Robin Reichert
In this always-on-the-go world, it can be difficult to get enough sleep. We wake up early for the long commute and stay up late finishing that report. When we go to bed, it’s often hard to turn off and wind down. The result; Lack of sleep. Health problems that result are:
1. Memory problems
4. Weakened Immune system.
5. High Blood Pressure.
6. Increased sensitivity to pain.
Missing an hour of sleep occasionally typically won’t cause lasting negative effects, but long-term sleep deprivation can be dangerous. When you are deprived of sleep, your hand-eye coordination is compromised. People who are sleep-deprived often perform tasks just as poorly or worse than those that are intoxicated. Having a strong coffee or caffeine-laced energy drink will not wake you up if you are suffering severe sleep deprivation. If you can’t focus or have difficulty holding your head up or can’t remember what you did just a few minutes ago, it is time to get some sleep.
Sleep needs depends on:
3. Overall health.
Number of hours needed per night: (generally)
• Adults over 18 – 7-9 hours
• Over 65 – 7-8 hours
• School Age – 8-11 hours
There is no need to stick to a rigid schedule or to worry about staying out late occasionally. If you feel alert, focused, and rested when you wake up and throughout the day, you are likely getting enough sleep.
If you suffer from any of the symptoms of sleep deprivation, you can begin to improve your sleep and overall health by making some small changes that will lead to big results and better sleep.
- Set a bedtime and stick to it. Don’t let the weekend be an excuse to stay up too late and rise too early and deprive yourself of much needed sleep. If you do not already have a bedtime ritual, design one.
- Reading a few chapters of a book.
- Set a nightly bedtime ritual. Soon you’ll look forward to it and help feel sleepy.
- Exercise daily.
- Avoid caffeine, particularly late in the day.
- Temper alcohol consumption. Alcohol interferes with your circadian rhythm resulting in your falling asleep quickly, yet waking up after just a few hours and unable to return to sleep.
- Shut down all electronics. Anything that stimulates the mind. Beds are for sleeping.
- Create a bedroom environment that is conducive to sleep.
- Get a bed that is built for comfort. If you are budget minded a foam topper is something to consider. An old bed can suddenly become a comfortable one at minimal cost.
Make sleeping a priority. Fully rested, alert and focused will help you be passionately creative each and every day.
Sources: https://sleepfoundation.org/how-sleep-works/how-much-sleep-do-we-really-need http://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/guide/sleep-requirements http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/in-depth/sleep/art-20048379 http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/insomnia/expert-answers/lack-of-sleep/faq-20057757 http://www.mayoclinic.org/sleep-deprivation/expert-answers/faq-20057959