The Need for Sleep – Do not ignore it

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Sleep is very essential for health physical and mental growth of a child and adults also need plenty of it to keep good health. Body recuperates after a good night’s sleep. Yet, there are moments when one is unable to sleep.

Sleep disorder afflicts many who are unable to get proper sleep due to worries and tensions. Sometimes a loss of job, financial distress, health concerns can keep a person awake. Improper sleep means your have difficulty in carrying out your daily chores or taking decisions at workplace. Irritability, uneasiness and fatigue could result because of it.

need-to-sleepNearly about 50 to 70 million Americans suffer from sleep disorders. Most of them can get treated, but many such cases go unreported.

Why do we sleep?
Sleep remains much of a mystery. We work during the day and in the night we need to go off to sleep in order to recuperate for the next day. According to Dr. Michael Twery, director, National Center on Sleep Disorders Research at National Heart Lung and Blood Institute of the National Institute of Health, “sleep originates with the timing of biological clock. The biological clock operates in all our tissues.” He further says that in the suprachiasmatic nucleus, which happens to be a particular area of the brain, operates the master biological clock. This biological clock “orchestrates” the “symphony” of hormones as well as other changes that make us go off to sleep.

Effects of not sleeping too well

  • Less off sleep can affect our performance levels and memory functioning and decision-making process the following day.
  • We are listless and tired.
  • Our thought processes also get affected.
  • We may not appear very friendly and may even ignore people or insult them since we happen to be in a bad mood.
  • For a working person, it is difficult if he or she moves around with a grouchy appearance.
  • We may not be able to drive properly as we are not mentally alert. For professionals whose skills are required to resolve a major crisis, such as a doctor, sleep is very essential. Adequate sleep means one can concentrate better.
  • Our health can get affected. We can develop cardio-vascular diseases such as heart attacks, strokes etc.
  • Lack of sleep causes much stress, which in turn affects the body functioning.
  • Sleep improves the insulin tolerance levels among diabetics.
  • People who suffer from sleep disorder are faced with problem of diabetes, obesity, heart disease and high blood pressure.

How much sleep one needs?
Adults need 7-8 hours of sleep to feel fully rested. School going kids and teens need about 9 hours. Children in pre-school need about 10 to 12 hours a day and a new born requires about 16 to 18 hours of sleep.

Attitude towards sleep
Many people tend to sleep less hours as they are either busy watching television, or working at the office or simply spending time with friends. They prefer to sleep late at night, even though they have to get up early in the morning. This reduces their sleeping hours. If they continue to do this over a period of time then their health gets affected.

There are also underlying psychological factors which make a person sleep less. or keep him or her awake throughout the night. Many suffer from insomnia and various sleep disorders such as sleep apnea and chronic sleep deprivation. They do not get sufficient sleep.

How can the problem be tackled?

  • It is good to maintain diary of what one is doing throughout the day, how often one takes naps, or what one eats, daily sleep timings at night.
  • Maintain a schedule of your sleeping hours. Go to bed at a particular time and get up at a particular time.
  • One should relax before going to sleep such as listen to music or read a book.
  • Exercise also helps a person to sleep well.
  • One should get rid of one’s worries and tensions.
  • Having a bath before going to bed is very relaxing.
  • Consult a physician if there are underlying problems.

Sleep is essential to maintain good health. One must deal with problems that prevent you from getting proper sleep. One must learn to cope up with problems and get enough physical exercise to sleep well. If suffering from continuous sleep disturbances then one must consult a physician.

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