Humans are definitely programmed for daytime activity and for rest at night. A large portion of the adult population suffer from difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep or early awakening.
Sleep help is a necessity as sleep is not a luxury. It is an important component of your health. Most people spend the majority of their time indoors, which allows limited exposure to natural light. Electric lighting is generally sufficient to allow for normal visual perception but it does not adequately support normal neuro-endocrine rhythms such as circadian rhythms. Very few night workers experience restful or restorative daytime sleep because of the imbalance in their rhythms.
Why we may need sleep help.
Many people are unaware of the potentially grave health effects of inadequate amounts of sleep. Major illnesses such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes and obesity are linked to insomnia. Psychological problems that can be linked to decreased work efficiency require some type of stress treatment as the lack of sleep over stimulates the sympathetic
nervous system, setting the stage for these to progress.
Anti Aging is our goal yet sleep disorders are continually playing a role in chronic conditions that lead to obesity, hypertension, elevated evening cortisol levels, impaired glucose control and increased inflammation.
Insufficient sleep and night time working can affect the frequency and amount of hormonal secretions and cause imbalances in cortisol, melatonin, growth hormone and thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH). Melatonin reduces core body temperature and causes sleepiness and light at night increases body temperature, alertness and performance.
Adult Aging comes with medical conditions that can effect our sleep, such as allergies, arthritis, cancer, fibromyalgia, prostate enlargement, hot flashes, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, hyperthyroidism, sleep apnea, restless leg syndrome and leg cramps.
Chronic stress and unhealthy lifestyle factors such as lack of exercise, irregular eating, poor sleep habits, excessive consumption of caffeine or alcohol and smoking all are triggers for insomnia. Some may feel alcohol promotes sleep but a few hours later you experience wakefulness. Computer work as well as environmental factors like noise, bright light and too much heat cause disturbance and fragmented sleep as well.
How do we get the sleep help we need to change this pattern?
There are many over-the-counter products sold and some may work for a short period of time. There are medications that offer many residual symptoms that may be uncomfortable or inappropriate for your lifestyle. You could meditate, medicate or count sheep. You can even find a practitioner that has an Alpha 2010 Bed that helps reduce the effects of lack of sleep. Many people try a twenty minute nap session during their lunch breaks. If you don’t get to the cause of the problem….you still have it months or years later.
Treatments health practitioners offer need to help you balance in all areas of your life. Effective management needs to be directed at the cause. It’s important to find someone knowledgeable in the use of supplements, hormone balancing, life style habits, eating and emotional balance. Achieving restful sleep is critically important to maintaining a healthy lifestyle and protecting yourself against disease.