The Importance of Sleep
The Importance of Sleep
Lack of sleep can have dire consequences on your state of well-being. Indeed, numerous lives are lost in accidents that are directly related to sleep deprivation each year.
Moreover, sleep deprivation reduces your creativity and mental sharpness during the day. Your health and well-being will eventually begin to show the results of sleep deprivation.
Recent research has discovered that one-third of all Americans have insomnia or other sleep-related disorders. Insomniacs are two and a half times more likely to get into car accidents than other drivers. In addition, they report trouble remembering, coping with minor hassles, and finishing tasks. Insomniacs also report difficulty enjoying social and family relationships.
To make matters worse, getting caught in a cycle of sleep deprivation makes your body more vulnerable to the effects of alcohol and other drugs. The effects of negative stress may also be enhanced by chronic lack of sleep.
The average person gets 6.5 hours of sleep a night. This is a far cry from the goal of 8 to 8.5 hours per night recommended for purposes of positive well-being. As you grow older, you tend to sleep less than you used to. According to the National Institute on Aging, half the American population 65 years and older report difficulty getting a good night's sleep
To figure out what amount of sleep is best for you, vary the number of hours you sleep each night for a week, paying attention to how you feel the day after. You should awake feeling refreshed and set for a new day.
Some people find that regular naps are helpful in this respect and contribute to a refreshing burst of physical and mental energy during the day. If you can fit naps into your daily schedule, they may be the key to feeling more productive and alert throughout the day. For those plagued by insomnia, Fitness Facts has included a few tips in the hopes that they help you shake this condition; however, if you find yourself still suffering from insomnia, we recommend that you seek professional medical advice:
Keep sleep time consistent. Forget about catching up later in the week.
Try to establish a routine before retiring to bed. Relaxation techniques, reading, relaxing showers or baths may help.
If you don't fall asleep within 15 minutes, do something else in another room until you feel tired.
Cut out caffeine 6 hours before going to bed. Cut out nicotine 2 hours prior to bed. For those who are not suffering from insomnia, but just cannot seem to fit enough sleep time into your schedule, Fitness Facts has the following suggestions:
Set up a scheduled time to go to bed each night.
Try to go to bed an hour earlier, not sleep an hour later. This will prove easier to adapt to your schedule.
If you can do it on a regular basis, nap at the same time each day. Let your body adapt to the schedule.
Cut out an hour of TV so you can get to bed earlier or catch a nap. In regard to exercise and activity, the proper amount of sleep will help your body recuperate between exercise sessions and thus adapt to the increased levels of exertion. Failure to get enough sleep on a consistent basis may hamper your fitness program, stalling progress toward your personal goals.