Eliminating Insomnia Part 3
Managing Stress and Anxiety
Why Do We Sleep
Before we go over 'Managing Stress and Anxiety,' Let's talk about why we sleep. A failure to get the recommended eight hours of sleep can have devastating consequences. Many in the industrialized world no longer value sleep, despite the fact that sleep serves vital functions. This has created a sleep-depravation epidemic.
Consistently failing to get at least six or seven hours of sleep can lead to a drastic weakening of your immune system. It doubles the risk of cancer, interferes with blood sugar regulation, causes blockage of coronary arteries, and contributes to anxiety and depression. Lack of enough sleep also triggers the release of the hunger hormone, thus causing you to eat more and gain weight.
The World Health Organization now regards sleep loss as an epidemic, and in most Western nations, the preferred solution is sleeping pills. However, sleeping pills are not the best way to cause someone to fall asleep.
Lack of Sleep Can Kill You
There are two ways in which it is possible to die from lack of sleep. The first is a rare genetic disease that begins as insomnia. After a few months of struggling to fall asleep, a person stops sleeping completely. They soon lose basic body and brain functions, and since there are no drugs that can reverse the trend, the person dies within 18 months.
The second way that insufficient sleep causes death is through drowsy driving. There is one fatality per hour in the US due to traffic accidents caused by fatigue. This is more than car accidents caused by drug and alcohol combined.
Sleep Serves More Than One Function
Throughout the years, there has been an assumption that sleep only serves a single function, for example, conservation of energy or fulfilling of repressed desires. However, sleep has numerous benefits for every major organ in the body. Sleep optimizes your learnings capacity, memory, and emotional composure. It boosts your immunity, inspires creativity, prevents infection, controls appetite, lowers blood pressure, and strengthens your gut bacteria.
A single night of poor sleep is worse than starvation or lack of exercise. Ultimately, sleep s the one activity that has the greatest impact on the daily health of your body and brain.
Human beings are designed to sleep at night and also 30-60 minute nap in the afternoon. This biphasic pattern can be witnessed in cultures that still don't have electricity. Modernity has contorted this natural pattern and replaced it with a long monophasic pattern. Eliminating the afternoon nap has lead to an increase in cardiovascular disease and a shortening of the human lifespan.
Benefits of Sleep
People are ignorant of the massive health benefits of sleep due to a failure in public education. This is why many take pride in the fact that they get on very little sleep. Yet the truth is that lack of sleep leads to brain impairment, which especially affects your memory. Walker contends that sleep is essential for all forms of learning, memorizing, and creativity. Also, one commonly ignored function of sleep is to help you forget specific memories.
As long as you are awake, your brain is learning, and your hippocampus acts as a short-term memory reservoir. However, it has limited storage capacity, which means that you cannot add more information or you may have to overwrite old information.
Sleep gives your brain the ability to transfer old memories from the hippocampus to the cortex, which is the long-term storage area. This transfer creates more room for learning new memories. Therefore, taking a nap before learning gives you a learning advantage over those who choose to stay awake.
Storing information that you have just learned is one of the primary functions of sleep. When you sleep, your brain strengthens your memory by up to 40 percent, regardless of the type of information you have just learned. However, it is deep NREM not REM, which provides the greatest memory benefits. Sleep can even salvage lost memories.
Lack of sleep can devastate your brain and body, leading to a variety of health disorders. Since every single facet of human existence imaginable depends on sleep, regular naps may help you recover to some extent. Sleep loss is so harmful that even the Guinness Book of World Records has refused to recognize any more attempts at sleep-deprivation.
Microsleep has a major impact on loss of concentration
When sleep deprived, you quickly lose brain function, with the most deadly consequence being drowsy driving. Traffic accidents occur when a driver either completely falls asleep or engages in what is known as "microsleep." This is where you close your eyes for a few seconds and lose all motor functions. This is enough time to drift into the wrong lane and cause a deadly crash. Studies show that microsleep is caused by consistently getting less than seven hours of sleep. Accidents resulting from drowsy driving "exceed those caused by alcohol and drugs combined"
You Likely Cannot Diagnose Your Own Sleep Deprivation
Most People consistently underestimate their level of sleep deprivation. When you are chronically deprived of sleep for months or years, you gradually accept the consequences as being normal. Pretty soon, you become accustomed to reduced energy levels, lowered alertness, and poor physical performance. You trick yourself into believing that this is how your life should be, yet the truth is that you are sleep deprived.
The media constantly pushes the claim that a 20-minute power nap is enough to make up for insufficient sleep at night. However, this is inaccurate. A power nap may help you boost concentration for a few hours when tired, but it will not salvage your decision making, learning, and reasoning capacity. Once you lose sleep, you cannot reclaim it.
People who behave irrationally usually excuse themselves by saying that they "just snapped." These episodes of emotional irrationality are caused by sleep deprivation. Infants who don't sleep well tend to scream more than is normal.
Studies show that when you are sleep deprived, your amygdala becomes reactive and you become unable to balance both your positive and negative emotions. One minute you are ecstatic and the next you become terribly upset. Sleep deprivation also has been linked to aggression, pleasure-seeking, risk-taking, depression, and addictions.
