Here at the Center For Natural and Integrative Medicine, we have blogged on many health concerns. Today we bring you news of a condition that has become an American epidemic.
We have given you tips for a healthy lifestyle, but there is an area of health and well-being that we might not have touched upon recently in our articles: sleep deprivation.
Take a look at Marla’s case: She and her friend, Shauna sit in our gorgeous late afternoon Florida sunshine at an outdoor coffee house. Their cute Spring outfits flutter in the light breeze as they sip their herbal tea. Beneath her color coordinated accessories and flawless make-up, Marla looks drawn and exhausted.
She exclaims, “I just don’t know what is wrong with me. I exercise 30 minutes every day and I eat healthy home cooked food. I never skip breakfast, but I have no energy, and now the least little thing that goes wrong makes me scream or cry. I am always tired and I am getting depressed. I must be really, really sick.”
It is true that Marla could have a number of illnesses to provoke these general symptoms, but the simplest explanation could be that Marla is suffering from that common American problem: sleep deprivation.
This is serious, because many health experts consider this condition to be epidemic in our task driven, over-achieving twenty-first century America.
How we sleep is as important to our health and well being as how we work, play and eat.
Below are several symptoms that you are not getting enough sleep, or that you are enduring low quality sleep:
1. “Gr-r-r-r!” You have never been a grouchy person, but you are now quite irritable, and you “snap at the littlest things and boil over in anger at the most trivial of mistakes.” As the day wears on you become less tolerant of little things. Road rage, anyone?
2. Need Z-z-z-z-z-z! Tiredness is an absolute constant, and sleep sounds like a wonderful idea all day. Your tasks become insurmountable, mountains. Your plate is just too full. Food does not give you energy.
3. Visions of Distress: Blurry vision is a common sign of poor sleep, as is a slowing down of your reaction time. Put these two symptoms together and who knows how many fender-benders are actually caused by lack of sleep?
4. Remember What? Your memory, concentration and productivity will suffer. You might catch yourself distracted and performing tasks like you are going through the motions in a disconnected, joyless and dream-like state.
5. S.O.S. Awkward! You suddenly seem to have forgotten how to communicate.
The intricacies of human communication overwhelm you in your haze of exhaustion. Even if you are normally introverted, you will long to be more so.
6. Crack The Whip! Instead of fire, stress lights your fuse. When you are suffering from sleep deprivation, the small daily stresses of life can make you crack. You melt “or fold, and just topple-over from any amount of stress or pressure. You feel like the whole world is on your shoulders and you can’t solve any problem you are faced with. You feel, in a word, helpless.”
At The Center For Natural And Integrative Medicine, we do not want you to feel like your only recourse will be the all too popular sleeping pill. If you have begun to suspect that you are suffering from sleep deprivation,
we bring you reassurance that many people use natural and alternative methods to gain relief. Every case is different, and after your medical examination and consultation, your doctor will review your options.
He or she might suggest simple cures like exercise, meditation, natural supplements, yoga, deep-breathing or nutritional improvements.
It’s time to stop shrugging off insomnia, and stop feeling guilty because you yearn for the simple comfort of a good night’s sleep. At the Center For Natural and Integrative Medicine, we can customize your personal solutions to your sleep disorder, and help you find healthy “sweet dreams,” again.
As for Marla, our fictional patient in the story above, let’s just say she found the cure to her insomnia in our restorative yoga class here at the Center!
Thank you for reading our blog, and until the next time, we bid you a happy, healthy sleeping!