Good night sleep tight – Well that’s easy for you to say!
The CDC estimates that only 65% of adults get the required seven hours of sleep. Most Americans get by with an average of 6.8 hours of sleep nightly. Sleep deprivation accounts for 20% of all car accidents and injuries, and costs organizations $31 billion in workplace accident expenses. A 2008 poll by the National Institute of Sleep found that one in three employees admitted falling asleep at work. Being tired at work results in a significant reduction in productivity and making workers more prone to accidents. Because of this many of us could benefit from better sleep at night.
Why “Good night sleep tight”?
In the 1800s bed were made with bed frames with rope, and to have a good nights’ sleep, the rope would need to be tight so that the mattress didn’t sag. And the phrase good night sleep tight was borne from that.
If you don’t sleep on one of these sorts of beds, we have other tips to help you get a better night of sleep.
Keep reading for more quick and easy tip to help you sleep better at night.
What causes sleep deprivation?
There are many causes of sleep deprivation including:
- demanding jobs
- taking care of a young child or sick or older family members
- upper respiratory infections
- certain prescription or OTC drugs.
You may also experience sleep deprivation due to certain conditions, such as:
- heart disease
- thyroid problems
- kidney disease
As a result, you may need to seek medical advice to sort these problems first, then revisit getting better sleep at night.
How much sleep do I need?
Sleep needs differ across age groups, and also vary due to activity.
As a result, you need to understand what your own unique sleep needs are. Infants aged 0-3 months need between fourteen to seventeen hours of sleep. Teenagers need eight to ten hours sleep.
Adults aged between 18 and 40 years of age can manage seven hours of sleep.
Neglecting to get enough quality sleep has several negative effects that worsen the longer you put off sleeping.
Research has not discovered how long humans can go without sleep; people have been able to stay up for up to 264 hours.
Test subjects did start to experience severe sleep deprivation symptoms like hallucinations and paranoia.
Effects of sleep deprivation
Sleep deprivation affects your body in the following ways:
Impaired learning ability
Sleep is responsible for storage of long term information. Therefore, Sleep plays an important role in helping you consolidate facts and recall memories. Getting enough sleep ensures that your body is well-rested. You need enough energy to help you focus on learning and other tasks – as your brain is the large consumer of energy.
Increased risk of heart disease
Sleep is important for repairing arteries and other blood vessels and ensuring that your heart is working optimally. Failing to get enough sleep can increase your risk for heart disease, high blood pressure, and stroke.
Reduced production of human growth hormone
Human Growth Hormone is produced by your pituitary gland as you sleep. The pituitary gland performs several important functions:
- aiding in the physical development of children and teens
- helping with muscle and tissue repair
- reducing the effects of aging.
Low levels of growth hormone are associated with increased risk of disease, weaker muscles, and stunted growth in children. Getting enough sleep is necessary to prevent these conditions and ensure a good quality of life.
Sleep deprivation affects your body’s ability to produce leptin. Leptin is a hormone that sends signals to your brain that you’ve had enough to eat. Low levels of this hormone will cause you to eat more and gain weight.
Can sleep deprivation kill you?
Can you die from sleep deprivation? The short answer is no. Neglecting to sleep puts you at higher risk for:
- car accidents
- slips and falls
- heart disease
The latter three can be fatal if left untreated.
These conditions develop over long periods of poor sleep practices.
So make sure that you have a good night, sleep tight, and don’t let the bed bugs bite!
Your health actually does depend on it.
How to sleep better at night
Effective strategies for better sleep at night are given below. It may be that to get more sleep you will need to employ a number of these techniques:
Reduce exposure to blue light at night
Blue light is produced by electrical devices:
- fluorescent lighting
- LED lighting.
Blue light is also emitted by the sun, which causes the sky to look blue. In small doses, blue light has little effect on your body. Prolonged exposure to blue light can lead to problems with sleep. Blue light affects your body’s ability to produce melatonin, a hormone that helps you feel relaxed and sleepy.
Reduce your exposure to blue light at night by:
- switch off your television and lighting at least two hours before sleep
- downloading apps that block blue light on your phone
- investing in glasses that reduce your exposure to blue light.
Instead of using blue light emitting devices, you could read, because this may also help you to sleep.
Have a consistent sleep schedule
Going to bed, and waking up at the same time can improve the quality of your sleep, over the long term. This is because our bodies’ circadian rhythms kick in around the evenings and mornings. A circadian rhythm is your natural body clock, which makes you feel drowsy and wakes you up.
Messing up your circadian rhythm will reduce your body’s ability to get into a deep sleep, and wake up refreshed.
So remember to always have a good night sleep tight and don’t let the bed bugs bite!
Avoid caffeine late in the day
Avoid drinking coffee and other caffeine-laden beverages at least 6 hours before you go to sleep. As a result of consuming caffeine close to the time you go to bed, your body will not relax, keeping you awake. If you drink a lot of coffee, you should consider lowering your intake. Caffeine stimulates your body, making it harder to fall asleep. Caffeine stays in your system up to 8 hours after consumption so you need to stop caffeine consumption to cater for this.
Doing exercise increases the time spent in deep sleep, which is the most restorative part of your sleep. As a result of Exercise, your body becomes tied and you sleep better at night, as the body repairs itself. Insomnia and sleep apnea have been found to reduce in severity after exercise.
Doctors recommend exercising at least 30 minutes a day so that you enjoy the sleep benefits of physical activity.
Take a natural sleep aid
Some of the safest, gentle and effective sleep aids available include; melatonin supplements, valerian root, and magnesium. The sleep aids lead to better sleep by relaxing the body, making it easier to fall asleep.
Get a Better Nights Sleep: Conclusion
Sleep is extremely important to your overall health, providing many necessary functions. Conversely, sleep deprivation can reduce productivity, increase your risk for disease and accidents and affect your overall quality of life. Following some or all of these strategies will help you get more higher quality sleep. You will feel more refreshed, and be more productive as a result.