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18 Jun 2019

Is Sleeping Too Much a Sign of a Health Problem?

 

If you feel tired all the time, and this is causing you to stay in bed longer then you can ever remember doing before, then this could be evidence that you are struggling with a chronic health problem.

Sleeping for 10 hours or more each night is harmful to your health. The CDC, in combination with the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, found three specific health concerns which are linked to having too much sleep.

  • Getting too much sleep raises your risk of experiencing chronic disease, such as coronary heart disease, diabetes, obesity, or anxiety if you are above the age of 45.
  • If you sleep too much, your risks of stroke, diabetes, and heart disease are higher than if you don’t get enough sleep each night.
  • If you get this at least seven hours of rest each night and still feel tired the next day, this could indicate that you have a health problem.

Are you experiencing these issues right now? Then it is an excellent time to schedule an appointment with your doctor.

Don’t Ignore Sleep Problems

Anyone can have an acute case of insomnia and feel tired the next day. The issue with getting too much sleep is that you still feel high levels of fatigue despite getting plenty of rest.

Never ignore problems with sleep. It could be an indication that you are dealing with a health issue like anemia, thyroid problem, chronic insomnia, or even sleep apnea.

There are two types of insomnia to consider: primary insomnia and secondary insomnia.

Secondary insomnia is concerning because it occurs due to another health condition, like asthma, arthritis, or depression. Sleeping too much while dealing with one of these issues indicates a cycle of poor sleep that your body attempts to correct by oversleeping when t can. 

These health issues interfere with your regular sleep cycles and can worsen chronic health conditions like heart disease.

Your doctor might refer you to a sleep specialist to see if there is a specific condition to diagnose. When you treat sleep-related conditions, you can significantly improve your quality-of-life and reduce your risk of future disease development.

Start by Tracking Your Sleep in a Journal

If you are concerned about the amount of sleep you get each night, then the first thing to start doing is to track your journey of rest. Keeping a sleep journal, and then sharing it with your doctor, can provide a significant resource in the development of your treatment plan.

Start recording when you go to bed, when you think you fall asleep, and the times that you wake up at night. You will want to document the quality of your sleep, how do you feel when getting out of bed in the morning, and then how you feel during the day.

This information will help your doctor correctly diagnose your condition. This step helps to get you the assistance needed to improve your sleep, support good health, and renew your energy levels.

27 May 2019

How Much Sleep is Necessary for Good Health?

 

There are times when it seems like getting by on less sleep is the only answer to your busy schedule. If you don’t get enough rest every night, then there is a substantial penalty that must be paid by your energy levels, mental sharpness, and ability to handle stressful situations.

Understanding how much sleep you need each night makes it possible to improve the quality of your life went awake. The amount of sleep you receive directly impacts your physical and mental health.

There is a large gap between the amount of sleep you require to function optimally and what can get you through the average day.

How Much Sleep Should I Get?

According to information published by the National Institutes of Health, the average adult requires 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night. There is a one-hour window on each side of that number where some people can still get enough rest.

Older adults are the exception to the rule. Once you reach the age of 65, then getting 7-8 hours of sleep can be enough. Some people in this category can function successfully on just five hours of sleep each night.

Children require more sleep than the average adult. Younger kids typically need more sleep than older ones, especially in the first year.

  • Up to 19 hours of sleep per day may be appropriate for some newborns, going up to 3 months in age.
  • Between 4-11 months, up to 18 hours per day may still be necessary for some kids.
  • Once a child reaches their first birthday, they might only sleep for 9 hours each night.

Help! My Kids Don’t Want to Go to Sleep at Night!

The struggle that parents face when their children start growing up is that their sleep cycle might require more rest than what their kids need. By the age of 6, some children may require just seven hours of sleep every night.

Your body might require more rest, so up to 10 hours of sleep could be necessary to meet your health needs.

That three-hour gap between the two requirements can be a source of strain in some families. The kids either get up early or go to bed late and feel rested while the parent begins to experience symptoms of chronic sleep loss.

The best way to know if you’re getting enough sleep (or if your kids are sleeping enough) is to evaluate how you feel throughout the day.

