John (not his real name) came into my office complaining of depression. John is 55 years old, a teacher, married and has two teenage children. His history revealed that he also suffered from high blood pressure and lack of sleep. The latter symptom is not surprising, as three of his four with depression suffer from insomnia.
Sleep, restorative good sleep, is an underestimated contributor to health and disease. Nearly half of Americans say they feel sleepy during the day 3 to 7 days a week, so it’s clear they aren’t getting enough sleep.
Adults between the ages of 18 and 64 need 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night. Adults over the age of 65 have been shown to wake up about an hour and a half earlier and go to bed an hour earlier than younger adults. Children need sleep more than adults. With each passing year, it becomes more difficult for adults and children to get the ideal amount of sleep.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 28.4% of working adults slept six hours or less per night in 2009, compared to 32.6% in 2017-2018. We don’t have numbers for 2021-2022, but they are certainly higher.
Interestingly, notice how everything is connected. 45.8% of Blacks, 40.4% of Native Americans/Alaska Natives, 37.5% of Asians, 34.5% of Hispanics, and 33.4% of Whites report getting less than 7 hours of sleep per night. Women have a lifetime risk of insomnia that is up to 40% higher than men.
Beneficial effects of sleep
A good night’s sleep will leave you feeling awake and rested. When you rest, your energy levels will skyrocket. Increased energy makes it easier to deal with life’s challenges. Good sleep tends to make people more patient and tolerant of the annoying ways of others. You are more likely to be happy more often.
Additionally, 40% of insomnia sufferers are affected by mental illness. These include depression, anxiety, and panic disorder. Not getting enough sleep can lead to health problems such as high blood pressure, heart attack, and diabetes. Insomnia initiates a stress response by releasing cortisone and adrenaline, making the heart work harder.
The stress response also lowers the immune response. As a result, you are more likely to catch a virus looking for a new home to break into. For the same reason, sleep can also enhance the effectiveness of vaccines. This is clearly a plus.
When you don’t get enough sleep, your body produces ghrelin, a hormone that increases your appetite. Your body also reduces production of leptin, a hormone that signals you are full. I know very well what happens in that case.
Sleep is associated with better concentration, better memory, and better cognitive function, which can help you succeed at work and school. Lack of sleep, on the other hand, is literally dangerous. People who sleep only six to seven hours are twice as likely to have a car accident as those who sleep a full eight hours. If she sleeps less than 5 hours, he is four times more likely to crash. This is because your reaction time slows down significantly if your brain is not completely rested. A person with severe insomnia was seven times more likely to have a work-related accident than she was, and a nurse working a 12.5 hour shift was three times more likely to make a medical error than a nurse working an eight and a half hour shift. has been reported to commit
Tips for better sleep
- Create a comfortable sleeping environment, such as keeping your bedroom dark and quiet.
- The optimal bedroom temperature for the most comfortable sleep is about 65 degrees Fahrenheit (18.3 degrees Celsius). This may vary slightly from person to person. Adjust to suit your needs.
- Set a bedtime routine that means going to bed at the same time every night.
- If possible, use your bedroom only for sleep and intimacy.
- Exercise during the day. Walking, swimming, climbing stairs and lifting weights are a must. You don’t have to spend a fortune to join a health club.
- Try meditation, yoga, or a warm bath.
- Hot milk with sugar produces tryptophan. It seems to have a sedative effect.
- Grinding your teeth while you sleep can put as much as 250 pounds of pressure on your teeth. Obviously, I wake up with excruciating pain in my jaw and temporomandibular joints. And your dental costs skyrocket. It’s time to see a specialist.
- If you suffer from sleep apnea, snoring, nocturia (frequent trips to the bathroom at night), night sweats, sleep paralysis, restless leg syndrome (RLS), or sleepwalking, you should see your doctor. To do.
- Melatonin is one of the most commonly used supplements among both adults and children. Studies have found that melatonin can improve sleep in certain cases, but it’s not for everyone. You have to be careful.
- Do not read newspapers or watch the news on TV at night. All that disturbing information is still there in the morning.
- Think about coffee and chocolate late in the day. For a healthy adult, the half-life of caffeine is 5 hours. That means about half of the caffeine in your cup of coffee or your favorite chocolate bar remains in his body 5-10 hours after ingestion.
- Drinking alcohol may make you sleepy at first, but it will wake you up quickly, sometimes even more than once.
- Talk to your doctor about the risk of addiction from prescription drugs that induce sleep. They should often be avoided.