April 2012 | Newsletter archives
Let’s talk about sleep
Spring has sprung. With it has come a time change, one that leaves many feeling even more sleep deprived than before. Lack of sleep is a significant health concern and just as important as nutrition, exercise and stress management. When we sleep at night, we heal and recuperate from the wear and tear of our day. Unfortunately, more and more of us find it necessary to cut back on sleep. The consequences for health and quality of life can be devastating. In fact, sleep deprivation has become such a widespread phenomenon, that some states have enacted legislation that defines “fatigued driving” in similar terms to drunk driving.
Clinical studies have shown that sleep deprivation can be a contributing factor to a number of lifestyle-related illnesses – among them obesity, diabetes, hypertension and heart disease. Patients with persistent sleep deficits have routinely shown alterations in their metabolism, inhibiting their ability to manage glucose levels by making their cells increasingly insulin resistant.
Sleeplessness can also lead to imbalances in the release of stress hormones, such as cortisol. Potential consequences include a weakening of the immune system, risk of a variety of chronic illnesses as well as psychological effects, such as memory loss, mood swings and depression. Sleep deprivation may also have a significant impact on your life expectancy.
On the upside, a healthy sleep routine can also contribute to your physical and mental well-being as well as the quality of life in general. Getting sufficient sleep ranks among the best defense mechanisms we have to stay healthy and handle our stress. We function and perform at our best when we’re well-rested. We’re better colleagues, parents, companions and lovers when we’re relaxed. We face challenges with more energy and resolve and keep negative or destructive emotions at bay. With enough rest, we’re more likely to stay healthier, longer.
In order to develop better sleep management, you just need to follow some simply steps, steps outlined in my new book The Fatigue Solution.
If you have difficulties falling asleep, try to identify the possible causes. If you work late into the night or do things that keep your mind engaged right up until the time you go to sleep, you’re not allowing our brain to disengage enough to allow sleep. If you’re watching TV or movies that stimulate your emotions before bed, you’re doing the same thing. Arguments before bedtime are also not conducive to sleep. Neither are issues related to finances or taxes. This month that could definitely be an issue. If you know why you’re not sleeping, you can reverse the trend. If not, I can help. Call me, or read my book: The Fatigue Solution: Increase your energy in eight easy steps is available now.