In a world where sleep deprivation is a common complaint especially due to the daily stressors of life such as family responsibilities, student life, and physiological changes that occur as we age such as menopause. Where getting 8 hours of sleep was considered to be the norm, these days the amount of time one spends sleeping is approximately 6 hours or more. It has been noted that getting too little or too much sleep can actually be very unhealthy and can lead to the development of type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure. Let’s point out some of the important reasons why lack of sleep is not good for health.
1. Lack of sleep increases the risk of developing high blood pressure, strokes and heart attacks.
2. Lack of sleep interrupts the body’s capability to produce insulin like it should.
3. Lack of sleep does not allow the body to function at its highest capacity, leaving you feeling tired and sluggish throughout the day.
4. Lack of sleep prevents you from being able to focus and concentrate on even the most basic things and can also decrease the amount of time you need to react in certain situations.
5. Lack of sleep also puts you at an increased risk of mood swings and increased irritability.
Understanding the various affects that lack of sleep can have on you and your body, should serve as a catalyst to getting a good night sleep. Listed below are a few suggestions that can help you to achieve a good night sleep.
1. Refrain from drinking anything with caffeine, or even alcohol too close to bedtime. Caffeine will keep you awake, and alcohol will prevent you from going into the deepest part of sleep.
2. Keep your room at a comfortable temperature (not too hot or cold). Remove blankets as needed, and if you need a little cool air than simply open the window a little to breathe in some fresh air.
3. Get some exercise earlier in the day but try not to exercise in the late evening too close to bedtime. Doing so will just keep you awake. Yoga is a good relaxing exercise to do before bed.
4. Do not eat any large meals before bedtime.
5. Refrain from any emotionally charged discussions before going to bed, since that will just keep your mind racing with that information.
6. Try meditating before going to sleep, it helps to slow the mind down and relaxes the body.
Hopefully these tips can help you achieve better sleep. However, if getting good sleep is a major issue, consult your Doctor and make sure there aren’t any health reasons for sleep deprivation.
Until next time :-)
Helen A. Jenkins RN CDE
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