Feeling tired, lacking in energy, can’t concentrate? Chances are you are not getting enough sleep and this can prevent you from performing your best. Apart from making you feel tired and irritable, sleep deprivation can have serious consequences, such as falling asleep on the job or while driving; slow reactions, weight loss or weight gain and memory problems. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention says sleep deprivation is a national epidemic.
Experts recommend seven to nine hours of sleep at night for adults, eight to ten for teens and nine to eleven for school-aged children.
Sleep deprivation may be due to several causes:
Emotional stress – if you are anxious or constantly worrying, you will have difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep.
Exercise – can help promote a good night’s sleep, but for some people, exercising a few hours before bedtime can make you hyperactive and prevent sleep.
Hormone imbalance – in men and women can interfere with sleep.
Schedules – work, school and other responsibilities can deprive you of much-needed sleep.
Blue light – the kind given off by electronic devices and energy-efficient light bulbs- can interfere with the body’s circadian rhythm and produce wakefulness.
Sleep apnea – a potentially dangerous sleep disorder in which a person’s breathing stops and starts during sleep. People who snore may have sleep apnea.
What can you do?
Before you reach for that bottle of sleep aid, you can try the following:
Don’t try to fight sleep. Go to bed when you feel tired.
Establish a sleep routine by going to bed at the same time each night. Your body will easily adjust.
A warm shower or bath and a cup of your favorite tea can lull you to sleep.
Have your room dark and at a nice, cool temperature. If you have electronic lights that must stay on, cover them up.
Quit worrying. Practice relaxation techniques and deep breathing to calm and relax your body and mind. Prayer and meditation also help.
Avoid scary movies at nights.
Avoid exercising just before bedtime.
If after following these tips you still cannot enjoy a good night’s sleep, you may need to see your doctor to determine the cause of the problem. But don’t wait too long. Sleep deprivation can seriously impact your overall health in a negative way, so take action today.
And remember, proper sleep is an important part of wellness. If you are sleep deprived and need help overcoming this problem, why not sign up for a free health coaching consultation and let me help you get the rest you need.
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