According to Dr. Joseph Mercola in his article, The Top 5 Natural Sleep Aid Tips, the number of Americans getting eight or more hours of sleep per night has dropped 34% between 1942 and 2013. Dr. Mercola goes on to say that number of people getting less than five hours of sleep per night increased from 3% to 14% in that same time period. These stats are alarming.
How a lack of sleep can affect your body and your health is something I don’t need research to tell me. I have always been acutely aware of this and make sure I get enough sleep to stay as healthy as possible.
The article, What Happens to Your Body When You Don’t Get Enough Sleep , written by the Brain and Spine Team of the Cleveland Clinic, points out the following things that can happen if you don’t get enough sleep, including, but not limited to, lack of alertness, impaired memory, relationship stress, impacted quality of life, and an increased likelihood of car accidents. Even missing as much as 1.5 hours of sleep can have an impact. Chronic or continued lack of sleep can also lead to serious health problems like high blood pressure, diabetes, heart attack, heart failure or stroke. Obesity, depression and a lower sex drive are also potential problems.
Years ago, I read an article entitled, Tips to a Better Sleep, which offered common sense sleep tips that, unfortunately for many people, are not common knowledge.
Here are some sleep tips that the article offered, along with some updates for today’s world –
1. Consistency – Go to bed and wake up around the same time every day.
Want to sleep better? Who doesn’t? It’s funny how our ancestors never had trouble sleeping. People used to walk places, work in the fields, do manual labor… Now we have machines to do all that and save us time, yet many people still say they don’t have time to exercise.
Research shows that even small increases in exercise, like a daily half-hour walk, can improve your sleep and your health. The one caveat to this is that you should not exercise close to your bed time. That will actually make it difficult to wind down and to fall asleep.
As a person with a sleep disorder, the article Myths – and Facts – About Sleep caught my attention. The article complied a list of myths about sleep that are from the National Sleep Foundation. For each myth listed below you can read more details by clicking on the above link.
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There are some things most of us may know are “no-nos” before bed if you want to get a good night’s sleep. Some things that immediately come to mind include exercising before bed and eating a large meal in the evening. Did you know there are some other less obvious (but important) things that you shouldn’t do before bed or have as part of your bedroom and nighttime routine?
At this point and time, I think that most of us know that we, as a society, are surviving on less sleep than we were even just a few years back. The proliferation of electronic devices, 24/7 email, everything coming at us on “smart” phones, and even 24/7 television has affected how much sleep we are getting.
At this point and time, I think that most of us know that we, as a society, are surviving on less sleep than we were even just a few years back. The proliferation of electronic devices, 24/7 email, everything coming at us on “smart” phones, and even 24/7 television has affected how much sleep we are getting. If you are “of a certain age,” you remember when most TV stations were completely off by a certain time of night. The static that showed up once a TV station was off the air became famously scary in the 1982 movie, Poltergeist. What is scary now is how little sleep many people are getting and how it is negatively affecting us.
Just when I was enjoying the convenience of easily checked out or purchased books on my iPad for my bedtime reading routine, a study out from Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston, MA, is published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences that has another type of light going off in my head — a light bulb, that is! Yes, a light bulb has now gone off in my head… the kind of light bulb that makes one say, “Ahhh! Now I get it!”