What Happens If You Don’t Get Enough Sleep?

Sleep deprivation can be problematic, particularly for adults who want to maximize their day-to-day productivity and efficiency.

Ultimately, sleep deprivation may occur if you cannot fall asleep or struggle to get uninterrupted sleep. WebMD points out there are many short-term problems associated with sleep deprivation, including:

  • – Reduced Alertness: According to WebMD, studies have shown that reducing your sleep by 1.5 hours could result in a 32 percent reduction in daytime alertness.
  • – Cognitive and Memory Issues: Excessive daytime sleepiness may affect your ability to think and process information properly.
  • – Decreased Quality of Life: A lack of sleep may make it more difficult to stay focused during activities such as watching a movie or reading a book.
  • – Increased Risk of Occupational Injuries: Recent research indicates that those who suffer from sleep deprivation are at greater risk of occupational injuries than others.

Sleep deprivation has been associated with many long-term health issues as well, such as:

  • – Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD)
  • – Heart attacks
  • – High blood pressure
  • – Obesity
  • – Stroke

It might seem impossible to overcome sleep deprivation. However, there are several ways to put this problem in the past, including:

1. Develop a Sleep Routine

Developing the right sleep routine may make a world of difference for those who want to avoid sleep deprivation.

To create this routine, try to stick with what works best for you. For example, if you wake up early for work on weekdays, try to wake up around the same time on weekends. By doing so, you’ll be able to get into a regular sleep pattern and reduce the risk of restless nights.

2. Avoid the Late-Day Caffeine Fix

Emotional intelligence expert Dr. Travis Bradberry tells Inc. Magazine that caffeine possesses a six-hour shelf life and requires about 24 hours to work its way through the body. Thus, your afternoon cup of Joe or early-evening energy drink will put additional caffeine into your bloodstream, making it tougher to fall asleep.

Resist the urge for a late-day caffeine fix. Instead, you can take advantage of many viable caffeine alternatives to maintain your energy throughout the day.

For instance, FitDay notes the combination of ice water and vitamin B12 offers a great alternative to coffee. Ice water has been shown to boost the metabolism, while vitamin B12 accelerates melatonin production to help regulate healthy sleep cycles. As a result, substituting coffee with ice water and vitamin B12 may make it easy for you to increase your energy levels and avoid the dangers associated with sleep deprivation.

3. Put Your Mobile Devices Away at Night

Smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices keep us connected to the outside world at all times. On the other hand, these devices emit short-wavelength blue light that hinders melatonin production.

Turn off your mobile devices before bedtime arrives. This will allow you to avoid distractions and focus on what’s important – getting the Zzz’s you need.

Make a good night’s sleep a top priority, and you can enjoy restful sleep consistently.

Start Your New Year With Better Sleep

Sleep Habits to kick of 2017

New Year, New Sleep Habits!

Each New Year, Americans promise themselves they will do better – to eat better, go the gym, to not sweat the small stuff. But what about sleeping better? Quality sleep is critical to maintaining every day health and a lack of sleep has been linked to a myriad of health problems including cardiovascular disease, depression and a weakened immune system.[i] While sleeping more sounds easy, getting the recommended amount of quality sleep can still be a challenge. Below are tips and tricks on getting the best and healthiest night’s sleep.

Stick With A Sleep Routine:

A new year is a great opportunity to start a new routine and a consistent one is essential when trying to sleep better. A consistent sleep routine will train your body for sleep expectations, which will dictate sleep-wake cycles. Routines also help us remain calm and predictable, allowing our bodies to operate more efficiently and easily.[ii] Studies show that a daily routine can lead to a lower rate of insomnia and improved overall quality of sleep.[iii]

Need some tips to jumpstart your routine?

  • Wake up and go to sleep around the same time every single night – yes, that weekends too!
  • Try to schedule all daily activities, like eating and exercising, for the same times throughout the day.
  • Create a bedtime routine that will allow for time relaxing and unwinding before bed.

