Sleep, Not just for Beauty
Sleep is an essential foundation of wellness.
It is just as necessary as food, water or air. According to a National Sleep Foundation Study, 60% of US adults have sleep disturbances 3 nights per week or more, and more than 40 percent of adults experience daytime sleepiness severe enough to interfere with their daily activities at least a few days each month. According to psychologist and sleep expert David F. Dinges, Ph.D, some common initial symptoms of a lack of sleep are irritability, moodiness, lack of control, and aggression. If a sleep-deprived person doesn’t sleep after the initial signs, said Dinges, the person may then start to experience apathy, slowed speech and flattened emotional responses, impaired memory and an inability to be novel or multitask.
Aside from these technical aspects, not being well rested can cause a person to have less motivation, lack of ability to concentrate, be short tempered, experience increased stress, have trouble with relationships or work, increased hunger because food will increase our blood sugar and perk us up a bit, and other health and emotional challenges.
According to experts, most adults function well without sleepiness or any signs of a lack of sleep with 8 hours of sleep per night. Some people experience no sleepiness or symptoms of lack of sleep with only 6 hours while some require 10 hours of sleep to feel fully rested. The best practice is to listen to your body and gauge how you are feeling.
Tips for Getting a Good Nights Sleep:
- Be sure to use the restroom before getting in bed.
- Dont drink fluids too close before bed, especially alcohol.
- Avoid heavy meals before bed.
- Avoid Caffeine.
- Keep a regular fitness routine.
- Keep a regular sleep schedule and routine.
- Don’t stay up watching TV or using backlit devices, bright light is a signal to be awake.
- Be sure to spend time in the sunlight every day, this helps to set our sleep/wake cycle.
- Reserve your bed only for sleeping and sex.
- Keep the room cool and dark.
Tips for Getting Back to Sleep
- Read a relaxing book by dim light.
- Practice relaxation techniques.
- Listen to soft music or a book on tape.
- Postpone worrying or brainstorming until another time.
- If its hard to slow your mind down, try writing your thoughts down for another time.
- If you’ve been awake for over 15 minutes, try getting out of bed and doing a relaxing activity.
If you think you may have a sleep disorder, consult your doctor, for other assistance with sleep browse our Merchant Directory to consult a stress management specialist, or try a fitness routine.
Author: Tony Montijo, BS Kinesiology, CPT, CES