Tired and ready for a good night’s sleep, you fall into bed, anxiously looking forward to drifting off to dreamland. But then the real nightmares start. Not the kind with monsters or mobsters but the kind that leave your mind and body more exhausted than when you first when to bed.
You don’t fall asleep at all. The hours tick by as you try to relax. Slowly the anxiety of another sleepless night creeps in. Than the anger and frustration. What are you doing wrong? You’re so tired, why can’t you fall asleep? Or you do end up falling asleep and wake up just a few hours later. Next thing you know it’s about 2:00 A.M. and you’re wide-awake. There are even those who get quite a number of good hours of sleep and still wake up feeling exhausted.
You my friend are one of the members of the staggeringly large group called Insomnia America.
First off, please know that you are not alone and unfortunately insomnia has become an epidemic in this country. And it can be an emotional situation, literally affecting your mood, and as well as physically affecting your body’s chemistry so your emotions become unstable and unmanageable. Restless nights can leave you angry, impulsive, and feeling a general lack of motivation.
Sleep has proven to be so vital that a bevy of bodily functions rely on your quality of rest: mental, physical, and emotional. Sleep time is when your body is running many essential operations. In kids, this is when growth and development take place. For adults, sleep mode is also when the brain is forming new pathways helping you to remember, learn new things, and solve problems more efficiently. And there’s more; getting a full night of restful sleep helps you make better decisions, pay attention, and be more creative. During shuteye your body releases hormones that improve muscle mass, repair damaged cells and tissues, and allow the immune system to defend your body against infections. Body healing during sleep is so important that without it, diseases such as diabetes, stroke, and heart disease have a higher chance of developing.
Therefore can you imagine: if you need seven to nine hours of interrupted sleep, what happens when you don’t get it?
The detrimental effects of sleep deprivation are indisputable at this point. Numerous medical studies from around the world can be summarized into the following points regarding lack of sleep and interrupted sleep:
• Increase in stress hormones
• Decreased immune function
• Decreased brain function
• Impaired digestion
• Increased weight gain
• At risk for emotional disorders (depression, anxiety, irritability)
Get Sleep, a resource website from the Division of Sleep Medicine at Harvard Medical School, noted that, “There’s a big relationship between psychiatric and psychological problems and sleep. Difficulty sleeping is sometimes the first symptom of depression.” This comes from Dr. Lawrence Epstein, Medical Director of Sleep Health Centers and an instructor at Harvard Medical School.
One extremely disturbing side effect of sleep loss that you may not have been aware of can be obesity. Once insomnia has taken hold of your cortisol levels and thrown your hormones off balance, the hormones that normally regulate the hunger and ‘full’ feelings no longer adequately work, mostly making you feel hungry more often, thus consume more calories, thus gain unwanted weight. Yikes!
Other detrimental side effects that can occur when you are not getting sufficient shuteye include the inability to react appropriately, think driving while tired or having to focus on a complex task at work. Everything seems to take longer to finish; you make more mistakes, and are generally less prolific.
And all it takes is losing one to two hours of sleep a night, over the course of several days and it can have the same effects as if you hadn’t slept at all. There’s a name for this; it’s called ‘microsleep’, which is defined as your body snatching brief moments of sleep when you are normally awake. It basically cannot be controlled and you most likely are not aware of it, but I’m sure you can recall a time when you were driving on autopilot and don’t quite remember getting to your destination. Or sitting in a meeting and can’t remember what was discussed. This is microsleep in action and another example of how insomnia can have really harmful effects in so many areas of your life.
Patrick Finan, assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine reported in a study that both interrupted sleep (which is mainly caused by stress and cortisol being off balance) and abbreviated sleep (less time asleep) showed a huge drop in positive mood and function and the implications for how everything from stress to depression can be affected by lack of sleep was clearly evident. “It appears that loosing slow wave sleep impairs the ability to recover or stabilize positive emotions in response to stressors,” Mr. Finan noted.
The causes for insomnia can actually vary widely. Some of the most common are: increased stress, medication side effects, changes in hormones (for example menopause), lack of healthy diet and exercise, as well as poor nighttime sleep-related habits.
But There’s Hope!
There are some steps you can rather easily take to get back into a regular and healing sleeping pattern. A few notable ones include:
• Working with your circadian clock. When’s it’s dark it’s time to sleep. Make sure your bedroom is in the dark!
• Temperature: your body works to attain a set sleeping temperature for a proper resting state. Help it out by setting the air conditioner (either heat or cool) to a comfortable temperature.
• Say no to the nightcap. While a glass of wine can help slow-wave sleep, breaking out the shot glasses will start to affect your REM.
While these are some great steps to take using natural remedies, as it’s best to stay away from prescriptions and all the nasty side effects that come along with them, I dive deeper into additional natural solutions in my FREE Report titled: “My Top Five Sleep Hacks To Keep You Bursting At The Seems With Energy All Day!”
If insomnia is taking a toll on your quality of life, it’s time to take it seriously. Let my sleep hacks be your guide back to a restful sleep and increased mental energy and clarity. A ‘hack’ usually means a time tested, effective and clever way to do something. In this case I’ve ‘hacked’ the best sleep tips and want to offer them all to you for FREE!
Please don’t wait – click here to download the free report so you can learn more and start getting relief tonight.SHARE THIS
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