If you’ve ever had any problems with sleep then you’ll know exactly how frustrating it can be. In this article, we look at the question asked by many people which is how do I improve my sleep?
Poor sleep is not uncommon. Did you know that roughly 20% of the population worldwide is thought to sleep-deprived. When you consider for a moment that the world’s population is over 7 Billion then you realize just how many sleep-deprived people there are.
Some of the most common reasons for sleep deprivation range from relationship problems, long working hours, stress/anxiety, parental problems, chronic pain and environmental issues such as alcohol consumption.
The occasional night of bad sleep will not affect your overall health. However, when sleep deprivation becomes chronic it can affect your health in a negative way. Some of the consequences of prolonged sleep deprivation include:
- Decreased Memory/ learning — Lack of sleep impairs an individual's ability to focus on tasks and learn efficiently. Sufficient sleep is needed to consolidate a memory so that it can be recalled in the future.
- Heightened feelings (emotions) - Sleep is vital in the healthy functioning of an area in the brain known as the amygdala which regulates emotions. Lack of sleep can cause the amygdala to produce heightened feels of anger, anxiety, and fear.
- Weakened immune system- Lack of sleep has the same effect on the body's immune system as physical stress or illness.
- Poor brain cognition-Studies have shown that just one night of fewer than 6 hours of sleep affects the brain's ability to think clearly and make decisions. This is one of the reasons it is important to get a lot of rest before a big event or prior to making important decisions.
- Increased likelihood of obesity- Sleep deprivation health effects have been highlighted by recent studies that have shown that people who sleep less than 7 hours each day are more likely to gain weight. This is believed to be because people who are sleep deprived have lower levels of leptin which is the chemical that makes a person feel full.
If you are having problems with sleep and are wondering how do I improve my sleep there are many things that you can do will help combat the problem.
- Relaxation training can teach a person to tense and relax muscles in different areas of the body. This, in turn, will help to calm a person's body and induce sleep. Other techniques that help with sleep are mindfulness, meditation techniques, and breathing exercises. Audios can also be used before bedtime to relax a person and guide them into sleep.
- Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) can be used to shift a person’s thought patterns into something more healthy. For example, if a person finds themselves thinking in a negative way before bedtime, they can shift the thought process into a more rational positive outcome. (This takes practice but can be done)
- Exercise has been proven to improve overall health and reduce feelings of anxiety/stress. If a person is finding it difficult to sleep due to stress a regular exercise program can help them feel calmer.
- Remedies such as chamomile, lavender oil, melatonin, St John’s Wart, Passionflower, and Kava root can all be used to help with sleep.
- There are various forms of medication today on the market that can help with treating insomnia. Medications such as zolpidem, zaleplon, eszopiclone, and ramelteon can all be prescribed by your doctor to help treat insomnia. We must stress that medication will not cure your insomnia over the long term, and should only be used for the short term. The problem with the medication is that it can become addictive and does not tackle the root cause of why you are not sleeping well. We recommend that you use a natural approach for treating your insomnia.
It is important that you address the root cause of any issues with sleep to prevent any further problems arising.
If you still would wondering how do I improve my sleep please get in contact with us and we will provide you with more help.