The pace of our lives these days barely gives us enough time to stop and rest. It can make getting a good night’s sleep seem like only a dream. It is common knowledge that sleep is just as important for good health as keeping a proper diet and getting enough exercise. In fact, getting good quality sleep improves your mood, your health, and your brain performance.
On the other hand, not sleeping properly on a regular basis can have an almost immediate effect on your health. And the truth is you cannot believe the problems sleep deprivation causes. For example, I noticed when I don’t sleep well for more than one night, I experience irritation and sensitivity in my gums in addition to a lack of energy. I was surprised as I never thought there is a link between the problem in my gums and poor sleep.
Suffering from poor sleep raises the risk of many diseases and disorders as well. In fact, sleep is an essential part of our lives and is required for optimal function. It has a critical role not only in proper brain function but in all other bodily systems too.
Over time a lack of sleep leads to a weakened immune system which increases your chances of getting sick from many different illnesses. They range from irritability and weight gain, memory problems, plus a lack of concentration which can be dangerous, particularly to those who are driving. As well as anxiety, depression, heart problems, diabetes, high blood pressure and more.
The average adult needs between 7-9 hours of restorative sleep per night, but this varies from person to person. Being well rested can significantly improve your quality of life. Unfortunately, the majority of people suffer from a sleeping problem sometimes for many years, without ever addressing the issue.
This condition is quite complex as there is a lot more to good sleep than simply the hours you spend in bed. Healthy sleep has three main components. The first is how much sleep you get. The second is the quality of sleep, which should be refreshing and uninterrupted. The third is having a consistent schedule for both going to sleep and then waking up.
One of the challenges especially during times of excessive stress is that our normal sleep routines can be disrupted. However, the good news is that there are many things we can do to improve our sleep. The first step is to acknowledge we have a problem. The second is to understand that our brain isn’t just resting when we are sleeping. Researchers tell us that our brain is very busy at that time. It is removing toxins and rejuvenating itself. Sleep helps prepare the brain to learn, remember, and create. Not only that, but scientists have found that everything from blood vessels to the immune system uses sleep as a time for repair.
There are many misconceptions among the public about sleep. One of them is people who think that adults need less sleep as they get older. However, this isn’t true. But in reality, sleep quality can get worse as one gets older. One of the reasons is that older adults are more likely to take medications that interfere with their sleep.
Another myth is that you can catch up on missed sleep the next night or by taking a nap. The fact is it may slightly help you, yet if you are chronically sleep deprived, a little extra sleep doesn’t help much. Studies show that even with extra naps, people ended up gaining weight, and their body’s ability to properly control blood sugar levels got much worse.
We also know that some people suffer from medical conditions that prevent them from getting enough quality sleep, no matter what they try. These conditions are called sleep disorders. The most common of these is called insomnia, which is when you have difficulty getting to sleep or staying asleep. Insomnia can be a short term problem that lasts a few weeks, or a few months.
Sleep apnea is another well known sleep disorder. In this case, the upper airway becomes blocked during sleep. This reduces or stops the airflow in the airway and wakes people up during the night. This is obviously a serious situation that needs immediate medical attention.
Fortunately, there are treatments available today for many common sleep disorders. For example, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) can help people with insomnia. Medications such as sleeping pills may also be of help. In addition, people who suffer from sleep apnea can benefit from a device called a CPAP breathe easier. A CPAP machine helps keep your airways open by delivering continuous air through your nose and mouth.
Another common problem is people who snore, which could be a sign of sleep apnea. Research indicates that snoring is one of the factors contributing to sleep deprivation. Unfortunately, snoring doesn’t only disturb snorers but those around them. Furthermore, this condition can lead to much more significant health problems than a lack of sleep. Therefore, it is recommended that snorers seek medical attention……..