Sleep deprivation- It’s a big problem our western culture has. In our younger years, we’d have to fight to stay up all night and now we are fighting to keep our eyes closed to doze off. Forty seven percent of American’s are getting less than a 7-8 hour sleep. A quick answer to our sleep deprivation diagnosis is usually insomnia. Really we need to start thinking of smaller issues like that large cappuccino we downed before supper or maybe how hot it is in the house. Sleep is very important for our bodies to process the information we have obtained throughout the day. This is a time where our memories are being developed from things we have learned and also endocrine and immune system activity is in action.
There are many diseases or conditions that also have a toll on our sleep. Cancer, diabetes, obesity, obstructive sleep apnea, restless leg syndrome, gastroesophageal reflux, and back pain are just some.
Caffeine can be a big reason on why we lose our sleep. According to what I learned on emsafety, actually sends signals to our brains that block the sleep inducing hormones to our biological clocks. The best way to prevent this substance from affecting our zzz’s is to limit our intake- which should be about 16 ounces a day. Also ALWAYS drink in the morning or at least try to quit around lunch time. At least this will help to limit the amount of caffeine you still have in your system when it’s time to “hit the hay.”
Light, as no surprise, is another sleep killer. Melatonin is a hormone produced in our body that sets our biological clock and produces the initiation of sleep. Light stops the production of melatonin being produced, therefore blocking our sleep. So next time before you go to bed, try shutting off the T.V., laptop, and phone and wind down in a little darkness before you get into the covers.
Temperature is another factor to our sleep. Colder temperatures also stimulate a better production of melatonin to induce our sleep. Try taking a hot bath so when you come out, you have a cold rush that will help out this hormone. Or you could simply just turn down the temperature to that cool, medium!
You know those times when you wake up in the middle of the night and start worrying you will never get back to sleep? The worries or stress may get the worst of you! By simply calming yourself, getting up to go to the washroom, or doing a small task like praying could calm your brain down and make you ready to go right back to sleep. Also try not to spend time in bed unless you are going to sleep, like the times when you’re sitting for a few hours in bed reading a book or watching T.V. The fact that you’re in bed and resting already may have something to do with your tough time getting to sleep. The mattresses thickness should meet your needs. OH yeah, and as for the worries and depression, try to think positively and try some meditation techniques. This may help your ability to fall asleep.
Alcohol is known to help you pass right out, although it does have symptoms of disrupted sleep by waking up and having a hard time getting back to sleep. For the ladies, research has shown it’s worst for us! Try not to excessively drink, or drink earlier in the evening to avoid these effects.
Four random foods that surprisingly help well with activating your fatigue:
- A bowl of cornflakes
- Cherry juice, preferably tart
- Trail mix with pumpkin seeds
- White carbs; they can be good for something
Most of these foods have tryptophan or minerals that are melanin inducing. So give ‘em a try!
With the right amount of caffeine, light, temperature, alcohol, foods, and managing anxiety levels, you may have a good cure to your lack of sleep. Also check into any diseases or conditions you have been diagnosed for and see with your doctor what may help for your case.
Foley, D. (2013). Still awake at 3 a.m.?. Good Housekeeping, 256(1), 89.
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