Some of us take on so much that there aren’t enough hours in the day to handle it all. And because of this, more people suffer from a lack of sleep. The mind is always racing. You toss and turn and before you know it, the alarm clock is not your friend. So many times you wonder how the night got away. You go to work cranky and tired with little energy. Doctors say we need to get between 7-9 hours of sleep each night in order to function at our best. If you are constantly waking up every hour, tossing and turning most of the night, or it’s taking you hours after lying in the bed before you fall asleep; you need to know the importance of sleep.
Sleep disorders are linked to other chronic ailments such as hypertension, diabetes, anxiety, and depression. Furthermore, having poor sleep quality reduces your productivity, concentration, mental clarity, and overall energy level. Many people need caffeine or another stimulant in order to function properly. Ignoring sleep problems and disorders can damage your physical health and lead to weight gain, accidents, impaired job performance, memory problems, and put a strain on your relationships. If you want to feel your best, stay healthy, and perform up to your potential, quality sleep is a necessity, not a luxury.
For a year I had a problem getting to sleep at a decent time so that I could get at least 6 hours of sleep each night. I tried many things, but nothing seemed to work. I spoke to my doctor and she blamed it on stress. At the time, I had a good job, a comfortable apartment, my son was doing well and I was writing a book. I thought I was happy, but she kept telling me I had to be worrying about something. I was never given a stress test, but I agreed with what the doctor said and started meditating to relieve stress. When that didn’t work, I complained again and was diagnosed with thyroid disease. Sometimes not getting sleep can be a serious medical issue, so we cannot take it lightly.
Sleep is needed to regenerate the body. Instead of continuing a bad habit of filling your body with caffeine and/or nicotine, there are many natural ways to get the proper rest each night. The reasonable thing to do first is never take on too much at a time; spread things out over a period of time so you’re not overwhelmed. But heavy demands on your job can make this impossible. If so, practice meditation. This can be done right before bedtime to relax the mind. Some find that reading helps. Take evening walks. Take a warm bath. Listen to soothing music to wind the body down. Try organic teas and oils made specifically to help you rest. I use an aromatherapy diffuser filled with peppermint or lavender oil to calm me at night.
There are different kinds of sleep orders, so talk with your doctor. Again, it is important and necessary to rest the mind and body. One of the most common sleep disorders is circadian rhythm. When the brain does not release enough melatonin, the circadian rhythm is thrown off and cannot distinguish night from day. People who travel a lot to places where time zones changes or overnight workers normally suffer with this disorder. Take your sleep disorder serious by talking to your doctor about the health risks. Keep a log of your day:
- The time you went to bed.
- Estimate how many hours you slept.
- What time you took any drugs or medication.
- How much alcohol or caffeine consumption each day.
- Your mood that day/evening.
I encourage you to try natural ways to help rest the mind. Regular exercise, lowering caffeine, alcohol and nicotine intake, and going to bed around the same time each night can help. Maybe you just need a better mattress. Part of being healthy is getting enough sleep. Remember; we want to function each day to the fullest of our potential so, get out a nice set of pajamas and do whatever else it takes to help you get the proper rest!
By Lisa J. Stevens
Author and Entrepreneur