If you feel that you or your teen are suffering from sleep deprivation, or you don’t know how to go to sleep, then perhaps adding a few healthy sleep habits to your normal routine could help.
The infographic is aimed at teens but it applies equally well to adults and seniors. Adults need 7 – 8 hours of sleep a night. Seniors tend to nap more during the day, however, they might improve their sleep too by developing these new habits.
If you regularly have trouble sleeping you may need to review your life patterns and health and think about what might be contributing to your sleep problems. There are simple steps you can take to improve your sleep and some of these are covered below. For some people, insomnia has become a way of life that they struggle to overcome. Don’t just accept poor sleep as a way of life there is help available, both strategies you can employ yourself and professional advice and help.
What Is Insomnia? Insomnia is said to occur when someone finds it difficult to fall asleep or stay asleep, even when they need to and want to. People who have insomnia often feel dissatisfied with the amount and quality of sleep they experience. They may find themselves feeling fatigued or they may have difficulty concentrating, suffer from mood disturbances, and poor performance at work or at school. Acute insomnia only lasts a short while and may happen before an exam, or after receiving stressful or bad news. Many people have experienced this type of insomnia. It usually resolves itself without treatment.
Chronic insomnia is where a person’s sleep is disrupted at least three nights a week over a period of at least three months. It can have many causes, one of which is hereditary. Other factors include changes in the usual environment, learned patterns of sleep behavior, shift work and others. People who have chronic insomnia can be helped to get back to healthy sleep patterns.
How To Deal With Chronic Insomnia
Not being able to get a good nights rest is often laughed about in many TV shows, movies, and even cartoons. However, it can be a serious problem and as many as 30% to 50% of the population suffer from insomnia periodically in their lives. Another 10% of the population suffers from chronic insomnia which is when it lasts for more than 3 months or more, but sometimes far longer. There are also some dangerous daytime problems that are caused by nighttime insomnia and other long-term health problems that can be quite serious as well.
It Helps If You Can Honestly Find The Cause
Of course, most problems with sleeping are actually rooted in our day-to-day lives such as stress on the job, at home, or at school. Then there are other causes that people don’t like to admit such as alcohol abuse. You might think that alcohol helps people sleep, and yes it does, until it wears off and then they’re wide awake at 2 AM in the morning. Then the only thing that seems to work is another drink, or five, which is another problem altogether.
Then there are those that drink too much caffeine, either in colas or coffee, and they too can have problems sleeping. The sugar in many drinks can also cause problems, but it tends to be more of a roller coaster effect, first up, and then down. Other drugs, such as cocaine, methamphetamine, and especially smart drugs can also have a huge impact on sleep. Most so-called smart drugs, or nootropics as they are called, are actually stimulants and will keep you up at night just like they do during the day. If you can be honest with yourself and evaluate your intake of food, drinks, and drugs, you may find your solution to the problem on your own.
The Problem With Not Getting Enough Sleep
You might just say that insomniacs should just skip the sleep and watch TV or browse the internet until they feel tired. The problem with that is that then these same people show up for work at their jobs where their attention span is limited and they could cause accidents resulting in injury or death to themselves or others. Plus, lots of research has been done on overall health and sleep showing that many diseases like heart disease, strokes, Alzheimer’s, and even diabetes are all worsened by a lack of sleep.
Curing The Problem Can Be Easy, Or Not
If you do go to a sleep clinic they will start with a complete lifestyle evaluation that may uncover one or more causes of your insomnia. Then, they might have you sleep on-site and on camera to see if you might have breathing, snoring, or other problems that are interfering with your rest. It could be as simple as clearing up a long-term sinus infection that keeps you from breathing correctly.
Whatever you decide to do, evaluate your own lifestyle or have a professional do it for you, there are solutions to most sleep problems. If you can’t figure it out on your own you owe it your yourself to seek professional help since suffering through sleepless nights is bad for your health and that of those around you as well.
Dealing With Insomnia
5 Tips For Sleeping Better
Nobody likes to show up to work tired and groggy after a sleepless night. However, this is the unfortunate solution many people are facing. In fact, over 30 percent of people around the world from insomnia or sleeplessness.
People are all too often poor sleepers who have created self-defeating habits that make insomnia unavoidable. The missing hours not only make you tired, but also affect your performance at work. Insomnia can lead to a lack of focus and concentration and increases your chances of getting into an occupational accident and even depression.Here are 5 effective tips to avoid this by adopting better sleeping habits:
1.Leave the Bedroom
If you are unable to sleep, you might assume that an effective strategy would be to close your eyes and attempt as much as possible to fall asleep in your bed. However, experts recommend getting up and leaving your bed if you notice that you are unable to sleep after 20 minutes.
If you do this, your bed won’t be linked with negative associations that make it harder for you to sleep. So, get up and sit on your couch and you can even pick up a book to read. Return to bed after you start feeling sleepy.
2.Switch off Your Devices
Turn off your electronic devices at least one hour before going to bed, Smartphones, TVs, and computers emit a blue light that disrupts sleep schedules by convincing the brain that it is morning while in actuality it is midnight.
