Do You Answer Yes to Any of these Questions?
- Do You Have difficulty falling asleep at night?
- Once you do get to sleep do you wake frequently?
- Do you feel tired when you wake in the morning?
- Are you tired by mid afternoon and unable to stay alert as you go about your busy day, looking after the kids etc?
Well if you answered yes to any one of these questions you may be one of many people who are chronically sleep deprived and are not even aware of it!
Most people are unaware how their lack of sleep contributes to feelings of irritability, impatience, anxiety and depression. Sleep deprivation can also affect memory, thinking, reaction time and productivity. It may also affect job performance and cause unwanted accidents. Over time, lack of sufficient sleep can have serious health consequences. In fact, the latest studies are showing that getting enough sleep is as vital as diet and exercise if you want to live a long and healthy life.
The diagram below shows the effects that sleep deprivation can cause on the human body.
Factors That Affect Sleep
Lack of sleep can be caused by a combination of numerous physical and emotional factors, such as caffeine or alcohol consumption; cigarette smoking; lack of exercise; irregular hours; changes in regular sleep patterns; age-related conditions; sleep disorders; jet lag; or even something as simple as an uncomfortable pillow or mattress!
Stress, however, is the number-one reason why people lose sleep.
One excellent way to reduce stress—and hopefully sleep better!—is to try a technique known as “thought stopping.” If something is keeping you awake, mentally picture a large stop sign and silently tell yourself, “Stop!” Allow your mind to go blank for 30 seconds, then imagine a particular setting or place that is relaxing to you. Hold that thought for several seconds, allowing the positive image to replace the nagging thought. If the disturbing thought returns, repeat the process until a sense of calm is restored.
How To Get Better Sleep – try these simple strategies!
1. Make sleep a priority along with eating well and exercising regularly. You should be sleeping a minimum of 7 hours a night.
2. Avoid caffeine, nicotine and alcohol late in the afternoon and evening. Caffeine and nicotine can keep you from falling asleep and alcohol interferes with overall sleep quality and can cause you to wake during the night.
3. Avoid large meals several hours before bed, and try to not to eat too late in the evening. A light snack, however, may help you sleep, particularly if you are really hungry. Also, foods containing tryptophan (e.g., milk) have sleep-promoting properties.
4. Develop a sleep ritual. Following a routine just before going to bed signals to your body that it’s time to settle down for the night. Try reading a book, listening to music or practicing nightly relaxation techniques.
5. Keep regular hours as much as possible. Fall asleep and arise around the same time each day, even on weekends. Avoid napping unless you are sleep deprived.
6. Create a restful place to sleep. A cool, comfortable, dark room (not too hot or too cold), a comfortable mattress and pillow, and a room free of noise are the best. The less technology such as TV in the room, the better.
7. Use earplugs or similar to block out sounds, if needed (except of course if you have very young children). If your pets disturb you during the night, put them in another room.
8. Exercise regularly. Physical activity can help relieve daily tensions and stress. However, refrain from exercising at least a few hours before bedtime where possible, because the beta endorphins secreted during a workout can keep you awake.
9. Take a warm bath before going to bed and try out some aromatherapy products that contain lavender or chamomile.
10. Avoid using your bed for anything other than sleeping or having sex.
Sleep tight J
Leanne Sklavenitis has been extensively involved in the Fitness industry in not only Australia but also the USA for over 20 years as an Online Fitness Expert, Group Fitness instructor / Personal Trainer and Speaker running a successful online home based fitness business.
She has won the Aquatic and Recreation Victoria Group Exercise Instructor of the Year Award, the YMCA Group Fitness Instructor of the Year Award, has presented to 5000 delegates in Singapore, spoken to numerous corporate organisations and presented at conferences. She has also been interviewed in Fitness Instructor editorials and written fitness articles for magazines.
Leanne currently runs her own Online Health & Fitness Motivation Business where she provides the latest health and fitness motivation and helps to motivate fitness clients “online” no matter where they live. She has recently launched a new health and fitness membership site which contains all the information you need to know about creating the healthy lifestyle you deserve.