Tag Archive for sleep deprivation

Wellness Wednesday: Why You Need More Sleep

When you think of the word wellness, sleep may not be the first thing that comes to mind. Sure, “diet”, “organic”, maybe even “exercise” are obvious wellness words but what about sleep? For any wellness goal to be achieved you need the foundation of a good night’s sleep. Springing forward may feel subtle, but it’s one to two hours of extra shuteye is imperative to our cognitive functioning and brain chemistry. » Read more..

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Tossing and Turning? Sleep Deprivation and Your Health

There aren’t many people who are happy with their sleep: They get too little, they feel restless, they don’t wake up refreshed, they can’t stay asleep. In fact, most Americans admit to having erratic sleep patterns, especially through the work week. So what does sleep deprivation actually do to the body? And if we can’t add more hours to our sleep, how can we make the sleep we do get better? Top-Nursing-Programs.com shares their tips:

Sleep

 

Sleeping Beauty? 8 to 8.5 Hours of sleep per night adults generally require (1).  Are you getting enough?

1 in 3 Adults who have insomnia at some point in their lives (1)

43% of Americans ages 13-64 say they rarely or never get good sleep on weeknights.

60% admit to suffering some sleep problem every night (snoring, waking constantly, feeling groggy in the morning). (2)

15% of adults 19-64 say they sleep less than six hours on weeknights. (2)

The Science of Sleep

Our bodies experience two types of sleep on a nightly basis: NREM (non-rapid eye movement) and REM (rapid eye movement) sleep. Since sleeping is a cycle, NREM occurs as we first fall asleep, with REM following about 90 minutes after and recurring about every 90 minutes.

Stage 1: Light sleep, between sleep and wakefulness.

Stage 2: Onset of sleep, during which we become disengaged with surroundings. Breathing and heart rate are regulated and body temperature drops.

Stages 3 and 4: Breathing slows, muscles relax, tissue grows and repairs, energy is restored and hormones are released.

How Sleep Deprivation Affects the Body

Lack of sleep or insomnia can have multiple negative effects on the human body and mind. Here are some of the most common and dangerous problems.

  • Fatigue. It is estimated that fatigue due to sleeplessness is the cause of 100,000 car accidents every year.
  • Dulled cognitive processes. Sleep consolidates and affirms memories in your mind. Without it, people have a hard time retaining learned information from the day before.
  • Increased risk of heart disease, diabetes and stroke. 90% of those with insomnia also have other health conditions.
  • Lack of sex drive. For men especially, lack of sleep can contribute to lower testosterone levels.
  • Depression. In a 2007 study of 10,000 people, it was found that those with insomnia were five times more likely to develop depression.
  • Premature skin aging. The stress hormone cortisol is released in great amounts in those with insomnia. Cortisol can break down collagen in skin.
  • Weight gain. People who sleep less than six hours each day are 30% more likely to become obese than those who sleep seven to nine hours.

How to Sleep Better

Most of us could use help falling and staying asleep. Just a few daily changes could mean the difference between a restless night and a restful one. (4)

1. Set a regular bedtime and stick to it. Wake up at the same time every day; even on days off.

2. Test your neurotransmitters. Unblanced levels lead to sleep cycle issues.

3. If you really need to make up for lost sleep, opt for a short (30-minute) daytime nap. Don’t sleep in.

4. Fight after-dinner drowsiness by remaining active at home before bedtime.

5. Avoid caffeine, alcohol and nicotine late in the day.

6. Light sources suppress melatonin production. Try not to use a computer, TV, smartphone or tablet just before getting into bed. Consider orange tinted glasses to block the blue light, aiding in melatonin production.

Source: Top-Nursing-Programs.com

Sources:
1. http://deltasleeplabs.com
2. http://sleepfoundation.org
3. http://www.webmd.com
4. http://www.helpguide.org

 

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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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Why Sleep Deprivation Is Killing You & 6 Ways to Solve It

sleep deprivation

By Emily Roberts MA, LPC

This is your wake-up call—literally. For years we have known that sleep deprivation is bad for our health, but a new study shows it actually destroys brain cells.  A study published this week in the Journal of Neuroscience found that staying awake kills brain cells in mice, and researchers suggest it may do the same in humans. It’s the first study to show that sleep loss can lead to irreversible damage.

So, what do we do? 7-8 Hours of sleep sounds fantastic, but for many Americans it’s nearly impossible.  Not only is it a time an issue, but getting our brains to shut off can be easier said than done. Stress and hectic schedules make it hard to get the zzz’s one needs. Overtime, cortisol elevations cause shifts in other hormones (such as DHEA, Estrogen, Progesterone, and Testosterone), as well as depletion in neurotransmitter availability.  This often leads to sleep cycle disturbances, which then causes more stress on the body and the cycle continues.

sleep deprivation

We need sleep almost just as much as we need oxygen and food. Recent studies show that sleep may “detox” the brain, flushing out waste products linked to Alzheimer’s and Dementia. Sleep deprivation wears down our normal capacity to deal with daily aggravations and challenges, causing the cycle of stress to wear us down emotionally and physically.  Unfortunately, this can’t be fixed with good vibes alone.

One night alone of disrupted sleep lowers the threshold for “stress perception.” When you’re dead tired, or have had weeks of restless nights, just running an errand or getting stuck in traffic can seem dreadful and daunting.  It is a huge contributor to irritability, mood swings, and interpersonal relationship troubles (as you can imagine).

6 Ways to Solve Sleep Deprivation

1. Testing your neurotransmitters and cortisol levels is a natural way to balance your sleep cycle. It can be helpful to pinpoint what type of support will provide the fastest relief.  Results show what supplementation is needed—and will help work to adjust your sleep cycle. Neurogistics makes this easy with in home testing kits, and customized Brain Wellness Reports.

2. Wind down for 1 hour before bedtime. Ideally this would be unplugged, restorative time (e.g., relaxed reading, bath, or mediation practice). Something to induce the relaxation response. Sleep mediations are all over YouTube and can be listened to as you are lying in bed.

3. Don’t use electronics, even the Nook, an hour before bed.  Avoid TV, phone, tablet, emails, Netflix, Hulu, videogames in bed.  The light, and the activity stimulates excitatory neurotransmitter activity

4. Decrease Caffeine – it exacerbates anxiety and can create disturbances in your sleep patterns. If you drink coffee, tea or soda and you have anxiety, consider getting off caffeine or stopping before 12PM.

If your aim is to get off the caffeine kick, do this gradually:

  • Go from 2 coffees per day to 1.
  • Go from having a large coffee to having a small.
  • Go from a small coffee to a small half-caf.
  • Go from half-caf to black tea.
  • Go from black tea to green tea.
  • Go from green tea to no caffeine. You can have herbal or decaf tea.

5. Stick to a regular sleep schedule as much as possible. Even on the weekends, try and wake up within 90 minutes of when you do on weekdays.

6. Keep your bedroom dark and cold; even nightlights can keep you awake. Make sure your dreaming den is chilly, this helps you stay under the covers and hit hibernation mode.

Other ways to get your sleep back on track involve taking control of your stress during the day.  Delegate tasks, make time for mindfulness and meditation, and practice deep breathing.  Grab the good pillows, comfy sheets and get ready for a good night’s sleep.  Your body and brain depend on it.

 

 

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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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