There are very few things that the human body needs to survive; oxygen, water, food and sleep. It is estimated that 50-80 million North Americans suffer from sleep problems and it is only getting worse. Poor sleep is associated with elevated risk of heart disease and increased perception of stress so its time to put sleep back on our list of priorities…. sweet dreams.
Sleep and Safety
Without sleep, our bodies become exhausted and they cannot function properly. A lack of sleep can result in:
- Increased stress
- Impaired memory
- Irritated mood
- Lack of motivation
- Slower reflexes
- More mistakes
- Increased risk of illness
- Reduced risk of injury
Sleep problems are common among adults. An estimated 60% of us suffer from a lack of a proper nights rest. This lack of sleep coupled with an increase in obesity we also see an increase in sleep apnea; a condition where you actually stop breathing in your sleep. This not only disrupts your sleep but can be very dangerous to the individual as it increases our risk of heart disease. If you suffer from sleep apnea and are overweight you should make it a priority to change you lifestyle and shed those unwanted pounds. Definitions has several information sheets on steps you can take to do this. There are tips however, that can be followed by all of us, big or small, to get a restful nights sleep…
Ideas to Fall Asleep Quickly
- Turn off the TV – Tv is designed by experts to keep you engaged and watching shows you don’t really want to watch. Our advice turn off the tube because dreams are more vivid than HD.
- Black out the room – The smallest amount of light can activate the brain to think that it is day time making us think that we are supposed to be awake. Blackout the windows with a blind so you can close your eyes and rest your mind.
- Keep the noise down – Ambient noises can keep your brain alert and unable to reach deep sleep. Do your best to keep excess noise to a minimum.
- Deep breathe – Deep breathing has been shown to be one of the most relaxing activities you can do. Taking deep breaths with a 10 second inhale and a 5 second exhale will help calm the body before a night of rest.
- Read before bed – Reading can cause increased sleepiness by diverting the mind from a stressful day and can be a great technique to bridging the gap between the day and night.
- Stay away from coffee– Caffeine is a stimulant and has a marked chemical effect which your body can’t ignore. Our advice is to avoid caffeinated beverages starting mid afternoon in order to get a restful sleep.
- Make sleep important – Missing sleep for other activities should be avoided unless totally necessary and very rarely it is. Make sleeping a priority and you will find that you will be more productive and make better use of waking hours.
Try these tips and always remember to eat healthy foods, get plenty of exercise, breath the air around you and of course get a good nights sleep…. you are after all only human.