Sleep loss causes tremendous strains on the body and the brain. Stress, overscheduling, and daylight savings can all lead to sleep cycle disturbances, which then causes more stress on the body, creating an endless cycle of sleep deprivation.
Lack of sleep, or insomnia, can have serious negative effects on the brain, even killing brain cells. It can also cause mental and physical fatigue. In fact, it’s estimated that fatigue from exhaustion is the cause of 100,000 car accidents each year. When you don’t sleep, you may be falling asleep throughout the day and putting yourself in dangerous situations if you’re driving or using machinery.
When you aren’t getting enough sleep, you hand-eye coordination also suffers. An exhausted body loses its ability to act quickly and be agile. Notice how you may begin to drop things frequently or make spelling errors that you normally don’t make. According to Sean P.A. Drummond, Ph.D., associate professor and researcher at the University of California, San Diego, people suffering from sleepiness are unable to concentrate. They are unable to turn off the ‘mind-wandering’ parts of the brain to stay concentrated on the task at hand. When you’re exhausted, your mind may drift off at work or you may find yourself zoning out, walking into a room and forgetting what you were looking for, or forgetting where you put your keys or wallet, or forgetting about important appointments and meetings or where you parked the car.
And you aren’t alone. More than 1 in 3 adults have insomnia at some point in their lives. Adults generally require 8 to 8.5 hours of sleep per night, but more than 15% of adults say they get less than six hours of sleep. In fact, 43% of Americans ages 13 to 64 say they rarely or never get good night’s sleep, with 60% admitting to suffering from sleep problems such as snoring and waking up constantly every night.
What Can You Do to Get Enough Sleep
Thnaturally restore your sleep cycle. One great way is by testing your neurotransmitters and cortisol levels. It can help pinpoint exactly what type of support your body needs and provide the fastest relief. However, there are many more ways to help find relief:
- Belly Breathing Techniques
- Practicing Mindfulness
- Turning off TVs, computers, and other blue-light sources like your phone an hour before you go to bed
- Exercise during the day to sleep better at night
- Limit caffeine and big meals later in the day
- Use a fan or an air conditioner as a white noise machine
- Maintain healthy blood sugar levels throughout the day, especially if you are hypoglycemic
- Avoid heavily proceed and refined foods
If none of these tips help, you might be suffering from imbalanced or depleted neurotransmitters. Serotonin is used by the body to produce yet another the hormone melatonin, or the sleep hormone. Not getting enough sleep can cause tremendous strains on the body and brain. For natural sleep options and neurotransmitter testing, click here.
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Emily Roberts MA, LPC is the clinical therapist for the Neurogistics Children’s Program. She has worked with Neurogistics for over a decade. Emily is also an award-winning author of Express Yourself: A Teen Girls Guide to Speaking Up and Becoming Who You Are, Psychotherapist, TV & Media Contributor, educational speaker and parenting consultant. Express Yourself is available at bookstores nationwide and on Amazon. To learn more about Emily click here.
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