Most importantly, listen to your body. Most people prefer one time of day to the other. If you always have trouble waking up in the morning, don’t schedule too many morning meetings or an early gym session. However, if you find yourself up and ready to go at the crack of dawn, don’t leave yourself a pile of work late at night.[iv]

Work It Out:

Hitting the gym can benefit sleep quality. One study found that people who regularly exercise have better quality and more consistent sleep than people who don’t.[v] Exercising can prevent sleepiness during the day and may help reduce the risk of sleep disorder symptoms like insomnia and obstructive sleep apnea.[vi] Even getting as little as ten minutes of light exercise each day can significantly improve your sleep.[vii]

Sleep Environment:

The bedroom should be a quiet, dark, stress-free zone to unwind and relax in at the end of the day. Creating a truly dark sleep space may be difficult for the 95% of Americans that use electronic devices within an hour of their bedtime.[viii] The brain stimulation that comes with exposure to light prevents the body from producing melatonin, which is a key factor in sleep. [ix]

Also consider investing in a new mattress that works for you, especially if you haven’t in a few years. If your mattress is over eight years old, it is time to replace it.[x] “Many people neglect the importance of comfort,” says Dr. Michael Breus, Clinical Psychologist with a specialty in Sleep Disorders. “Your mattress and pillow are the building blocks of your sleep environment.” Make sure both are comfortable and supportive for a better sleep experience.[xi]

Sleeping Solo:

Could your partner be the reason for your restless nights? About 23% of married couples don’t sleep together in the same bed because their sleep is disrupted when they share a bed.[xii] Between snoring, fidgety sleep and opposite schedules, there are a number of factors hindering a healthy night’s sleep for couples.

Below are tips to help both you and your partner get a great night’s sleep:.

  • Specialty foam beds are a terrific alternative to a traditional mattress. Foam absorbs movement, preventing your partner from waking you up when they get in and out of bed.
  • Invest in a bigger bed so that there is enough room for each of you to stretch out without kicking each other.
  • Be health conscious! Snoring and frequently disrupted sleep may be caused by a serious underlying problem and should be addressed by your healthcare provider.
  • Test your bed at a reputable mattress store and discuss your needs with a qualified sleep consultant to ensure you’re getting the best bed for your specific needs.
  • If you and your partner prefer different levels of mattress firmness, look for beds that offer two different, adjustable sides.

More simple sleeping tips include:

  • Mind-body medicine including meditation, yoga and Tai Chi
  • Manipulative practices like massages and chiropractic remedies such as acupuncture and homeopathy
  • Smell lavender to increase Alpha brainwaves in the head – this slows down brain waves while increasing their amplitude, which is associated with states of relaxation and peacefulness.[xiii]
  • Make the bedroom for sleeping only – don’t use it for getting dressed, watching TV or responding to emails

Easy Breathing:

The easiest thing to do for great health this New Year is to aim to get six to eight hours of high-quality sleep per night. To achieve a healthy night’s sleep try relaxation techniques, such as progressive muscle relaxation, deep breathing and visualization are commonly used among those who experience problems sleeping.

Not only are these relaxation techniques free, they’re easy to incorporate into your daily routine. Follow these tips and you’ll be sleeping better in no time!

 

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[i] The Insomnia Blog: http://www.theinsomniablog.com/the_insomnia_blog/2013/03/lack-of-sleep-disrupts-our-genes.html

[ii] The Insomnia Blog: http://www.theinsomniablog.com/the_insomnia_blog/2010/05/regular-daily-routines-enhance-sleep-experience.html

[iii] The Insomnia Blog: http://www.theinsomniablog.com/the_insomnia_blog/2010/05/regular-daily-routines-enhance-sleep-experience.html

[iv] The Insomnia Blog: http://www.theinsomniablog.com/the_insomnia_blog/2012/12/the-sleep-stories-of-2012-part-ii.html

[v] The Insomnia Blog: http://www.theinsomniablog.com/the_insomnia_blog/exercise_and_sleep/

[vi] The Insomnia Blog: http://www.theinsomniablog.com/the_insomnia_blog/2012/12/the-sleep-stories-of-2012-part-ii.html

[vii] The Insomnia Blog: http://www.theinsomniablog.com/the_insomnia_blog/exercise_and_sleep/

[viii] The Insomnia Blog: http://www.theinsomniablog.com/the_insomnia_blog/2012/08/why-are-we-so-bad-at-getting-a-good-nights-sleep-.html

[ix] The Insomnia Blog: http://www.theinsomniablog.com/the_insomnia_blog/2012/08/why-are-we-so-bad-at-getting-a-good-nights-sleep-.html

[x] Sit ‘n Sleep: http://www.sitnsleep.com/sleep-resources/sleep-and-health/sit-n-sleep-s-top-ten-sleep-tips-for-2012

[xi] The Insomnia Blog: http://www.theinsomniablog.com/the_insomnia_blog/2011/02/make-your-bed-for-better-sleep.html

[xii] The Insomnia Blog: http://www.theinsomniablog.com/the_insomnia_blog/2008/09/married-sleeping-solo.html

[xiii] The Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-michael-j-breus/the-scent-of-sleep_b_157164.html

 

How Much Sleep Should You Really Be Getting?

