Our parents have been telling us for years to get 8 hours sleep but with busy lifestyles, work demands and social lives brimming with invitations how many of us actually get enough shut eye...?
Now we've all heard of the saying "You can sleep when your Dead"; but studies are indicating that this off the cuff comment may be more accurate then first thought.
Epidemiology studies have found the following increases in people getting less than 6 hrs of sleep.
- Stroke: increased risk by a factor of 4x
- Obesity: increased due to the increase in ghrelin a hunger hormone
- Diabetes: insulin resistance is increased due to sleep deprivation
- Accelerated memory loss. Not only permanent cognitive loss, but evidence in early brain deterioration
- Osteoporosis: changes in bone mineral density and bone marrow changes
- Cardiac disease is also increased; 48% increase in early cardiac death and in mortality
- Overall increase in death by 4 fold.
And if that's not reason enough to hit the hay according to a poll conducted by the National Sleep Foundation, up to 26% of people say that their sex lives tend to suffer because they're just too tired. There's evidence that in men, impaired sleep can be associated with lower testosterone levels.
So its clear if you want be having better fun in the sheets you need to be hitting them more often.
Getting in sync with your body’s natural sleep-wake cycle (your circadian rhythm) is one of the most important strategies for achieving good sleep. 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. This holds true even if you alter your sleep schedule by only an hour or two. Consistency is vitally important.
- Set a regular bedtime. Many clients say this is the hardest. The key is setting the the wake time then you'll naturally be tired by the end of the day for sleep. If you're constantly sleeping in its hard to force yourself to sleep that evening.
- Wake up at the same time every day. Waking up naturally without an alarm is the besty measure of adequate sleep.
- Be smart about napping. While taking a nap can be a great way to recharge, especially for older adults, it can make insomnia worse. If insomnia is a problem for you, consider eliminating napping. If you must nap, do it in the early afternoon, and limit it to thirty minutes.