Instead of scrolling and tapping on your electronic devices, a better strategy would be to try winding down after a long day at work by reading a book before you go to bed. Alternatively, you can try to journal your thoughts or even develop a nightly ritual that calms you automatically.
3.Avoid Stressing Yourself Out
If you are unable to sleep, try not to beat yourself up. Simply put, you should not obsess over the clock seeing how many hours less of sleep you are getting. Obsessing over the number of hours of sleep you are not getting just puts unhelpful pressure on yourself.
A better approach would be to get a longer view. You may not enjoy a good night’s sleep this night, but you will definitely enjoy one tomorrow night, no sweat.
If stress is keeping you up, you should try keeping a pen and notebook close by and write down everything that keeps you awake. Once you have put it on paper, it is free. Doing this should help clear your mind to get more sleep and you might just wake up with workable solutions.
4.Wear Out the Body
Research suggests that people that exercise enjoy better quality of sleep than those that don’t work out. While vigorous exercisers have the greatest difference in sleep, even a 10-minute walk is enough to help increase your chances of enjoying a good night’s sleep.
The important thing is not to work out in the hours leading up to bed. Experts say that doing this can impair your ability to fall asleep if it is too intense, which is a situation that you definitely want to avoid as an insomniac.
5.Relax Muscles to Ease the Mind or Listen To A Relaxation Tape
Progressive muscle relaxation is a technique that has been used for centuries to get the body to stop holding everything in and relax. You can tense and flex all the muscles and then relax them in 20-second intervals.
Start with the face by lifting the eyebrows and then relaxing them so that you ease tension out of the forehead and then repeat the method with all body parts. By the time you finish doing the exercises, your body should start feeling looser and your mind will start feeling calmer
The Bottom Line
Insomnia can be quite a stressful and debilitating condition, but worrying about sleep does not have to take over your life. All you have to do is try the 5 useful tips discussed here and start enjoying a good night’s sleep as you did when you were younger.
The 5 tips discussed here will help you fight insomnia when you are lying in bed and can be the game-changer you are looking for. In the end, it will help you relax and help you find sleep more easily in the future.
Sleep deprivation just means not having enough sleep. That can be temporary (because you pulled a late nighter or the kids weren’t well) or long term (you ALWAYS stay up late or you do shift work or your sleep is not good quality). Some people suffer regularly from Insomnia – unable to sleep.
Sleep Deprivation Effects
If you are always sleepy in the daytime, tired, clumsy and gaining or losing weight unexpectedly you may be suffering from chronic sleep deprivation. (There can be other reasons and if you suspect that, see your medical adviser.) Laboratory animals that were stopped from sleeping eventually died. Long before that, sleep deprivation will affect your brain and your mental capacity, with memory lapses and drops in attention and concentration, perhaps missing out words and sentences when taking notes or forgetting to add ingredients while cooking. It seems that your mental ability is directly related to the number of hours you sleep each night. The less sleep, the worse you perform.
Even short term sleep deprivation can mean a possible increase in the likelihood of developing Type 2 Diabetes. People who usually slept for only a few hours each night were studied and it was found they were more likely to show symptoms of Type II Diabetes.
How Much Sleep?
You already know you’re supposed to get seven to nine hours of sleep a night, but sometimes, you stay up for a night out on the town, to finish a project at work, or even just to watch Law and Order! We’ve all heard it – especially from our parents – It happens to us all and an occasional late night here and there won’t hurt apart from feeling lousy next day, or falling asleep after lunch, which won’t impress the boss! It’s the long term skimping on sleep that’s the real problem. It’s called chronic sleep deprivation and it’s not just caused by staying up late. It can also be caused by sleep apnea, that affects the quality of your sleep, waking you up many times each night, even if you don’t remember.
Chronic sleep deprivation is linked to an increased risk of type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, obesity, and depression. It also increases the amount of the hunger hormone, ghrelin, in your gut, making you crave fatty, sugary foods. And more, it can also cause problems with the hormone that tells your body when you have had enough – leptin, the satiety hormone. That means you keep on eating, even though you are actually full.
Effects Of Sleep Deprivation
Lack of sleep can make you feel grumpy and foggy and affect your health, your sex drive and your looks. Sleep deprivation can cause accidents. It was a factor in the Three Mile Island nuclear reactor accident in 1979, the Exxon Valdez oil spill and the Chernobyl nuclear meltdown. It is also implicated in as many as 1 in 5 road traffic accidents every day. Driving tired can slow your reaction time as much as driving drunk. And workers who complain of excessive daytime sleepiness are more likely to suffer more work accidents and to need more sick days per accident.
Chronic sleep deprivation may impair your attention, alertness, reasoning, problem solving and concentration, making it more difficult to learn effectively. It can significantly affect your health, performance, safety, and pocketbook and may be caused by unrecognized sleep disorders. If after a typical night’s sleep, you do not feel restored and refreshed but still sleepy during the day, you may have a sleep disorder. Sometimes, it has been going on for so long, you may not even realize that you should and could feel differently. Many people remain undiagnosed for years.
Lack of quality sleep over a long period can have frightening effects on your health.