If you’re like me and you have to work a job or two, in addition to taking care of your household, your body may be lacking one MAJOR thing… SLEEP. I hear people saying how “they will sleep when they die” or “they have been on an all night flight”, even myself! For some reason, if I have something that needs to be done, instead of rearranging my schedule to get it done… I let it cut into my sleep. I heard something on the Ricky Smiley Morning Show that really intrigued me and made me want to do a little research. They said that if you don’t get enough sleep, you are literally taking years off your life!!!
Oxygen = Breathing = SLEEP
Like breathing, sleep is a fundamental human requirement. It has even been said that one could survive for three times as long without food as one could without sleep. It’s possible that given enough time, sleep deprivation can kill you. While no human being is known to have died from staying awake, animal research strongly suggests it could happen. In the 1980s, a University of Chicago researcher named Allan Rechtschaffen conducted a series of ground breaking experiments on rats. After 32 days of total sleep deprivation, all the rats were dead. Curiously, researchers still do not agree on the cause of death. It’s possible that the rats’ body temperature dropped so much that they succumbed to hypothermia. Another theory posits that the rats’ immune systems became so depressed that bacteria normally sequestered in their intestines spread throughout their bodies—though Rechtschaffen counters that his rats perished even when they were administered antibiotics. A third explanation points to some evidence of brain damage among the sleep-deprived rats. It’s also possible that extreme levels of stress contributed to the rats’ demise.
DIET = EXERCISE = SLEEP
Sleep is a key part of a healthy lifestyle. Like eating right and exercising, sleeping well is essential to feeling your best during the day. It affects how you feel, your relationships, your productivity and your quality of life. While you sleep, your brain goes to work, consolidating the day’s learning into memory and re-energizing the body.
The average person needs 7-8 hours a night, but it differs for every person. Some people may need as much as 10 hours a night and others need much less. If you sleep longer on the weekends than during the week, you probably aren’t getting the sleep you need every night.
TIPS ON A BETTER NIGHT’S SLEEP
A few key things should help. Try going to bed and getting up at the same time every day – even on the weekends. This will help keep your biological clock in sync. Develop a sleep ritual by doing the same things each night just before bed. Parents often establish a routine for their kids, but it can help adults, too. A routine cues the body to settle down for the night. Another hint: Unwind early in the evening so that worries and distractions don’t keep you from getting a good night’s sleep. Finally, create a restful sleep environment – sleep in a cool, quiet, dark room on a comfortable, supportive mattress and foundation – to get your best night’s rest. If you’re sleeping as much as you need, but still find that you’re sleepy during the day, you should consult your doctor to see if you might have a medical condition interfering with your sleep.