The scary side effects of sleep deprivation...
Think too little sleep is no big deal? Here’s how sleep deprivation could be wreaking havoc on everything from your weight to your sex life.
We overachieving, Type-A New Yorkers think nothing of getting an average of five hours of sleep or less per night. In fact, it’s almost like a badge of honor to say we can exist on so few zzz’s. And because attitude affects such a large part of our experience in life, those friends and clients of mine who believe they’re “impervious to fatigue” (a saying of an ex boyfriend of mine), they can in fact get away with a lot less sleep for longer than a person that believes otherwise. But while the short term effects can be manageable for some, in time, sleep deprivation has serious, long term side effects and can ultimately kill you. And sleep deprivation is not just a New York City epidemic, 40% of Americans don't get the recommended minimum amount of sleep, according to a new Gallup report. A stark contrast to 1942, when 84 percent of Americans said they got seven or more hours of sleep a night. One of the main reasons-the Internet, Google and Facebook. Or in my case, Netflix-catching up on on entire season of Orange is the New Black:)
What constitutes sleep deprivation?
The average adult needs about seven to nine hours of sleep each night, according to the National Sleep Foundation. Even one bad night’s sleep can have consequences, but string together one week and the risks go up exponentially.
Side Effects of Sleep Deprivation:
The immediate side effects of missing sleep are obvious, you feel groggy, mentally foggy and cranky. But there are more insidious side effects of getting too little sleep -- generally understood to mean six hours or less a night:
MY FAVE RECOS TO HELP YOU GET MORE ZZZ’s:
Ah, if only falling asleep was as simple as when we were five years old. My mother used to come into my room and rub my back while humming or singing Brahams Lullaby. There are several things you can do, including listening to Braham’s Lullaby (see my Spotify playlist).
1. Stick to a sleep schedule: Go to bed and get up at the same time every day, even on weekends, holidays and days off. Being consistent reinforces your body's sleep-wake cycle and helps promote better sleep at night. Set a time you’re going to be lights out and stick to it!
If you have trouble falling or staying asleep:
Take melotonin 2.5-5 mgs one hour before desired sleep time. This will help you get to sleep. Source Naturals Spray. Not all melatonin works the same. This one tends not to have any hangover effect and you can regulate the dose
If you are feeling anxious at bedtime try:
2. Have a routine 1/2 hour before desired sleep time: Do the same things each night to let your body and mind know it's time to wind down. For me this includes using the Infrared Sauna or taking a warm bath with magnesium salts and essential oils and listening to my fave PM Zen music (see Spotify) or book on tape. Or sipping my fave bedtime tea and reading my latest fave book. Calming activities let your mind and body more easily transition from your busy day to sleep.
3. Avoid eating and drinking within three hours of bedtime. You don’t want to go to bed hungry but you don’t want to be stuffed either. Be aware that nicotine and alcohol can affect your sleep. They’re stimulants and while drinking does make you drowsy, it ultimately affects your sleep as it wears off.
Other healthy living tips that affect sleep:
4. Limit or avoid using electronics within 30 minutes of sleep.
Avoid the TV, Ipad and phone as part of your bedtime ritual. Some research suggests that screen time or other media use before bedtime interferes with your brain’s ability to create melatonin.
5. Create a sleep sanctuary.
Basic Feng Shui and common sense will tell you the following is best for :
6. Limit daytime naps
7. If none of these things works, try the Cranial Stimulator. This device is far and away the most powerful tool I know of to remedy long term insomnia and I highly recommend it. I first used it for a client who suffered from major anxiety and could not sleep past 4AM a single night. After the recommended above protocols and using the CS for 40 days his insomnia was cured.
Like all new, healthy habits, it takes time to establish a good sleep routine. Set your mind on stringing together five, good nights and go from there. LMK how these reco’s work for you! And sweet dreams. xoMB
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