Sleep is a necessity – not a luxury. As such, getting a great night’s sleep should be a priority for individuals of all ages. However, recent data indicates that many Americans understand the importance of restful sleep yet fail to act on it.

A study of U.S. adults conducted by The Better Sleep Council revealed 48 percent of respondents said they do not get sufficient sleep. Conversely, less than half of these respondents noted they fail to take action to improve their sleep habits.

Furthermore, the study showed many problems could arise due to a lack of sleep, including:

  1. – Diabetes
  2. – Difficulty concentrating
  3. – Increased stress
  4. – Heart disease
  5. – Memory loss
  6. – Stroke

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) state the average adult requires seven to eight hours of sleep per night.

With the right amount of sleep, an individual will be better equipped to maximize his or her day-to-day productivity. On the other hand, a person who routinely loses sleep may suffer the consequences of “sleep debt,” i.e. missing out on sleep over an extended period of time.

So what does it take to resolve sleep debt and guarantee restful sleep night after night? Here are five tips to help you get the Zzz’s you need:

1. Address Sleep Debt.

The longer you ignore your sleep debt, the worse it may become. Fortunately, those who address their sleep debt immediately can put this problem in the past.

Remember, sleep debt may slow you down, making you feel tired and exhausted throughout the day. But those who rest can minimize this issue and will be better equipped to prevent it from becoming a recurring problem.

2. Stick to a Sleep Schedule.

 Although you may wake up early on weekdays and sleep late on weekends, this sleep schedule may wind up doing more harm than good for those who want to enjoy restful sleep.

An inconsistent sleep schedule sometimes can make it difficult for an individual to fall or stay asleep. Thus, if you fail to establish a sleep schedule that works for you, restless nights could become an ongoing occurrence.

Comparatively, those who develop and stick to a sleep schedule may enjoy the benefits of their efforts for years to come.

If you can go to bed and wake up around the same time each day, you may be better equipped to get the sleep you need to optimize your everyday productivity. Plus, you should have no trouble feeling tired at the end of the day and waking up feeling refreshed in the morning if you stick to a sleep schedule.

3. Establish a Bedtime Routine.

Bedtime may be a stressful time for many individuals, and perhaps it’s easy to understand. With a busy day of work, class or other activities right around the corner, it might be tough not to think about the next day’s events.

A bedtime routine can make it easier for you to wind down at the day’s conclusion and focus on what’s important – getting the rest you need over the next several hours.

Typically, a good bedtime routine will include dimming the lights in your bedroom and putting away your smartphone, tablet and any other bright, distracting electronics.

You also might want to consider listening to calm, soothing music or reading your favorite book to help you relax before bed. By doing so, you may be able to fall asleep quickly and rest comfortably throughout the night.

4. Eat Healthy and Exercise.

Maintaining a healthy diet and exercising throughout the day may put you in a great position to reap the benefits of uninterrupted sleep.

Your liver, pancreas and other organs will respond well to a healthy diet. But if you eat fatty treats or late-night snacks, these foods could throw your body out of rhythm. As a result, you may be forced to deal with sleepless nights if you fail to maintain a healthy diet.

Meanwhile, WebMD points out exercising at least 150 minutes per week has been shown to help people sleep better at night and remain more alert during the day.

5. Pick Up a Comfortable Mattress.

An old, worn-out mattress may prove to be a leading culprit for an individual who struggles to fall asleep at night. But those who spend some time evaluating all of the mattress types that are available are sure to find a comfortable, supportive mattress that will perform consistently.

Ideally, you should try out several mattresses to find one that suits your body type, health and personal needs. And if you work with a proven mattress supplier that employs professionally trained sleep consultants, you should be able to test a broad range of mattresses any time you choose.

Make sleep a priority, and ultimately, you’ll be able to get sufficient rest every night.

How Should You Be Sleeping? 4 Sleep Positions You Need to Know About

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Are you sleeping comfortably? A great night’s rest will help ensure you’re ready to take on any challenges that come your way. In addition, how you sleep may impact more than just your day-to-day approach to challenges, which is reflected in a recent study.

A Better Sleep Council study revealed that your sleep position may determine your personality. As such, you’ll want to sleep in a comfortable position every night; otherwise, failure to do so could negatively affect your personality.

