We all know that sleep is essential for health and well-being. The reasons we need sleep are many. For some, it is because sleep feels good and gives them energy throughout the day. For others, it is because they have to. Restorative sleep for 7 hours gives the body a chance to slow down and relax in order to be ready for the next day. When you are awake, brain generates fast waves to keep you active. When you are sleeping, these waves slow down. In this state, you feel completely relaxed, breathing and heart rate slows down as well. The difference between sleep and an unconscious person is that it is possible to awaken a sleeping person, not the latter. Check out the Healthy Body Healthy Mind Blog for more information.
So, what happens when you don’t get enough sleep? Missing one night of sleep will not lead to death. However, the next day, you may feel irritated and unable to perform at your optimal level. Missing two or three nights of sleep may take you to a whole new world. You may be unable to focus or may make mistakes. More than three nights of missed sleep will keep you from thinking coherently. You may start hallucinating and in most cases lose your ability to distinguish between reality and dream.
Sleep disorder is not just a problem of adults experiencing stress, anxiety or issue related to mental health; it can occur at any age and at any time. The consequence of not getting enough sleep on health is very similar to being awake the whole time. Sleep is when growth hormones and chemicals related to immune system are produced. Without sleep, these things may not happen. You may experience stunted growth or become susceptible to various diseases.
Generally speaking, the average person requires at least 7 hours of sleep every day, more for younger adults and infants. If you are having trouble sleeping well at night, it is important to figure out the cause. For example, caffeine, tobacco and other brain stimulants can rob you off a good night sleep. Not exercising, drinking alcohol or drugs can also cause sleep deprivation. To make yourself comfortable before going to bed, try to follow the below ideas:
- Use a good, firm mattress
- Get rid of distractions such as TV, mobile phones and laptops during bedtime
- Drink a glass of warm milk
- Try to sleep on your back as much as possible
- If you find that your body is tensed up, do a few relaxation exercises like meditation or yoga before retiring to bed
If none of the above tips work, ask your doctor to order a sleep prescription. This may include mild medication, study program or better ideas that will help you relax your mind. There are many illnesses associated with lack of sleep, so before you become a victim of one, make sure that the condition is cured in its early stage. Activities such as stretching, warm bath and massaging can help relieve a few symptoms associated with sleep deprivation. Unfortunately, for people with severe sleep disorder, it is not guaranteed that the techniques mentioned above will work. It may but only for a short time and then the symptoms may return. If this is the case, your doctor may prescribe lengthy counseling sessions or joining a program that will include health, balanced diet medications as well as good sleep hygiene.
As for the medications, there are plenty available, from sleep pills to dopamine suggested for people with sleep disorders such as RLS and REM. And then there are certainly a lot of information about these medications, their side effects, short and long term usage details. To learn more about them, you need to talk to your doctor or consult a sleep specialist. Joining a support group for sleep disorder patients can help tremendously in your journey to find cure. All these venues can be valuable source of information because people who go through this disorder are more than willing to share their experience and knowledge with you. In conclusion, sleep issues can cause significant damage to your health and lifestyle. So, finding a cure is essential.