In our previous blog, “Sleepless In America,” we addressed the epidemic of sleeplessness that is plaguing America. Today, we will give you more important details about this prominent health issue, and share a few suggestions for controlling your sleepless nights.
At the Center For Natural And Integrative Health, we caution you that these healthy sleep tips are not a substitute for seeing your healthcare professional. If you are experiencing chronic or persistent insomnia, you should definitely see your doctor. Recent studies have revealed some startling facts:
1. People today sleep 20% less than they did 100 years ago.
2. More than half the population of the United States of America loses sleep due to stress and/or anxiety. It is estimated that more than 30% of the population suffers from insomnia.
3. 40% to 60% of the people over age sixty report insomnia.
4. Women are up to twice as likely to suffer from insomnia as men. 90% of the people who suffer from depression also experience insomnia.
5. According to Consumer Reports magazine, “almost 60 percent of subscribers we surveyed about their sleep habits, said they had trouble falling or staying asleep, or woke up still feeling tired, at least three times a week.”
6. They also stated, “It’s not surprising that the top reason cited for inadequate sleep among working respondents was job-related stress. And unemployed respondents were even more likely to have sleep problems than those with jobs (69 percent and 59 percent, respectively).”
Secrets For Getting Good Sleep
Below we have listed a few of our favorite sleep seeking strategies. The ones we listed are definitely easier said than done. For more recommendations, we suggest you visit this informative source.
1. Stick To A Schedule: Experts report that a regular time to go to bed, and a regular time to wake up are essential to setting and being in sync with the natural rhythm of your body.
“If you keep a regular sleep schedule, going to bed and getting up at the same time each day, you will feel much more refreshed and energized than if you sleep the same number of hours at different times.”
2. Your After Dinner Nap: Many people want to climb on the couch and dose after dinner, which results in insomnia when bedtime arrives. If you’re getting sleepy after your evening meal, we suggest you do something lightly active that you enjoy. You could use this time to enjoy an active hobby, accomplish some light housework, play a lively board game, or simply chat with a friend by telephone.
3. Your Work Out Routine: The Mayo clinic warns that heavy exercise within five hours before bedtime can be a problem for some sleepers. So you need to learn how your system reacts. They advise you to “take notes on how well you sleep after working out at different times. This can help you determine the time of day that’s best for your workout and the least disruptive to your sleep.”
4. Your Light By Day and By Night: We know that “melatonin production is controlled by light exposure. Your brain should secrete more melatonin in the evening, when it’s dark, to make you sleepy, and less during the day when it’s light and you want to stay awake and alert.” This is why so many self-help books advise you to avoid your television, your tablet and your computer screen before you retire. Electronic screen light is the wrong kind of stimulus for sleep. Instead of television, you can read a book by soft light or a reader-style tablet that is not backlit.
Likewise, during the day time, when your purpose is to produce less melatonin, you should try to be outside in daylight a little while, and your work environment should be full of light.
Timothy Morgenthaler, M.D. summarizes, “your body needs sleep to fight infectious diseases. Long-term lack of sleep also increases your risk of obesity, diabetes, and heart and blood vessel (cardiovascular) disease.”
As is our usual practice, the Center For Natural And Integrative Medicine thanks you for visiting our blog, and we hope you will come back often for news and tips about your health and well being.