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Improving Your Sleep|||


Improve Your Quality of Life by Improving Your Sleep

As human beings, we look different from one another, but what we need to survive is similar. Sleep is as essential to our lives as eating, drinking, and breathing. No person can survive without sleep. It is a natural part of our process, and an adequate amount of sleep is necessary to keep our minds and our bodies healthy.

On average, adults need seven to eight hours of quality sleep on a regular schedule, and the amount of sleep required increases the younger a person is. For example, teens need eight to ten hours on average, but toddlers need 11 to 14 on average. Less than the minimum contributes to sleep deprivation, and that’s a detriment to our mind and bodies. 1

Our minds and bodies are affected by lack of sleep in a multitude of ways. In fact, according to the University of Minnesota, it’s the “worst thing you can do.”

When looking at what a lack of sleep looks like, it is important to know that it is more than dark circles and baggy eyes. Below, take a look at the effects that a lack of sleep can have on you.

A Lack of Sleep Can Affect the Way You Work improving your sleep

Lack of sleep has the ability to negatively affect our concentration, create drowsiness and contribute to irritable moods. All of these can change the way you work.

It Can Increase Your Levels of Stress

A study of two groups of healthy young adults was conducted in which one group was sleep-deprived while the other group was not. Both groups were asked to perform simple tasks. The sleep-deprived group exhibited severe stress in the face and increased blood pressure.

It Can Disturb Your Moods

Studies have shown that sleep-deprived people are more irritable. Ordinary subjects and minor annoyances can be considered profoundly negative to a sleep-deprived group.

It Can Make You Unable to Concentrate

In a review of 70 studies regarding sleep deprivation, the overwhelming area affected most was the ability to concentrate. The ability to concentrate becomes even more profound when the focus is on safety. For example, being sleep deprived while driving a car can contribute to injury and death.

It Can Increase the Risk of Disease

There are significant health issues that can result from a last of sleep. Those who get less than six hours of sleep are at an increased risk for type 2 diabetes, breast cancer, and high blood pressure.

It Can Contribute to Obesity

The rise in obesity among Americans is associated with a number of factors and one of them is lack of sleep. According to a Harvard study, the brains of sleep-deprived adults are less able to distinguish between foods high in calories and foods low in calories. This lack of a distinction can lead to poor food choices and overeating. 2

There are various things an adult can do to encourage better sleep. They include things like:

    • Avoiding caffeine, alcohol, and tobacco at least four to six hours before bed. All of them act as stimulants that can delay sleep.

    • Using natural light during the day as much as possible to keep your internal clock on a regular sleep-wake cycle. It can help to wake you up more naturally, leading to a more productive mind and body.

    • Exercising no earlier than three hours before sleep to tire your body and encourage restful sleep. Later than that can have a counter effect due to the stress hormone cortisol, activated by exercise, which alerts the brain.

  • Sticking to a sleep schedule every night to train your internal clock. 3

If you are having problems sleeping, take the necessary steps to change your sleep habits for a better night’s rest. Practice things like not drinking caffeine before bed, or utilizing natural light during the day,. However, if you are suffering from acute sleep deprivation, it is highly advised that you seek the help of a medical professional.

Photo Credits: Shihina/, MadeleineSteinbach/, Stokkete/, baranq/

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