Although sleep is of major importance to a person’s health, there are millions who lack the amount of sleep that is recommended each night. In order for a person to recuperate his mind and body, he needs to get the appropriate amount of sleep. When the appropriate amount of sleep is not achieved, the immune system weakens and the body is not able to properly function. According to the National Sleep Foundation (NSF), more than 60 percent of Americans suffer from a sleep disorder, many of which go undiagnosed. This article will discuss sleeping tips, the effects of sleep deprivation and other resourceful information on sleeping and disorders.
Your Body is at Work While Asleep
When we are sleeping, our bodies and brain are still very much active. They go through a variety of processes that re-energize our bodies for the day ahead, replace old cells, preserve memories and help us recover forgotten skills. When we are sleeping, this is the time for our bodies to repair, detoxify and rejuvenate; because of this fact, it is the reason that health problems present themselves when a person is lacking sleep. Additionally, there has been a connection between a shorter life expectancy and those that sleep less than six hours each night.
- The Science of Sleep
- Sleep: It Does a Lot More Than You Think
- Your Guide to Healthy Sleep (PDF)
- What Happens When We Sleep
- Why Do We Sleep, Anyway
- What Sleep is and Why all Kids Need It
- Sleep: Your Body's Means to Rejuvenation
- Ultimate Guide to Sleeping
- Sleep and Sleeping
Sleepless Nights Create a Sleep Debt
Approximately one third of the adult population in the United States obtains an inadequate amount of sleep, which makes sleep deprivation one of the most common problems Americans face in regards to health. After losing one night’s worth of sleep, a person can begin to act clumsy and become irritable. After they miss about two nights of sleep, the same individual can have a hard time completing normal tasks and will be drowsy during the day. After three nights have passed, this person begins to hallucinate and lose touch with reality. Some of the long-term effects of sleep debt include an increased risk of mortality, heart failure, stroke, mood disorders, mental impairment and high blood pressure. In order to help yourself overcome a sleep debt, get at least four hours of uninterrupted sleep and as many 20-minute naps as you need throughout the day.
- Sleep Debt Hard to Repay
- Repaying Your Sleep Debt
- How Much Sleep do We Really Need
- How to Pay Back Your Sleep Debt the Smart Way
- Sleepless at Stanford
The Costs of Sleep Deprivation
When a person is deprived of sleep, it can have a major impact on his mind, body, relationships and life overall. When you do not get enough sleep, your body is less able to handle stress, manage your emotions and think more clearly. Some of the more typical effects of sleep deprivation include slurred speech, irritability, depression, slowed reaction time, tremors and hypertension. Other common costs of sleep deprivation include memory loss and weight gain.
- Sleep Deprivation
- Sleep Debt and Sleep Disorders
- Sleep and Sleeping Disorders
- Metabolic Cost of Human Sleep Deprivation
- National Sleep Debt is Killing Americans and Hurting Economy
- We Are Chronically Sleep Deprived (PDF)
- Functional and Economic Impact of Sleep Loss and Sleep-Related Disorders
- The Heavy Effects of Sleep Deprivation
Sleep apnea is one type of sleep disorder that is a condition when the sleep is disturbed by interrupted breathing. The cause of this disorder is because of a windpipe mechanical problem. The airflow is blocked from anywhere between 10 to 60 seconds at a time. This sleep disorder results in interrupted sleep since the breathing disturbs the amount of actual rest this person experiences. Another type of sleep disorder that disturbs a person’s sleep is REM sleep behavior disorder. This type of disorder causes a person to act out their dreams. For instance, if a person is running in his dream, he will look like he is trying to run in his sleep.
Another sleep disorder problem is when a person experiences an excessive amount of sleep. One of the sleep disorders that cause this is narcolepsy. Narcolepsy causes a person to uncontrollably fall asleep at any time of the day. This dozing period can last for as little as one minute to more than 30 minutes at a time. These types of patients enter the REM stage of sleep prematurely. Sleep paralysis is another type of sleep disorder that is when a person cannot move right before falling asleep or immediately upon awakening. Although it can affect the entire body, it usually affects the arms and the legs.
Insomnia is a type of disorder that results in a lack of sleep. It is perhaps the most common of sleep disorders and is characterized by a patient’s inability to fall asleep. Usually when this occurs, the patient feels tired and then begins to worry about whether or not they will fall asleep. A variety of factors cause almost everyone to experience insomnia at one point or another in their life: emotional hardships, diet, underlying diseases and stress.
- Sleep Apnea
- What is Sleep Apnea?
- Sleep Apnea
- Center of Narcolepsy
- Self Help: Insomnia
- Restless Legs Syndrome Fact Sheet
Changing the Bedroom Environment so it’s Conducive to Sleep
The way your bedroom environment is set up has a lot to do with the amount and quality of sleep you are able to get every night. One of the first steps to take when putting together a bedroom is the type of mattress you sleep on. Find a supportive mattress that is comfortable at the same time. Soft furnishings that are warm and comfortable with the right type of ambiance also contribute to a good night’s sleep. Get the clutter out of the room for a clear mind and keep the temperature cool, but not too cold.
- Is Your Environment Conducive to Sleep?
- The Sleep Environment
- Psychological Techniques, Sleep Environment and Better Sleep
- Debunking Sleep Myths
- How to Create a Good Sleep Environment
- Mattress Buying Guide
Sleep Tips and Tricks
Getting a better night’s sleep can be accomplished relatively easy by following a few tips. Caffeine is a stimulant and can keep you up at night, so eliminating and lowering the amount of caffeine you consume each day can help tremendously. Although alcohol helps you fall asleep, it causes sleep disturbances while you are sleeping, so you get a less restful sleep. Before laying down to go to bed, read a book, take a bath, or exercise in the evening to tire out your mind and body; for instance, yoga is a good exercise to participate in before bedtime. Keep the television off, pets out of the room, lights dim and get rid of any other disturbances.
- Twelve Simple Tips to Improve Your Sleep
- Healthy Sleep Tips
- Adopt Good Sleep Habits
- Sleep Disorders Center
- What to Do if You Can't Sleep
- Foods That Help You Sleep
- Late-Day Exercise: Can it Cause Insomnia?
- Sleeping Better