Sleep is the bedrock of a healthy life and should take precedence over a good diet and exercise. If you focus on your diet and exercise but ignore your sleep you will not achieve the results you desire. Sleep deprivation is so powerful that it can alter your DNA. Inadequate sleep will ruin every major physiological system in your body.
Sleeping shorter hours (fewer than 6 hours) increases your risk of cardiac failure by 45 percent. Even if the other factors such as smoking and body mass are taken into consideration, a lack of sleep is likely to increase your blood pressure, heart rate, and lead to a stroke.
The effect of short sleep escalates as you approach midlife. Even being physically fit does not protect you. If you don't get more than 7 hours of sleep daily, your sympathetic nervous system goes into overdrive, your body releases more cortisol, and your cardiovascular system gets damaged over time.
Now Let's Talk About Managing Stress And Anxiety
- List down all your appointments
- Take A Walk
- Don't Be Afraid
- Do Chores
To Combat insomnia, you need to alter some of your usual practices. It is important to know a way around your worries. Being a responsible adult by maintaining a job and allotting time for relationships is stressful. There is no means of avoiding it. Try as you may but you'll just tire yourself over it. What you can do, however, is to keep everything at bay. Stress and anxiety will inevitably become a part of life. The tact is to figure out a way that you could keep a handle on matters. Perhaps by taking a breather once in a while, you can sort out all your issues and hopefully be able to establish a stable ground.
After exploring and understanding insomnia, its symptoms, causes, how it is diagnosed, and other related subjects on it, you could now venture on some new learning. This time, let it be about methods on eliminating the sleep disorder from your life. As you can tell, having a disturbance can lead to more complications due to sleep deprivation. With additional woes there to occupy your mind only means you lose sleep to the point that your body can't handle it anymore.
An effective technique in battling the disorder is to incorporate a sleeping habit. During the day, avoid taking naps and be stern in imposing a schedule for yourself. If you go to bed only at say 8 every night your body will soon get used to it. Eventually, drowsiness will visit you at the same time on a regular basis. This method works alright but it can be challenging. You need to be dedicated. With tons of inviting stuff there is, it may be tempting to break off your progress. Keep in mind that the new sleep pattern must be made a part of a nightly routine. You're supposed to follow through until you get results. Just remind yourself next time and time again of the goal.
Acupuncture, an alternative treatment practice, is another method of eliminating sleep disturbance from your life. Usually, the main tools are sets of needles that are inserted into regions of the body. Through this method, health is believed to improve. It's a big question mark as to how. It just makes it happen. There have been countless testimonials that can be found on the internet authored by people all over the world to back up the claim.
The Chinese were the ones who introduced acupuncture. They are proud of it because it promotes total wellness in individuals and in a way, teaches them to relax. In some cases, the oriental technique terrifies the living daylights out of people. According to them, because there exist other methods of getting rid of the sleeping disorder, it would only be right to pass on this one. The thought of needles pinned on can indeed be frightening.
Another proposed cure for insomnia is hypnosis. There are groups who insist that the sleeping disorder will go away if you carry the proper attitude. For them, it's all in the head. Regardless of their opinion being note-worthy or not, there are leading experts who focus on helping sleep-deprived folks with their struggle. The hypnotists load their patients' head with thoughts and strategies. By manipulating the mind and implanting in its instructions on how to cope with the loss of sleep, they can actually succeed.
It's not a surprise that through yoga, you can reward yourself with satisfying rounds of sleep. An hour or two of stretching and maintaining a posture is beneficial. It may be a form of exercise that focuses on the achievement of a sound mind but it also prepares the body for slumber. If you're not a fan of heavy workouts, yoga is your better option. Through it, there is no need to sweat it out in a gymn with all the usual bodybuilding equipment. You could attend a class or purchase a book with instructions on how to do it all on your own.
Yoga allows your muscles to relax and at the same time, drains it of energy so you will be invited to rest when you are about to wrap up your day. In fact, health advocates have suggested that incorporating a night-time routine of the practice is best. Insomniacs and all people, in general, will likely, get enough sleep after they've had their bouts of both exercise and meditation.
Also, unlike seeking treatment such as acupuncture and hypnosis, writing stuff down is not costly. You just need a pen and a paper and you're all set. By scribbling on a journal, not only will you use up time and gradually be worn out, but you also get to have a record of notes that you will soon appreciate. A year or so from the night you wrote things down, you will be grateful that you did. An intriguing truth is that most writers are insomniacs.
Insomnia needs to be driven off in whatever means you can think of. A serious case of sleep deprivation is not good. At the soonest possible moment, do something. Especially if you are burdened which chronic or long-term insomnia, you should do everything that you can to get treatment. Don't wait until your case becomes hopeless. The disorder's effects are not likely to manifest immediately but in time, you may find yourself in deep trouble.
What The Sleep Disorder Can Lead To:
- Poor performance at work
- Mental Retardation
- Unjustifiable fatigue
- Chronic Illnesses