Also a par of your overall Health and Wellness

Also serious Health concern

It stands to reason that everything that involves the body eventually affects our Health and Wellness. Both positive actions and negative actions will affect us accordingly. In order to attain the best health possible, it is necessary to practice good health habits on a regular and continuous basis. Eating healthy once or twice a week will definitely not be as beneficial to our health as doing so on a regular basis.(with the occasional indulgence.)

One of the things which we probably do not pay as much attention to, as we should, is our sleep habits.

I always say that God knows why He made day and night. I believe He knew that sleep is so essential to our Good health that he made it easy for us to do nothing for almost half the day, but sleep. But like many other things mankind got too smart for their own good and made ways and options to allow us to not sleep as we should.

Babies sleep around sixteen hours a day.  As they grow older, the number of hours, required to sleep for optimum health and functioning, decrease considerably. As children mature into teenagers, they require more sleep. This may be due to the various processes of growth and maturity going on inside the body, that demands more down time.

WHAT IS ADEQUATE SLEEP?

Ask yourself. Do you get enough sleep? Do you allow your body the time to heal, replenish and renew itself?  Or are you running on overdrive most of the time? Is your body rebelling , and are you aware of what can be caused by a lack of proper sleep?

Research, and studies that are available, suggests that there are about seventy named conditions that arise from lack of sleep. More than half of North Americans suffer through some kind of sleep disorder but most go un-diagnosed and untreated.

I believe it is safe to say that we usually know when something is not right. Have you ever awakened in the morning feeling like you were in a fight all night? You don’t feel rested, but daytime and there are numerous activities that await your action and attention.  So you push through it and shake that tired feeling. You feel tired and sluggish half way into the morning. You start falling asleep at odd times, and your eyes get weary .

Do not ignore Those warning signs.

Most of us ignore these feelings. We may think it is normal. We may think it is temporary. Occasionally, we may seek professional help, which in recent times may involve a prescription sleep aid.  I have never taken a sleep aid medication, so I not really in a position to comment, but when I see the ads on television, and the warnings and the cautions are way longer than the promotion, I always wonder, why anyone would take the chance. It is obvious that the risks far outweigh the benefits. Don’t forget. I am just a casual observer, who believes that any kind of chemical foreign to the body will eventually compromise the functioning of your organs and glands.

The relationship between your sleep pattern and your overall health is a cycle. Health conditions can affect your sleep pattern, and also your sleep pattern can eventually affect your health. So it is safe to say that getting adequate sleep should be an integral part of one’s overall Health and Wellness. It is as important as eating right, and exercising.

Continuous lack of sleep and sleep difficulties affect overall health in the long term.

SOME CAUSES OF INADEQUATE SLEEP

Stress can also be a cause of inadequate sleep. Emotional stressors can prevent a person from not being able to fall asleep, or not to sleep long enough. Death and sickness of loved ones, lost loves, divorces and separations, as well as family matters can all affect the quality of your sleep.

Environmental factors play a big part in the quality and comfort of your sleep. You may be too cold or too hot to sleep. Background noises, or the feeling that your environment is not safe can subconsciously prevent you from falling into a deep sleep.

 Physical factors such as drinking alcohol or caffeinated beverages close to bed time turn up your metabolism and cause you not to be able to fall asleep as planned. Even exercising close to bedtime can have the same effect of keeping your body systems too active for sleep to come easily.

Miscellaneous factors, such as Physical pain, or medication consumption can also factor into not being relaxed enough to fall asleep at will, and stay asleep for an adequate amount of time.

EFFECTS OF INADEQUATE SLEEP

Research shows that High Blood Pressure can develop as a consequence of lack of sleep.

Weight Gain can also be enhanced by not enough sleep. It has been suggested by experts that the body produces necessary hormones when you are asleep. By not sleeping well, inadequate levels of certain hormones will affect weight gain by increasing your appetite.

Sleep deprivation can also affect your Memory.  Your brain stores information when you are asleep. So it’s simple. When you are awake for prolonged periods, constantly taking in and processing info, more of it is lost because your brain does not have enough down time to sort it and store it.

Lack of sleep can negatively affect your mood. A sleep deprived individual, becomes impatient and irritable. We should be familiar with the proverbial question or phrase directed to a person who appears grumpy or out of sorts early in the day. “Did you wake up on the wrong side of the bed”

We have all seen the physical appearance of someone who has not slept well, or who is not sleeping well on a regular basis. The tell tale signs of the bags under the eyes, and the weariness are signs that the body is undergoing additional stress.

One can develop an Irregular heart- beat from lack of sleep. An increase in blood pressure and increased stress from not sleeping well, increases the production of adrenalin which then leads to a multiplicity of other negative consequences.

Your Health and Wellness depends on adequate sleep

Your Health nd Wellness depends on adequate sleep

Perhaps the most obvious consequence of sleep deprivation, is that you put yourself in physical danger by not getting enough sleep at night. Falling asleep while driving, falls and accidents are all possibilities with spiraling consequences. A lack of focus and mental clarity during the waking hours are also part of the reality.

I am not usually a sleep deprived person, but I had one experience that scared the living daylights out of me. It was about eight years ago. I was forced to stay up all night, getting my kids ready to get to the airport around 6:30 AM in ATl. for an international flight. I got dressed for work with the intention of going straight after my airport run. On my way back, I could not keep my eyes open. I did everything I could toprevent the sleep from coming. Opened the windows to let in the cold air etc. I found myself nodding a couple of times, but decided to persevere. When I jumped up the last time, and realized that my eyes had been closed for more than a few seconds, I got myself off that truck laden, morning traffic highway the first chance I got. I had no idea where I was, and did not care. All that mattered was that I was able to remove myself from that obviously dangerous situation. I still thought that I could go to work and function. But I must have been a horrid sight, because as soon as the students came into the classroom, they knew I did not look myself and immediately commented that I had not slept. Needless to say I had to excuse myself and go home to sleep. I hope I never ever have to take that chance again.

People have different sleep needs but the average for adults is eight hours per night. Some people can function on a few hours less on a daily basis, while other individuals must have more for their particular circumstances.

Studies have shown that with adults who work “graveyard” shifts and others who have irregular sleep patterns, it will eventually affect their overall health.

So, if you notice that you are not functioning efficiently during the day, (or your waking hours) consider if this could be as a result of an inadequate sleep pattern. It is not only important how long you sleep but also how well you sleep.

Sleep is an integral and crucial component  of your overall Health and wellness, and making the necessary adjustments to your lifestyle should be a serious consideration.

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