Have a wonderful Memorial Day Weekend! Thank you, Veterans!

I have always had a tenuous relationship with sleep. I used to think, “why do you even need sleep, there are so many things I could be doing instead of being unconscious.” As a new parent, I miss sleep more than I ever imagined that I could. This sweet tiny human keeps the family up late and wakes us up very early to be sure his needs are met. I can definitely feel a difference on the nights that he needs more attention. Things that I notice are an increase in illness, fatigue, and inattentiveness, as well as, a decrease in concentration, efficiency, and communication. It’s harder to think, act, and talk when I haven’t been able to sleep well for many days. Some people become irritable, stressed, or disorderly when they haven’t gotten all 40 winks.

“While it may seem like losing sleep isn’t such a big deal, sleep deprivation has a wide range of negative effects that go way beyond daytime drowsiness. Lack of sleep affects your judgment, coordination, and reaction times. In fact, sleep deprivation can affect you just as much as being drunk.” Some sleep deprivation effects include fatigue, lack of motivation, moodiness or irritability; depression, relationship problems, learning, concentration, and memory problems, reduced creativity, difficulty making decisions, difficulty managing emotions, weakened immune system; weight gain, impaired motor skills and increased risk of accidents; hallucinations and delirium, and increased risk of serious health problems. Sleep is one thing that takes the least amount of effect to gain maximum benefits.

When you sleep your body doesn’t simply shut down, there are many processes happening after your eyes close for the night. What sleep does to restore us is based on our response to stress and our autonomic nervous system. Even just losing a small amount of sleep for one night can cause negative effects.

  1. Detoxification
  2. Hormone balance
  3. Glucose control
  4. Control of blood pressure:
  5. Weight management:
  6. Memory Retention
  7. Risk for certain cancers
  8. Manage Immune System:
  9. Performance and alertness
  10. improved energy

Ways to get more sleep:

  • See your doctor: make sure you don’t have a medical condition that is preventing you from sleeping.
  • Bedtime Routine: Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, even on holidays and weekends. Develop a regular routine that avoids alert triggers: screens, serious conversations, or work immediately before bedtime.
  • Exercise: There are so many benefits to exercising, sleep improvement included, just make sure there’s plenty of time before bed to settle back down.
  • Healthy Diet: What you eat can affect how you sleep, especially close to bedtime. Be aware of what you intake, certain foods can upset your sleep routine.
  • Are you stressed? Is stress keeping you awake at night, literally? Find healthy ways to handle your stress so your mind can relax into the land of nod. If you can’t get your mind off of a topic write it down and revisit it the morning. “Sleeping on it” will greatly improve your problem solving ability.
  • What is your bed for? It is important to use your bed only for bed things like sleep and keep your room dark during sleep time hours. These will reinforce your bedtime routine.