Have a Sound Sleep Whenever Required (Part 2)

It looks very nice when we get busy in our commercial activities; as much busy we are, our earning would go up accordingly – it is generally thought of. But in process of getting too busy, we start to loose our sound sleep we had been having before. If we consult our health care taker regarding our changed sleeping schedule, he would definitely say that we are not just sabotaging our next day’s performance, but we’re actually harming our health.

Sleep deprivation is a serious medical risk. To remain healthy, we need to pay as much attention to our sleep as we do to eating a nutritious diet. Inadequate sleep may cause you obesity, as well as several related conditions: heart disease, hypertension, and type 2 diabetes. If we are able to have sound sleep for adequate period, we can reverse our bad health conditions.

Why do we loose the sound sleep for adequate period? There are many reasons and we can think over them to avoid this hazard to our health. For example-

1. We Think Too Much.

We sometimes consume a lot of time just thinking over a tricky work project or an argument with our best friend when we’re trying to fall asleep: We can’t refocus our thinking at the edge of slumber the same way we can when we’re alert. People have little control over their thoughts, because they may be going in and out of a light stage of sleep, even though they think they’re awake.

When worried, you may get up and go to another part of the house. Your anxious thoughts will usually stop right away. Then, you can go back to bed and fall asleep. Alternatively, Set aside time early in the evening to solve the problem. Write down your pressing concerns, along with a possible solution for each, a few hours before retiring.

2. You Overdoze on Weekends.

Late nights followed by extra sack time the next morning throw off your internal clock, which is controlled by a cluster of nerve cells in the brain that also regulate appetite and body temperature. When Sunday rolls around, you’re reprogrammed to stay up past your bedtime, and you feel like a zombie on Monday morning.

Even if you’ve been up late, you must not sleep in more than an hour longer than usual. To make up for lost slumber, you should take an afternoon catnap (no more than 30 minutes, though, because an extended daytime snooze can keep you awake at night).

3. Your Spouse snores.

A snorer’s sawing can reach 90 decibels–as loud as a blender. Even if you can get to sleep, his snoring will likely wax and wane through the night and wake you up during REM sleep, the most restful phase.

To avoid the bad impact of the snoring, you may ask your partner to sleep on his/her side instead of his/her back. Try the FDA-approved Sona pillow, specially shaped to tilt your head and open your airways. Moreover, the pillow decreased or eliminated snoring in nearly every patient and reduced sleep interruptions from an average of 17 an hour to fewer than 5.

If that doesn’t work, earplugs can help you but only if they stay in. You can try Ultimate Softness ($1) or Howard Leight MAX ($1); both are made of flexible, washable polyurethane.

4. Your Hormones Change.

Fluctuating levels of estrogen and progesterone before or during your period or throughout perimenopause can sabotage sleep. You may notice problems–mainly waking up during the night–long before you start having hot flashes.

A hot bath a couple hours before turning in and, if you’re often awakened by cramps, an over-the-counter pain reliever at bedtime may be all you need to counter premenstrual insomnia. For a stubborn case, you may ask your physician whether a short-acting sleep medication, taken two or three nights a month, would make sense.

During perimenopause, stay on a consistent sleep-wake schedule, exercise at least 20 to 30 minutes a day, and avoid caffeine after lunch and alcohol within 3 hours of bedtime (a cocktail helps you nod off, but its rebound effect will wake you up.). For hot flashes and night sweats, you may try sleeping in a cool room and wearing light clothing like pajamas that wick away moisture. If you’re still tossing and turning, you should consider hormone therapy. It may be safe for many women in their 50s (particularly the new low doses) when used for fewer than 5 years.

5. Your Stomach Growls.

Going to bed hungry interferes with sleep–hunger pangs simply wake you up–and some evidence suggests that people trying to lose weight may wake up frequently.
You may save some of your calories for a high-protein bedtime snack, such as a small serving of cheese or a hard-boiled egg. Protein produces greater satiety than carbohydrates and fat.

