Here are some alarming statistics that may keep you up at night…
35% of American adults and 69% of high school students don’t get adequate sleep. It’s estimated that as many as 70 million Americans have trouble sleeping and the problem is progressively getting worse with the proliferation of gadgets and bad habits.
Another unsettling fact is that sleep problems increase your risk of developing psychiatric disorders. People who suffer from insomnia are four times more likely to develop major depression compared to those with healthy sleeping patterns. Sleep problems lead to anxiety disorders over 25% of the time and depression over 67% of the time.
Skimping on sleep can affect your health in more ways than you might imagine. Getting less than 6 hours of sleep each night has been associated with lower overall brain activity, which affects productivity, physical safety, and maintaining a healthy weight. When you miss out on sleep, your brain pays the price.
Insomnia is characterized by difficulty falling and staying asleep and is linked to concentration and memory issues, excessive tiredness, irritability, stress and other health risks.
Insomnia can be caused by:
• Environmental factors (light, noise, temperature, etc.)
• Stress (home, work, school, etc.)
• Emotional distress (financial, occupational, familial, etc.)
• Physical discomfort (Restless Legs Syndrome, chronic pain, etc.)
• Irregular sleep schedule (shift work, jet lag, etc.)
If you are tired of being tired, here are ten practical ways you can prevent the harmful effects of insomnia:
Maintain a Regular Sleep Schedule
Regardless of how much sleep you got the night before, go to bed at the same time each night and wake up at the same time each morning—even on weekends.
Create a Restful Environment
Make sure your bedroom is comfortable. Adjust the temperature so that your room isn’t too hot or cold. Also, keep your room as dark as possible while sleeping.
Don’t Take Naps
Taking naps is one of the biggest mistakes you can make if you experience insomnia. Daytime naps will disrupt your nighttime sleep cycle.
Use Sound Therapy
Soothing nature sounds, soft music, wind chimes, white noise makers or even a fan can induce a peaceful mood and lull you to sleep.
Remove all electronics from your bedroom and turn off all devices an hour before bedtime to allow enough time for your brain to unwind. Create a relaxing environment, free from the distractions of the outside world.
Don’t Eat Before Bedtime
Food is fuel, so don’t eat for at least two hours before going to bed. Late night snacking is unhealthy and prepares your body to stay up rather than shut down for the night.
Get Regular Exercise
This is very beneficial for insomnia. However, don’t exercise within four hours of the time you go to bed—vigorous exercise late in the evening may energize you and keep you awake.
Beware of Stimulants
Don’t drink any caffeinated beverages and avoid chocolate, nicotine, and alcohol in the late afternoon and evening.
Move Your Clock
If you wake up in the middle of the night, refrain from looking at the clock. Checking the time can make you feel anxious, which will only make it harder to go back to sleep.
Practice Good Sleep Hygiene
Though often associated with cleanliness, hygiene also applies to behavioral practices designed to sustain optimal health. Sleep hygiene is extremely important for a person’s brain health, physical health, and overall well-being. Follow these proven strategies to improve your sleep hygiene.
If you aren’t getting enough sleep, or if you’re not feeling refreshed after sleeping, Amen Clinics can help. Our goal is to help you achieve and maintain peaceful sleep without the use of sleeping pills or sedatives. One of the best ways we can improve the quality of your sleep is with brain SPECT imaging.
SPECT can specifically help people with insomnia or sleep disorders by:
• Discovering if there are co-occurring or underlying conditions that need treatment
• Identifying areas of low activity and blood flow
• Helping patients gain a better understanding of their brain through visuals
• Determining if existing treatments are working properly
Insomnia is hazardous to your health. We can help improve the quality of your sleep. Call us today at 888-288-9834 or visit us online to schedule a visit.