According to the National Sleep Foundation (NSF), millions of people do not get enough sleep and many suffer from chronic lack of sleep. Surveys conducted by the NSF (1999-2004) reveal that at least 40 million people in the US suffer from over 60 different sleep disorders and 65% of adults in the U.S. report having sleep problems a few nights a week or more.
How to get a good night sleep
- Don’t drink or eat caffeine 4 to 6 hours before bed
- Don’t smoke, especially near bedtime or if you awake in the night
- Avoid alcohol and heavy meals before sleep
- Get regular exercise
- Minimize noise, light and excessive hot and cold temperatures where you sleep
- Develop a regular bed time and go to bed at the same time each night
- Try and wake up without an alarm clock
- Attempt to go to bed earlier each night for certain period; this will ensure that you’re getting enough sleep
Aging weakens a person’s homeostatic sleep drive after age 50. Interestingly, the length of the circadian cycle stays roughly the same over the lifespan but the amplitude of the circadian rhythm may decline somewhat with aging. For a natural health solution consider SeniorLife Health's Sleep Support Formula™ at seniorlifehealth.com. This all-natural formula gets results for many people and avoids that “morning after no sleep” feeling.
Most people with these problems go undiagnosed and untreated. In addition, more than 40 percent of adults experience daytime sleepiness severe enough to interfere with their daily activities at least a few days each month - with 20 percent reporting problem sleepiness a few days a week or more.
Your night's sleep is divided into five continually shifting stages, defined by types of brain waves that reflect either lighter or deeper sleep. Toward morning, there is an increase in rapid eye movement, or REM sleep, when the muscles are relaxed and your dreaming occurs, and at this stage, recent memories may be consolidated in the brain. The experts say that hitting a snooze alarm over and over again to wake up is not the best way to feel rested. The restorative value of sleep is diminished, especially when the increments are short. This on and off again effect of dozing and waking causes shifts in your brain-wave patterns. Sleep-deprived snooze-button addicts are likely to shorten their quota of REM sleep, impairing their mental functioning during the day.
How Much Sleep Do You Need?
Individual sleep needs do vary. Generally, most healthy adults can handle 16 hours of wakefulness and need an average of eight hours of sleep per night. However, some individuals can function without sleepiness or drowsiness after as little as six hours of sleep, while others can't perform at their peak unless they have slept 10 hours or more. Contrary to common myth, our need for sleep doesn't decline as we age, but our ability to sleep for 6 to 8 hours at one time may be reduced. A natural alternative for improving sleep is SeniorLife Health's Sleep Support Formula at seniorlifehealth.com, which is a combination of effective natural ingredients.
According to a leading sleep expert David Dingies, Ph.D., of the Division of Sleep and Chronobiology and Department of Psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, irritability and moodiness are some of the first signs a person experiences from lack of sleep. If a sleep-deprived person doesn’t sleep after the initial signs, said Dingies, the person may then start to experience apathy, slowed speech and flattened emotional responses, impaired memory, and an inability to multitask. When this happens, he or she will fall into micro sleeps (5-10 seconds) that cause lapses in attention, nod off while doing an activity like driving or reading and then finally experience hypnagogic hallucinations, the beginning of REM sleep.
What Causes Sleep Problems?
Scientists who study the causes of sleep disorders have shown that such problems can directly or indirectly be tied to abnormalities in the following systems: physiological systems, brain & nervous systems, cardiovascular system, metabolic functions, and immune system. Furthermore, unhealthy conditions and disorders can also cause sleep problems, including: pathological sleepiness, insomnia and accidents, hypertension and elevated cardiovascular risks (MI, stroke), emotional disorders (depression, bipolar disorder) Obesity; metabolic syndrome and diabetes
Alcohol and drug abuse. Groups that are at particular risk for sleep deprivation include night shift workers, physicians (average sleep = 6.5 hours a day; residents = 5 hours a day), and truck drivers.
How Environment and Behavior affect a Person’s Sleep
According to sleep experts, stress is the number one cause of people having short-term sleeping difficulties. Common triggers job-related pressures, a family or marriage problem or a serious illness or death in the family. Often the sleep problem disappears when the stressful situation passes. However, if short-term sleep problems such as insomnia aren't managed properly from the beginning, they can persist long after the original stress has passed. Your sleep can be disrupted by drinking alcohol or beverages containing caffeine in the afternoon or evening, exercising close to bedtime, following an irregular morning and nighttime schedule, and working or doing other mentally intense activities right before or after getting into bed. Traveling also disrupts sleep, especially jet lag and traveling across several time zones. This can upset your biological or “circadian” rhythms.
Environmental factors, such as a room that's too warm or cold, too noisy or too bright. I can be a barrier to good sleep.
Other influences to pay attention to are the comfort and size of your bed and the habits of you’re the person with whom you share your bed. If you have to lie beside someone who has different sleep preferences, snores, can't stay asleep, or has other sleep difficulties, it often becomes your problem too! A number of physical problems can interfere with your falling or staying asleep. Arthritis and other conditions that cause pain, backache, or discomfort can make it difficult to sleep well. Finally, certain medications such as decongestants, steroids and some medicines for high blood pressure, asthma, and depression cause sleeping difficulties as a side effect.
Consequences of Lost Sleep
Each year the cost of sleep disorders, sleep deprivation and sleepiness, according to the NCSDR, is estimated to be $15.9 million in direct costs and $50 to $100 billion a year in indirect and related costs. Falling asleep while driving is responsible for at least 100,000 crashes, 71,000 injuries and 1,550 deaths each year in the United States. One to four percent of all highway crashes are caused by sleepiness, four percent of these crashes are fatal. An excellent 100% natural solution to healthy sleep is SeniorLife Health's Sleep Support Formula™ at seniorlifehealth.com. This all-natural formula gets results for many people and. A great way to achieve better sleep and better health. It’s formulated with 12+ ingredients that let you drift into a restful slumber and wake up feeling revitalized, (with a mind clear of grogginess).
This scientifically advanced all-natural supplement contains the nutritional requirements that help the body relax and sleep. By providing the body's natural sleep hormone melatonin, plus a collection of calming herbs, phytomedicinals and key nutrients, the body is encouraged to naturally eliminate restlessness, anxiety, as well as persistent sleeplessness and insomnia. SeniorLife Health's Sleep Support Formula™ at seniorlifehealth.com. This all-natural formula gets results for many people and complements the body's natural ability to promote fast, safe and deep sleep - like the kind we experienced when we were younger. The ingredients contained within this formula also offer some of the factors which the body uses to make the neurotransmitter called "serotonin," which influences neurons that control such diverse activities as sleep, mood and appetite. SeniorLife Health's Sleep Support Formula™ at seniorlifehealth.com. This all-natural formula gets results for many people and supplies the body the proper nutritional support, the vital and normal sleep pattern of dreaming can be preserved and indeed enhanced. Interestingly, "sleeping pills" using conventional drug therapy have proven to cause fewer and shorter periods of dreaming than found in normal sleep.