When you’re logging enough sleep hours each night, then you will feel alert and energetic throughout the day. You will wake up feeling ready to tackle any task, then stay that way until it is time to go to bed.

Kids will experience these feelings too.

If that aspect of life is missing, then that is evidence that you’re not getting enough rest at night. Try to get an extra hour of sleep to see how you feel.

When sleep problems continue despite making lifestyle changes, then it is time to go see a doctor or sleep specialist. Everyone is a little different, but if you follow these guidelines, it is possible to obtain a snapshot of your health.

10 May 2019

6 Best Pillows for Side Sleepers

 

There is no one-size-fits-all solution for pillows in the world today. Each person has a sleep pattern that is different from what everyone else experiences.

Your pillow should be comfortable. If you prefer to sleep on your side, then there are some structural elements to take into consideration as well. Side sleepers require extra support for their spine, shoulders, and neck.

Many pillows on the market today claim to be the best option for people who sleep on their sides. Here are some of the options to consider if you’re in the market for a new side sleeper pillow today.

#1. Leesa Hybrid Pillow

This pillow offers high levels of comfort and support for the neck and shoulders. It features a reversible design, providing a quilted side and a cooling component for regulating the temperature around your head. An additional insert between the levels can increase support levels for those who need it.

#2. Eightsleep Ultimate Pillow

This pillow provides an adjustable design for side sleepers to enjoy too. It follows a proprietary model that makes it possible to adjust the inner layers of the product. There are nine different setups to use, making it easier than ever to find the right combination of firmness and height to help you sleep. Try keeping the memory foam piece on top as a side sleeper for best results.

#3. Xtreme Comforts Bamboo Pillow

If you prefer to sleep on your side and struggle with allergies during the night, then this is an excellent pillow to choose. The interior of the product is filled with shredded memory foam, so it maintains proper density without becoming lumpy or flat. Remove fill to reach your preferred firmness level, then enjoy its hypoallergenic cover for a truly restful sleep.

#4. Parachute Home Pillow

This pillow offers European white down as a fill, combine with a sateen cotton shell. It’s one of the few products for side sleepers that comes with an extended warranty too. You’ll need to choose your density during the shopping process, with options ranging from soft to firm. Every item sold by this manufacturer is ethically repurposed and doesn’t harm the birds involved in the down production.

#5. BrookStone Bio-Sense Pillow

This pillow uses memory foam to fit the specific shape profile side sleepers need while resting in bed. It features perforation patterns that promote better airflow while sleeping, reducing temperature changes that can wake you up. The design takes pressure off of your neck and back, while the contouring design offers help to reduce the strain on your shoulders. It includes green tea as a way to limit odors while you sleep too.

#6. Temperpedic Contour Pillow

This pillow offers an ergonomic shape that provides some extra support while you sleep. If you toss-and-turn at night, then you can sleep on either side in comfort with this breathable design. Cooling gel helps to keep you comfortable all night long too.

If you struggle to find rest at night as a side sleeper, then these pillows will help you fall asleep fast, then hopefully stay sleeping longer because of their supportive designs. 

01 May 2019

What Happens If You Don’t Sleep for 72 Hours?

 

Have you ever pulled an all-nighter? How did you feel the next day?

Were you tired? Was it challenging to focus on specific tasks? Did it make you crave time in bed?

Most people experience sleep deprivation at some point in their lives. 

Not getting enough sleep once in a while doesn’t seem like a big deal, but the impact of sleep deprivation is intense. The effects can linger long after you finally get some rest.

During extreme circumstances of sleep deprivation, you can even create life-threatening symptoms.

Chronic poor sleep increases the risk of experiencing a severe medical condition, such as heart disease, diabetes, or obesity.

If you manage to stay up for 72 hours (that’s 3 days!), then here is what happens to your body.

72 Hours Without Sleep: Hallucinations and More

If you stay awake for three consecutive days without getting any sleep, then significant cognitive deficits are in your future. You will experience issues with concentration, perception, and motivation.

People struggle with other higher mental processes after 72 sleepless hours as well. Even a simple conversation can feel like an impossible task.

