Quality Sleep Might Be the Best Medicine for a Healthy Life

Remember those days when all of us could take a nap in kindergarten?

Sleep is something all of us do nearly every day. I had one time in my life when I stayed awake for 166 hours straight. I was much younger – college age. The opportunity to work an extra job from 10 p.m. until 6 a.m. for a week paid well enough to take.

I went to school during the days, worked my regular job after school, and then went to another job. I knew that it was a one-time-only option and found it easy to do – like fasting for 150 hours or more. I do an extended fast of at least 72 hours monthly, and most of the time, I end up with over 140 hours.

Regardless, I found some interesting information on health and sleep today when researching today’s topic.

Sleep Deprivation

https://www.healthline.com/health/sleep-deprivation/effects-on-body. There have been many studies telling us that consistent poor-quality sleep can increase the risk of early death. Our bodies need rest to make the required repairs and restorations needed for a healthy life. Marginalize sleep, and the door opens for many potential health issues.

Brain fatigue is a common problem associated with a lack of quality sleep. Our brains cement the memories firmly during sleep. Disrupt sleep, and the brain stays constantly exhausted. Over time, poor sleep patterns can increase the risk of anxiety, depression, and many other mental health concerns.

One part of the body that is of immense importance to us during the pandemic is our immune system. Sleep deprivation prevents the immune system from creating the antibodies and cytokines needed to provide defense against foreign invaders.

Long-term sleep issues have been associated with significant increases in risks of diabetes and heart disease. The respiratory, cardiovascular, and endocrine systems require quality sleep to function normally.

Latest Study

https://www.medicinenet.com/current_health_news/article.htm. Results were published this past week (June 8, 2021) in the Journal of Sleep Research (https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/jsr.13392) about an analysis of around one-half million middle-aged adults in Britain. When individuals had both diabetes and poor-quality sleep, the risk of death increased nearly 90% over nine years. Those with diabetes and no sleep issues saw just over a 10% increase in death in nine years.

Many times, we do not take sleep problems seriously. We are stressed, behind schedule, or any of a dozen other reasons we choose to blame for poor sleeping patterns. Sleeping pills are never the answer, especially long-term.

Sleep Duration Studies

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2864873/. This link has in-depth information on health and the amount of sleep attained per night. This article might be just the right medicine for those having difficulty going to sleep! How many hours are required for optimal health? Too little, and you have problems. Too much, and you also have issues.

Researchers determined that most people require between six and eight hours of sleep daily. Less than five hours of sleep daily leads to the most significant risk of death from all causes.

Conclusion

The cause of sleep disruption or deprivation is approximately equal when comparing insomnia, sleep apnea, and other related sleep disorders. When you find yourself being sleepy daily, frequently yawning, tired, and irritable, you may want to bring it up with your doctor.

Again, sleep issues are commonly not taken seriously enough to discuss with physicians. Stimulants (caffeine) hide the problem temporarily and may increase difficulty going to sleep.

Microsleep is dozing off for a few seconds. We think we can keep our eyes open and focused on driving, operating equipment, or other functions that can significantly increase the risk of injury or death. When the body wants to go into microsleep mode, it is nearly impossible to ignore it.

You might find that some drugs induce a microsleep session that ends up in minutes instead of seconds. When our bodies are fatigued from lack of quality sleep, exercise is the perfect answer but never chosen because it does not compute in our brains.

When you find sleep challenging to achieve, wake up tired, and transitioning to the real world more and more complex daily, you have options. Stop taking naps. I take a quick nap (under ten minutes) two or three times a week. Short naps do not interfere with your standard sleep patterns. Longer naps can disrupt the sleep cycle.

Stop eating, drinking alcohol, and exercising at least four hours before going to bed. Avoiding blue light from computers and cell phones can help many people. Quality sleep may be elusive for a few. I used Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) when I traveled back and forth across many times zones when I was in the military. Go to YouTube and use keywords sleep and EFT. Follow the instructions on the video.

By the way, after being awake for 166 hours, I slept for 22 hours – like a baby!

Live Longer & Enjoy Life! – Red O’Laughlin – RedOLaughlin.com

 


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