Many of us struggle to get a good night’s sleep. This should be one of the most important part of our days. While we close our eyes and rest our minds, our body is still working to ensure that it is healthy and functioning properly.
Unfortunately, people aren’t getting the sleep they need. Studies conducted by the National Sleep Foundation found that 40 million American suffer from 70 different sleep disorders. 60 percent of adults admitted that they experience sleeping problems more than a few days out of the week.
The problem with sleep disorders is that most of them go undiagnosed, therefore they are untreated. 40 percent of adults experience daytime sleepiness so severe, they report that it is gravely interferes with their daily activities. These problems aren’t limited to adults either- 69 percent of children studied reported one or more sleeping problems a few nights a week.
There are 10 signs that you are not getting enough sleep each night. These 10 signs can be broken down into three stages.
According to psychologist and sleep expert David F. Dinges, Ph.D., of the Division of Sleep and Chronobiology and Department of Psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, the first signs that a person isn’t getting enough sleep is irritability, moodiness, and disinhibition. These are the first clues that a person isn’t getting enough sleep, and should not be brushed off lightly.
If a good night’s sleep isn’t observed by the individual after these initial signs, they may start to experience apathy, slowed speech, flattened emotional responses, impaired memory and an inability to be novel or multitask. These symptoms can have a devastating effect on a person’s family and work life, making them not who they really are.
The last, and most serious, sign that a person isn’t sleeping is the occurrence of microsleeps. These are 5-10 second periods where a person actually falls asleep. This could happen while they are working, reading, or even driving. Finally, when they are at their body’s breaking point, they could experience hypnagogic hallucinations which is the beginning of REM sleep, while they are still awake.
How To Get A Good Night’s Sleep
In a study published in The Archives of Internal Medicine, it was found that cognitive therapy is more effective in helping people fall asleep and reduce insomnia than the popular drug Ambien.
These are the techniques used to help people fall asleep faster, and get a solid night’s sleep:
- Keep a regular sleep-wake schedule. Don’t hit the snooze button! The constant waking and falling asleep disrupts your brain waves, causing you to not feel rested when you wake up.
- Don’t eat or drink caffeine 4 to 6 hours before bed and limit your daytime use.
- Don’t smoke, especially near bedtime or if you wake up during the night.
- Avoid alcohol and heavy meals before bed.
- Get regular exercise. Exhaust your body and mind so you fall asleep faster and stay asleep.
- Minimize noise, light, and excessive hot and cold temperatures where you sleep.
- Develop a regular bedtime and stick to it every night.
- Chose a comfortable mattress such. For many people, memory foam provides the comfort they desire for restful sleep.
- Try and wake up without an alarm clock. Getting a proper sleep schedule set up will make you less reliant on an alarm clock
- Try and go to sleep earlier a few days out of the week, this will ensure you’re getting enough sleep.
You don’t have to deal with getting minimal sleep a night, it’s not healthy for your body or your life in general. Getting a good night’s sleep is easy once you get the hang of the proper practices and you’ll feel better every morning.