This time is when the mind becomes the septa bull to hallucinations. You might see someone standing in the shadows, but that person turns out to be a branch upon closer inspection.

You will also start to experience stronger symptoms of sleep deprivation that occurred over the past days too. Disorientation, microsleep, and even blackouts are possible.

Why Do These Symptoms Occur?

You begin to experience these negative symptoms when you don’t receive the sleep you need because the body starts shutting down. It tries to get the rest it needs to help you accomplish your goals.

Microsleep is the most dangerous symptom of them all. Your body compensates for the lack of sleep by shutting itself down involuntarily. You might find yourself sleeping for a second or a minute, then startle yourself awake while experiencing an episode of disorientation.

You are not consciously aware of what is happening when your body shuts down like this. That is why driving while experiencing sleep deprivation is dangerous. You could literally fall asleep behind the wheel and not know what was happening.

It Only Takes 24 Hours for Symptoms to Begin

Sleep deprivation of 24 hours is enough to experience the physical symptoms of not getting enough rest.

The consequences of not getting any sleep for just a day create physical symptoms which are similar to someone who has a blood-alcohol content of 0.10.

That means your judgment is affected by this condition. You may experience lapses in memory. There is a deterioration in your decision-making abilities. Some people even experience a decline in their hand-eye coordination.

The only way to find relief from these symptoms is to get some sleep. 

Most people will see a reduction in these symptoms after one full night of rest. The concerns typically disappear after 2-3 nights of consistent sleep.

Not all instances of sleep deprivation are voluntary. If you require caffeine to start your day, feel tired while driving, or have restless arms and legs at night, you may need to speak with a sleep specialist about your health.

By treating these symptoms, you can improve the rest you get each night. 

21 Apr 2019

How to Wake Up Earlier in the Morning

 

It is easy to set the alarm for the morning with the best of intentions. You have big plans, and an early wake-up call will help to get things moving.

Then the alarm clock sounds in the morning. You don’t want to get out of bet at all. Maybe you decide to hit the snooze button a few times.

It doesn’t take long for good intentions to turn into “I’m almost late for work.”

If you struggle to wake up in the morning, or if you want to start your day earlier than you are right now, then here are some ways to help you rise when the alarm sounds.

#1. Streamline Your Routine

It is helpful to trim down your morning routine if you’re trying to wake up earlier. People stay in bed because they don’t want to confront the tasks that are waiting for them if they throw back the covers. Try getting the coffeemaker ready before you go to bed the night before. Set out your clothes for the next day. Stop waiting in line to get some breakfast.

Look for ways to save some time, and you might discover that you don’t need to get up earlier than you are.

#2. Take Melatonin

A melatonin supplement can help to stimulate sleep. It will also start the process of re-orientating your circadian rhythm. Take the lowest possible dose at first, which is usually about 1mg, about 2-3 hours before bedtime. An earlier sleep onset may develop, making it easier to wake up in the morning.

Melatonin does make some people feel sleepy throughout the next morning. A small percentage of individuals also experience dream pattern changes with this supplement.

#3. Find Gratefulness

Today’s society conditions us to believe that gratefulness occurs only when we do more, work faster, or improve our efficiencies in some way. If you don’t feel like being productive, then getting up in the morning can be a challenge. Schedule something in the early morning that gives you joy. Go for a walk in the park, grab some coffee, or spend some extra quality time with your family.

#4. Plan Your Weekend

One way to combat high levels of stress is to plan a vacation. Even though the time might be several months away, the act of planning can relieve your tension. The same process occurs if you expect a fun weekend at the start of a hectic week. Think about something you could do with your leisure time for your next day off, and you will find that it is easier to get up in the morning.

#5. Stop the Electronics Habit

If you struggle to wake up in the morning, then it could be your mobile device, television, or computer that is causing the issue. Turning them off at night is a good first step, but it might not be enough to establish the routine you require. Consider getting rid of everything for a while to reset your internal clock. Tackle an outdoor activity. Do something extraordinary.

Getting up earlier is never easy, but it is possible when you have suggestions like these helping to ease the transition. 

What steps do you follow to get up early every day?