Although summer is a time for fun and relaxation, many of us tend to over extend ourselves and try to soak up every last minute of our days left! We begin to stress more over our plans than to truly enjoy them, all boiling down to the common denominator: we as a nation do not get enough sleep! If you are suffering from lack of proper, deep sleep (yes it does matter what type of sleep you exhibit) the solution maybe as simple as a few relaxation techniques described below. However many of us may have gone years with poor sleep habits due to physical, mental or emotional stressors. Those addicted to prescription sleep drugs need to realize there are healthy alternatives out there that have been proven to be nonaddictive and extremely beneficial to those suffering from improper sleep patterns. If you fall into any of these categories, take a minute to look at this week's article.
How to Achieve Deep, Uninterrupted Sleep
Sleep deprivation can alter your levels of thyroid and stress hormones, which play a part in everything from your memory and immune system to your heart and metabolism. Over time, lack of sleep can lead to:
2. Hide your clock, so that its glow won’t disturb you and make sure there is no light coming from other sources including your windows as this will seriously impair your body’s ability to produce melatonin.
3. Choose the right pillow -- neck pillows, which resemble a rectangle with a depression in the middle, can enhance the quality of your sleep and reduce neck pain.
4. Paint your bedroom sage green, or another soothing color, which will provide a visual reminder of sleep.
5. Move your bed away from outside walls, which will help cut down on noise.
6. Kick your dog or cat out of your bedroom -- studies have shown that they snore!
7. Take a hot bath 90 to 120 minutes before bedtime; it increases your core body temperature, and when it abruptly drops when you get out of the bath, it signals your body that you are ready for sleep.
8. Keep a notepad at your bedside -- if you wake in the middle of the night with your mind going, you can transfer your to-do list to the page and return to sleep unworried.
9. Put heavier curtains over your windows -- even the barely noticeable light from streetlights, a full moon, or your neighbor‘s house can interfere with the circadian rhythm changes you need to fall asleep.
10. Eat a handful of walnuts before bed -- they’re a good source of tryptophan, a sleep-enhancing amino acid.
While I don’t believe there is a hard-and-fast rule as to how long you must sleep, it is crucial that you do get enough, and this means listening to your body.
Unfortunately, sleep problems -- such as waking up too early, not being able to fall asleep or not being able to stay asleep -- are at near epidemic levels. One NSF poll found that more than half of the adults they surveyed experienced one or more of these symptoms.
Why is Sleep so Important?
Of course, you know instinctively that sleep is essential just by the way you feel when you don’t get enough of it. But sleep is very complex, and sleep deprivation can impact your body in a number of ways:
There is no one answer to this question, but there are some common factors that can easily disturb your night’s rest: