Statistically, as much as 70 million people in America are chronically sleep-deprived. Not only is this affecting their daily activities, but also compromising their ability to stay physically and mentally healthy. And not a few doctors would say that sleep deprivation shortens a person’s life span. |
Quoting William Dement, a professor of psychiatry at Stanford University: “There is plenty of compelling evidence that sleep is the most important predictor of how long you will live—perhaps more important than whether you smoke, exercise or have high blood pressure or cholesterol levels,” .
Despite Dement’s excellent point, a vast majority of the Americans still get fewer hours of sleep than the recommended 8 hour per night. An average American sleeps only about less than 7 hours a night. Though most people are good to go when sleeping only 5-6 hours a night, it’s not a healthy habit. This is as reported by the American Medical Association.
According to a new study conducted by the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, the of the usual causes for reduced hours of sleep include extended amount of working hours. As a result, people usually prefer surfing the Internet or watching TV instead of immediately hitting the sack after a long day at the office.
The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute even gave warnings, saying that disturbances in sleeping pattern will result in elevated levels of stress hormones, which then alters proper body metabolism. Depression and obesity usually follow after this if not managed appropriately. Obesity, for instance, is a precipitating factor to developing life-threatening conditions like diabetes, hypertension, and various heart diseases. Also, the National Sleep Foundation conducted a survey in 2005. The results of this found out that 1 out of 3 couples have sleep-related relationship problems caused by snoring. In addition, about 25 percent of those couples encounter problems like their partner is way too sleepy to even have sex.
Below are some tips to help solve any sleeping problems that are present or may still arise:
Implement sleeping habit changes
* Turn your bedroom into a sleep-conducive area. If possible, remove all distractions like TV, computer, or books. Your bedroom should only be used for you to sleep in or for you to have sex in. * Stick the replay button of your iPod on slow and relaxing music while trying to get to sleep. * Drinking products with caffeine in the evening is not advisable. During the daytime is only when it gives its desirable effect. * The use of prescription drugs for heart disease, blood pressure maintenance, asthma, and depression can give disrupt your normal sleeping pattern. Some over the counter drugs for cough, colds, and allergies can also give you more of the same. Consult with your physician with regards to adjusting your dosage or other better alternatives. * The use of sleeping pills may also be done as long as it is under a doctor’s supervision. Ineffective: * Alcohol may act as a sedative after you drink it, but its effect is only short-term. * Taking sleeping pills like Ambien
Rearrange your body clock
* Light therapy is one of the rising stars in sleep trouble remedies. When you are exposed to bright sunlight (or even just a 10,000-lux light box) early during the day, the chances of you becoming sleepy early in the night are increased. This is in complete contrast to being exposed to light later in the day, which causes a supressed sleep-inducing hormone (melatonin) production.
* Oversleeping can easily backfire since it affects the natural rhythm of your body.
Give your snoring a proper intervention
* Weight loss of 5-10 pounds can improve breathing during sleep. * For partners of snorers, a pair of earplugs or a loud airconditioner will do good. Ineffective * Lying down flat on your back causes air passage to be smaller. * Sleeping pills and over the counter sleep inducers can cause snoring to worsen.
Get energized during daytime
* Power Naps are more effective, natural, and safe in recharging you than most caffeine products. Ineffective * Working too much is not advisable and can also backfire very easily.
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