Sleep

All persons need sleep, but a lot of people do not consider this element of good health as very important or essential in the overall well-being of the body. Not a lot of people are aware of the possible consequences of lack of sleep, and what health impacts it has on the overall state of the human body. Sleep is needed for the body to recharge itself, heal itself, expel toxic thoughts through dreams, and refresh the mind as well. In today’s hectic society, sleep is more important than ever. It is very vital, as the lack of sleep is only the beginning for many chronic conditions that inflict so many people today.

Adults need from 6-8 hours of sleep, the recommended being 8 hours. However, a lot of people don’t get the required amount of sleep and as a result, the body is sleep-deprived and as a result, lack of concentration or disorientation sinks in. Many accidents have been caused where sleep deprivation has been found to be the real culprit. Poor sleep also results in poor appetites and stomach upset. Besides, not only is one tired but also irritated. Productivity at work becomes a no-show. One cannot really work when all the body wants to do is lie down and get some much-needed rest.

How is it that many persons are unable to get the sleep that is required for good health? Many studies link this problem with stress, overwork, noise, alcoholism, and other underlying medical conditions.

What kind of sleep disorders are there? The United States Food and Drug Administration presented the four most common types of sleeping problems: insomnia, sleepiness during daytime or narcolepsy, sleep apnea, and snoring. These sleep disorders occur in persons of all ages, and is equally common among men and women. There are also reports that explain how lack of sleep contributes to being overweight or obesity. Recent researches have shown that excessive use of television or video games tend to aggravate sleep disorders.

Insomnia is the clinical term that describes the difficulty of falling asleep. People who are extremely tired should feel sleepy after a long day, but insomniacs still stay up even if they should be resting. Also, insomnia is characterized by waking up too early, even when not enough sleep is achieved. How does a person get insomnia? This is highly attributed to overwork and too much stress. The consumption of a heavy meal or alcohol before bedtime also makes a person an insomniac. This condition can be treated by prescription drugs that relax a person and make him fall asleep easier.

Narcolepsy occurs when a person feels to slow during the daytime, or shows signs of extreme tiredness. Even if a person has had enough sleep the previous night, he still feels sleepy during the daytime. His eyelids are usually heavy, he is cranky most of the time, and experiences trouble concentrating.

Snoring is more likely to occur in people who are overweight, have some form of nasal congestion, or are heavy smokers and drinkers. This can be remedied by sleeping on your side instead of your back, cutting down on cigarettes and alcohol, and losing weight. There are medications that help prevent snoring, as well as nasal strips that help breathing to be less laborious.

Sleep apnea is a combination of snoring and falling asleep during daytime. Some persons who have this condition may even stop breathing during sleep, so this is a serious disorder that should be addressed by a doctor immediately. Sleep apnea is more common among males than females.

Although there are many sleep aids available today like sleeping pills, it’s best not to depend too much on these and instead train the body to sleep at regular hours. All of these can become addictions, and should be monitored to make sure one doesn’t exceed any recommended doses. Coffee is harmless if taken in small quantities, but with the speed that the average week is paced at, a hot cup of coffee becomes somewhat of a break and breather, and this feeling of relief through coffee becomes addictive. Coffee has been shown to disrupt sleep cycles, trigger anxiety and nervousness, nausea, headaches, diarrhea, and the list goes on.

Even light sleepers suffer from being tired, because they are just plain tired. Light sleeping is not sleeping. To get the maximum benefits of sleep, a sleeper must reach REM sleep. REM means Rapid Eye Movement, and this is the indication that the sleeper is truly sleeping. There are 20 minute periods or so throughout sleep, and in between REM when a sleeper is in non-REM sleep is when the sleeper dreams. Reaching this stage is essential as the body’s functions start to slow down after being accelerated during REM sleep and deep sleep sets in.

For a better quality of life, an individual needs to take a good look at their lifestyle, and determine if the minimum amount of hours of sleep is being met. If not, it’s time to start training the body to sleep again. It’s critical to clear the bedroom of all distractions, the main being television and computers or laptops. Also, all eating and snacking must stop after 8:00 in the evening. There really is no need to eat any later then that, as the digestive system needs to rest as well. Lying down and resting is a good start, if it’s difficult to fall asleep right away. Reading may help as well, especially if it’s a long boring book. A warm cup of Chamomile tea can also calm your body and ease you into sleep. The point is to do it consistently every night so that the body learns to sleep again. Sleeping is survival. Those who don’t sleep don’t dream. Motivations, creativity, energy all become depleted. Start sleeping and learn to have sweet dreams once more.

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