We have discussed sleep and how much you need many times here at the Neck Pain Support Blog. Yesterday morning, yet again, the Today Show had a peice on how not sleeping enough can be harmful to your health.
Researchers have shown that about 1/3rd of Americans are not getting the required 8 hours of sleep. Why? Simply, other things take precedent: folding laundry, writing bills, emailing our friends, working late, buying on amazon, etc. Most people are getting 5-6 hours of sleep (2 hours less).
Sleep deprivation can cause health problems at all ages such as:
- mood disorders such as anxiety and depression
- memory loss
- gaining weight
- more prone to getting sick (3x more likely to get an infection, flue or cold symptoms
- kids can be misdiagnosed with ADD because of sleep disorders
- can lead to cancer, diabetes and obesity
- can affect all organs
On the Today Show, their health corespondent Dr. Nancy Snyderman made a great point. She asked "how fast are you falling asleep when head hits the pillow". If you fall asleep instantly, there is an issue. It should take you 10-15 minutes to fall asleep.
Not sleeping enough releases stressor chemicals into the body. Your body will go downhill in terms of health. This doesn't happen overnight, but over time it can affect your health. Even one night of not sleeping well, changes the hormones in our body.
According to a Today Show Poll, they showed that only 8% of their views got 8+ hours of sleep. Interestingly only 33% viewers only get 5-6 hours of sleep per night.
So what can we do to sleep better?
- Keep the place you sleep, your bedroom dark, quiet and peaceful. That means no television, computers, tablets, or big bright alarm clocks
- If you are very sensitive to how caffiene affects you, then don't drink it in the afternoon
- Refrain from taking a late afternoon nap, take it earlier so it does not affect your sleep
- Use your bed mainly for SLEEP
- Have a routine for when you go to bed each night. As we get older, its gets harder to regulate our circadian rhythms.
- Use a supportive neck pillow at night to help you sleep comfortably on your side or on your back
Picture Source: The Huffington Post
Additional Reading Resources:
- Choose the Best Neck Pillow for Sleep AND better Posture
- 6 Ways to Get a Better Night's Sleep Naturally
- Positioning Pillows to Help you be comfortable at night
- The New Arc4life Natural Alignment Neck Pillow
- Not Sleeping Well at Night? Learn What May Be the Culprit.