6. Your Bedroom Is a Mess.

You keep a messy pile of papers on your nightstand…and your desk…and the floor. A cluttered sleep environment makes for a cluttered mind–the kind that churns well into the night. Stress is the number one cause of short-term sleep problems such as frequent middle-of-the-night waking and insomnia, according to the American Psychological Association.

You may grab a basket, toss in any unfinished work–bills, spreadsheets, that half-done scrapbook–and promptly remove it. When you eliminate the stuff in your bedroom that isn’t related to sleep, your brain starts to associate the room only with sleep and intimacy.

Also keep your computer in another room, or at least place it in a cabinet that can be closed. You’ll be shutting the door on stress and late-night screen gazing, which has been proven to hinder sleep. The monitor’s bright display may inhibit your production of melatonin, the hormone responsible for telling the body it’s time for bed.

7. Your Room Glows in the Dark.

Believe it or not, ambient light from street lamps, alarm clocks, and DVD players could be keeping you awake. Even a small amount of brightness can be strong enough to enter your retina when your eyes are closed. At night, it sends a signal to your brain that upsets your internal clock and makes you feel awake.

If there is light in the hallway, shut the bedroom door. Also, turn your alarm clock toward the wall (or opt for the non-digital variety), and eliminate night-lights. Wearing an old-fashioned eye mask helps signal your brain that, yes, it really is night-time, as well. To block outside brightness, hang blackout shades and curtains. You can either attach them to the backs of your existing window treatments or hang them on their own.

8. You Can Hear a Pin Drop.

For some people, any sound (the television, rowdy neighbours, traffic) keeps them up at night. Other folks–namely, city dwellers–are crept out in super quiet places.

Surprisingly, it’s not the sound or lack thereof that’s keeping you awake, it’s the inconsistency of sound or silence that’s disruptive. Turn on a nearby ceiling or exhaust fan. This will act as white noise, both blocking out disruptive sounds and providing just enough noise for those who can’t stand total silence. A white-noise machine will do the trick, too–the devices help patients sleep in the busy, active intensive care units of hospitals.

9. You Sleep Tight With Dust Mites.

You could be sharing your bed with anywhere from 100,000 to 10 million dust mites and the residue they leave behind can trigger mild to very severe allergies.

To reduce allergens, vacuum and dust regularly; use linens that block mites and replace mattresses that are more than 10 years old. Finally, crack the windows and doors. Increasing a room’s airflow is one of the most effective ways to cut down on dust mites.

10. You Let pets In.

We know–you love your pet, but more than half of dog and cat owners admitted that their animal disrupted their sleep every night.

You may put a crate next to your bed and have your pup sleep there. Dogs like to sleep in a safe, protected space. Do you have a cat? Lock her out but keep her entertained with special night time-only toys that get put away in the morning. Deter door scratching by putting double-sided tape on the bottom edge; cats hate the stickiness.

11. Pay a sleep debt.

It takes more than a night of extra sleep to pay off a sleep debt, especially if you slept only three to five hours. But you recover faster from a week of poor sleep when it’s preceded by nights with 10 hours of shuteye. So if you know you have a week of little sleep ahead, try loading up on sleep beforehand, not later.

Bedtime tales: Lack of sleep hits a woman harder and raises her risk of heart disease more than it does for a man. Women require more sleep than men, but generally their sleep is of a higher quality, and less fragmented. Women also seem to use sleep medication more than men. For men, use of alcohol is more common, which shortens their sleeping time, though. Men tend to start losing deep, slow wave sleep much younger than women, which can make sleep lighter and more easily disturbed.

12. Dreams interpreted.

To Freud, dreaming was a playground for the unconscious mind. To others, it helps the brain sort through emotional memories or current problems. Dreams tune the mind for conscious awareness. We dream when the brain warms its circuits, anticipating the sights and sounds and emotions of waking. It explains why people forget so many dreams.

Should you nap?: We’ve heard that grabbing an hour’s sleep during the day is as beneficial as a whole night in bed. But power-naps work only if the sleep is of the right quality. And a full night’s sleep is still necessary for many vital body functions, even though a short sleep may boost learning and memory.

Be Happy – Have a Sound Sleep Whenever Required.


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