For quite a while now I’ve been having trouble getting a good nights sleep. It has started to really affect me and I decided to do a little research on the subject, maybe find the magic cure. Anyway I thought maybe some of my readers may be having the same problem and might benefit from some of the things I’ve learned.
Some of the common symptoms of sleep deprivation are:
- Feeling groggy or dozing while driving
- Falling asleep while watching television or reading a book
- Sleeping for extra long periods on weekends
- Difficulty waking in morning, or hitting the snooze several times
- Irritable during the day
- Falling asleep during quiet times of day
- Feeling lethargic after eating something heavy
Following is a listing of Some of the short & long term consequences of sleep deprivation:
short-term consequences include:
- Decreased daytime alertness. Loss of just one and half hours sleep can result in a 32% reduction in daytime alertness.
- Impaired memory and cognitive ability, the ability to think and process information.
- More than double the risk of sustaining an occupational injury.
- Impaired immune system.
Long-term consequences can include the following:
- High blood pressure
- Heart attack
- Heart failure
- Increases aging process
- Psychiatric problems such as depression and other mood disorders
- Mental impairment
- Increased mortality risk
- Relationship problems
- Obesity – (The link between obesity and sleep is an interesting one as lack of sleep can cause weight gain by increasing hunger and affecting metabolism, and extra weight can cause sleep disorders such as apnea which cause sleep deprivation.)
The hours of sleep needed varies with age, below is a list of the appropriate amounts needed. According to this list I’m am definitely sleep deprived.
0-3 months need 15-17 hours
3-18 months need 13-15 hours
18 months-3 years need 11-13 hours
4-12 years need 10 hours
Teens need 8-9.5 hours
Adults need 7-9 hours
Source: National Sleep Foundation
Now here is a list of ten things you can do to help ensure a good nights sleep:
- Cut caffeine. – Caffeine should be stopped at least 4 to 6 hours before bedtime. “What about 2 hours before sleep? That’s good enough isn’t it???”
- Avoid alcohol as a sleep aid. – Causes sleep disturbances. – “And hallucinations!”
- Relax before bedtime. – De-stress before going to bed. “Do yoga, go shopping”
- Exercise at the right time for you. – Exercise should be done in the morning because it gets you pumped up. “hehe now I’ve got a new excuse”
- Keep your bedroom quiet, dark, and comfortable. – Temperatures above 75 or below about 54 can disrupt sleep.
- Eat right, sleep tight. – Try not to go to bed hungry, but don’t eat too much.
- Restrict nicotine. – Nicotine is a stimulant and should be avoided right before bed. “fat chance”
- Avoid napping. – Too much of a nap will keep you from falling asleep at bedtime, if you do nap keep it to 15-20 minutes. “power nap baby!”
- Keep pets off the bed. – A pet can move around and cause you to have disrupted sleep. “Or they get dog hair on your pillow which keeps you from falling asleep!”
- Avoid watching TV, eating, and discussing emotional issues in bed. – The experts say that the bed should be used for sleep and sex only. “Jose has a problem with discussing heavy issues while we’re getting ready for bed, it drives me insane!”
Hopefully this info has been of some help for those of you who are walking around in a sleepless daze. If you have any tips or some advice regarding this issue that I haven’t listed, I’d be interested in hearing it.