The Importance of Good Sleep and How to Get it.

I have already talked about the importance of right eating and exercising to enrich our soil so we may enjoy health and vitality. Another component of “rich soil” is getting a good sleep.

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Poor sleep leads to serious health consequences in a relatively short time period as compared with eating bad food or not getting enough exercise. Our brain regulates sleep so that if we don’t get enough we developed a sleep debt and our brain works very hard to force us to pay it back. This means whenever there is a quite moment like when we are driving or maybe operating heavy machinery our brain will cause us to sleep resulting in injuries, disasters, and death. In the United States 10,000 deaths are reported from falling asleep whilst driving; this figure is thought to be underestimated of the actual figures.

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The lack of sleep also affects our mood, poor cognitive performance, poor memory, impaired ability to learn and low energy level. Long-term effects include Obesity, Diabetes, Impaired insulin sensitivity, Arrhythmia, Heart attacks, Strokes, Depression and low resistance to infectious diseases.

  • “Studies show short sleepers are three times more likely to develop colds than comparable individuals who average 8 hours of sleep.”
  • “Individuals with sleep problems were 9 times more likely to have planned suicide and 7.5 times more likely to have attempted suicide. Recent studies of suicidal patients showed that treating their sleep disorders led to healthier scores on clinical scales that measure suicidal thoughts and behaviors.”

– Professor H. Craig Heller.

How to improve sleep?

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Drugs.

For short-term only, to get into a sleeping rhythm, OTC remedies or prescription drugs can be used. OTC remedies include diphenhydramine or Melatonin. Prescription drugs include Benzodiazepine such as clonazepam, Valium and Non – Benzodiazepines such as Imovane or Restoril. Sometimes tricyclic antidepressants can also we used to induce sleep very effectively; these include Trazodone, Amitriptyline and Doxepin.

Sleep hygiene

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The most importance aspect of good sleeping is getting the “sleep hygiene” right. This include:–

  1. Keep regular schedule of sleep and awaking- even on the weekend- your biological clock then wouldn’t fight with you.
  2. Sleep only as much as you need to feel rested, don’t over sleep – this will only interfere with the sleep on the following day.
  3. Do not force yourself to sleep – you don’t want to reinforce that sleep is a chore or difficult.
  4. Maintain good sleeping environment – no noise, comfortable and relaxing; not too hot or cold.
  5. Exercise regularly at least 2 twenty minutes per day – avoid intense exercise just before bed.
  6. Avoid caffeinated beverages from mid- afternoon. Do not smoke.
  7. Don’t eat just before bed but don’t go to bed hungry either.
  8. Don’t take your worries to bed.

Other useful techniques.

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Cognitive Behavior therapy help improve sleep by changing your ideas and attitudes towards sleep. It helps to create and maintain a strong association between sleep and bed.

Relaxation techniques nearing bedtime: a warm bath, calm music, meditation and yoga. Involves clearing your mind and focusing on one part of your body at a time. Starting with your feet, consciously relax your toes, your ankles, your lower legs and so on.

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Resources

Secrets of Sleep Science: From Dreams to disorders

By Professor H. Craig Heller.

Leave a comment

2 Comments

  1. MT Everest

     /  March 13, 2013

    So much of what we do, so much of what we injest, including medicinal drugs and the whole gamut of other things cause / may cause the ‘lack of sleep’ symptoms that you mention. It is too easy to say ‘oh, it is caused by ‘this’ or ‘that’ or some ‘yet to be diagnosed disorder’ or some ‘thing’ outside of our control. Following your suggestions are what most of us are able to do.
    When I worked outside of my home, I set my alarm clock for ‘weekday’ mornings and my issue with sleep was caused by watching late night shows. Now I am at home nearly all the time and my issue with sleep is caused by watching late night shows and not having to wake up to an alarm. I have yet to sculpt the presence of mind at 1 am, that says ‘Jay Leno will not come to visit you in the hospital’ if you should end up there tomorrow as a result of not doing anything. I am still not doing daily meditations. Man, these things take, what? – about an hour each day. I haven’t read your ‘exercise’ article yet. I’ll do so now. Thank you for these pointed articles about our health and the things that are usually within our influence to effect.

    Reply
  2. A formidable share, I simply given this onto a colleague who was doing a bit of evaluation on this. And he in fact bought me breakfast as a result of I found it for him.. smile. So let me reword that: Thnx for the deal with! However yeah Thnkx for spending the time to debate this, I really feel strongly about it and love studying more on this topic. If doable, as you turn into expertise, would you thoughts updating your weblog with extra particulars? It’s highly useful for me. Huge thumb up for this blog post!

    Reply

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