More than one-third of America’s citizens do not get enough sleep. Here’s why that is bad news.
Experts generally recommend that adults get at least seven hours of sleep each night. Failure to do so not only leaves you tired but also can increase your risk of developing serious health conditions.
Following are some of the overlooked – and often surprising – ways that a lack of sleep can make your life miserable.
I’ll also give you three things that I do that help me.
1. It Makes You Crave Carbs…
When we don’t sleep well, it throws our endocannabinoid system out of whack. This system helps regulate several functions, from immune response to appetite.
When insufficient sleep messes with the endocannabinoid system, the result is an increased desire for high-fat, high-starch, sugary foods.
2. It Raises Your Risk Of Heart Disease…
When we sleep, our blood pressure drops.
However, if you are sleeping just a few hours, your blood pressure doesn’t dip for as long. Experts say that can have a negative effect on the cardiovascular system and may raise your risk of heart disease and stroke.
3. It Ages Your Body…
Research findings of Judith Carroll, assistant professor of psychiatry and biobehavioral science at the UCLA Cousins Center for Psychoneuroimmunology, says:
4. It Increases Anxiety…
Lack of sleep and anxiety have a destructive, mutually reinforcing relationship. People who are anxious have a harder time falling asleep and staying asleep.
5. It Stalls Your Brain…
A lack of sleep impairs mental function in several ways. It may:
– Promote memory lapses
– Hamper your ability to concentrate
– Reduce your ability to make decisions
– Lead to dramatic lapses in attention
What Can You Do?
There are many things you can do but quieting the mind is probably at the top of the list. With so many distractions and our constant use of our smart phones this sounds easier than it is.
Here are some things that have worked for me.
1. Deep Breathing. It is a form of meditation and I’ll do three sets of 30 deep breaths concentrating on each breath.
2. Shut off the phone, TV and anything else you may have in your room that is emitting light and sound (well annoying sound, seen #3)
3. Get a sound machine to play soothing sounds. This is a great way to drift off. When you listen you can just feel your stress evaporate!