So what are the best sleep positions? Here’s a closer look at four sleep positions you need to know about:

1. On Your Back

 The National Sleep Foundation (NSF) ranks sleeping on your back as the top sleep position – despite the fact that only 8 percent of adults sleep on their back.

Sleeping on your back enables you to relax your head, neck and spine consistently, according to the NSF. And if you face the ceiling while you rest, you may be better equipped to fight off acid reflux as well.

Although sleeping on your back offers a number of benefits, it is important to note that snoring can become more severe in this position. Thus, if you suffer from sleep apnea or other sleep disorders, you may want to consider another position.

2. On Your Side

 If you sleep on your side, your spine becomes elongated, which can help you minimize neck pain.

Also, sleeping on your side represents an ideal option for those who struggle with snoring, and it will enable you to keep your airways open throughout the night.

The NSF reports approximately 15 percent of adults sleep on their side. Furthermore, wrinkles remain the lone downside of sleeping on your side, as wrinkles may form due to the fact that half of your face pushes against a pillow.

3. In the Fetal Position

 The most popular sleeping position for adults, the fetal position has been shown to enhance circulation in the body. Plus, it represents a great sleeping position for pregnant women and minimizes the risk of the uterus pressing against the liver.

On the other hand, the fetal position may restrict breathing in your diaphragm if you curl up too tightly. Therefore, you should try to straighten your body as much as possible if you decide the fetal position is right for you.

4. On Your Stomach

 The NSF points out 7 percent of adults sleep on their stomach, and this sleep position can help reduce snoring.

Conversely, sleeping on your stomach puts additional pressure on the muscles and joints, which may lead to aches, numbness and tingling. Sleeping on your stomach also has been associated with back and neck pain, and it can be difficult to keep the spine in a neutral position if an individual sleeps on his or her stomach.

If you sleep on your stomach, be sure to lie face-down with your forehead propped up on a pillow. By doing so, you’ll be able to keep your upper airways open while you sleep.

Ultimately, it is important to find a sleep position that ensures you can enjoy restful sleep. After you find the right sleep position, you’ll be better equipped to get plenty of Zzz’s night after night.

Why Do Women Need More Sleep Than Men?

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Did you know that your gender may affect how much sleep you need to maximize your productivity? That’s right, and according to recent data, women usually require more sleep than men.

Sleep science expert Dr. Jim Horne points out the average woman needs about 20 minutes of more sleep than men – perhaps for good reason. Horne notes women commonly multi-task more frequently and use more of their actual brain than men, and as such, need extra rest to optimize their efficiency.

Furthermore, Edward Suarez, an associate professor at the Duke University School of Medicine, tells Shape Magazine that poor sleep frequently has a bigger impact on women than men. He stated that a recent sleep study showed reduced sleep in women was associated with a higher risk of heart disease and diabetes, along with additional stress, depression, anger and anxiety.

Other factors may impact a woman’s sleep as well, including:

  • – Sleep problems during pregnancy due to excess weight and the position of the fetus.
  • – Hot flashes related to menopause.
  • – Going to bed worrying, and as a result, missing out on sleep.

Nothing beats a great night’s sleep, regardless of whether you’re a man or woman. However, getting sufficient sleep often remains difficult for men and women alike.

The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke states roughly 40 million Americans suffer from chronic long-term sleep disorders annually. In addition, about 20 million Americans experience occasional sleep problems.

So what can men and women do to minimize sleep problems? The National Sleep Foundation offers the following recommendations:

  • – Exercise Every Day. Regular exercise will help you remain active and healthy, and ultimately, may make it easier to go to bed feeling tired and sleep throughout the night.
  • – Limit Alcohol and Caffeine Intake. Excessive alcohol and caffeine consumption throughout the day or in the hours prior to bedtime can make it tough for you to fall asleep. Conversely, those who limit alcohol and caffeine intake may be better equipped to get the Zzz’s they need night after night.
  • – Modify Your Sleep Environment. Loud noises, bright lights or other distractions may keep you up at night. But those who spend some time creating a calm, relaxing sleep environment could reap the benefits of a great night’s rest consistently.

Let’s not forget about how your mattress can affect your sleep patterns, either. If you try to sleep on an old, uncomfortable mattress, you’re unlikely to get the rest you need to maximize your productivity and efficiency.

Fortunately, Sit ‘n Sleep can help you find your perfect mattress. To learn more about our mattress options, please explore our website or visit one of our Southern California mattress superstores.