In this day and age Statistics Canada's Canadian Community Health Survey says an estimated 3.3 million Canadians over the age of 15 suffer from insomnia. Sleep, as well as proper nutrition, is vital to maintaining your health and well being, however many of us lack the rest we need to function properly in this fast paced society.
Health problems including heart disease, stroke, diabetes, obesity and depression can occur from lack of sleep. If sleeplessness becomes chronic, the consequences become more severe. Chronic loss of sleep over a period of time will seriously diminish your ability to perform work at home or on the job. Sluggishness, forgetfulness, lack of concentration, slower reaction times and general malaise will begin to take over. Without enough sleep, your body cannot repair and replenish itself to perform the tasks it must do during sleep phases.
There are many different causes of chronic sleep deprivation: jet lag, shift work, chronic insomnia, a sleep disorder or simply trying to put in extra hours at work. We've all experienced the exhaustion caused by lack of sleep at some point. The average adult needs eight hours of sleep per night; this amount varies from person to person however. You will know your ideal amount of sleep based on how well you feel and perform during the day. When you've slept well, you will be able to focus and concentrate more effectively at work and with peers. Your mood will be elevated, so you will be happier and you'll be able to have a more positive view on life.
Let's work on helping you get the proper sleep your body so deserves!
Ideal Sleep Duration
Spend at least 3 days waking up naturally. If you are busy at work you can attempt the 2 days on the weekend. Take the average amount of sleep from your 3 days of natural rising and that should be your ideal sleep duration.
Sleep Earlier/Wake Later
If you can't get enough sleep, go to bed earlier. Regardless of whether this means giving up your favorite show at 8:00 p.m. or procrastinating on your computer.
Turn off all of the lights in your room including all electrical devices. Lights can influence our internal clock, thus affecting our preferred time to sleep.
Light stretching before you go to sleep will help you relax. Be sure to focus on proper deep breathing, as this will help ease you into sleep mode.
Herbs such as Chamomile, Peppermint and Valerian effectively treat insomnia and anxiety. Try these an hour before you go to bed.
See a Doctor
Other medical conditions may affect your sleeping patterns. See a doctor to get an evaluation and possible treatments to help with chronic sleep disorders.
Written by Mario Rigby