South Florida is known for it's fast-paced, yet easy-going lifestyle. However, with this comes the problem with trying to do everything and anything. Many of us find ourselves not wanting to "miss out" when, in fact, the only thing we actually miss out on is the much-needed (not to mention highly advised by physicians) 8 hours of sleep a night typically required for the average individual.
Sleep deprivation has become an extremely common and acceptable thing. Trying to balance work with family, for example, is a struggle for many individuals. That being said, along with time management, which will allow one to have sufficient time to "wind down" or relax at the end of the day, there are additionally other measures one can take to ensure he or she receives the proper amount of sleep.
One may think that only getting a few hours of sleep a few days a week is "OK," but the truth of the matter reveals an entirely different story. Just one night of sleep deprivation results in the loss of complete motor skill functioning. After skimping on sleep for three days, DELIRIUM begins to set in.
Lack of sleep - particularly over time - has the potential to cause serious adverse health effects to one's body. Sleep deprivation actually slows down one's metabolism by interfering with the circadian rhythm of one's cells. Irregular sleep patterns are not only a nuisance, but a guaranteed way to throw your body "out of whack." Get a good night of rest on a regular basis. Remember, consistency is also a key component in sleep patterns and its effect on the body.
Below are some pointers you may want to consider:
- Avoid the use of any cell phones, televisions, computers, etc. at least 1 hour before bedtime (this is the minimum amount of time; try to aim for 2 or more hours).
- Have dinner or your last snack of the day at least 1-2 hours before you hit the sack.
- If hunger still strikes after your last meal, refrain from depriving yourself; however, aim to munch on something healthy. Keep a few bananas on hand, which contain tryptophan. Tryptophan typically raises one's serotonin (a calming hormone) levels.
- Consider the use of a sleep-aid or supplement. I would only advise one do this as a last resort and only occasionally. According to http://www.webmd.com, "melatonin is a hormone made by the pineal gland, a small gland in the brain. Melatonin helps control your sleep and wake cycles, which is why melatonin supplements are sometimes used to treat jet lag and/or insomnia.
- Organic, soothing, "bed-time" teas are actually quite effective when trying to relax. Teas containing chamomile (try it with honey and/or lemon), for example, are often consumed to put one's body in a state of relaxation.
- Furthermore, aromatherapy oils such as lavender are known for having a significant sedative effect.
If all else fails, remember there are numerous centers dedicated solely to sleep disorders and offer treatments to help resolve these issues.
For more information of one in South Florida, click on the link below:
Take care of yourself and sleep well!