In an article on the Harvard Business Review website, entitled “How sleep improves work productivity” by David Dunning and Matthew Killingsworth of Cornell University, they write that “sleep is essential for human survival”. Yet most people don’t get enough sleep to reap its benefits.” They go on to state that “we find that a single night’s lost sleep can have long-term consequences”. Furthermore, in this same study Drs. Dunning and Killingsworth report that “the average person loses about one hour per day due to poor sleeping habits.” Thus, it would appear that there are many who do not meet the minimum amount of hours required for optimal functioning and therefore experience negative consequences as a result. The purpose of this paper will be to examine some of these negative effects and discuss ways to improve your life through improved sleep patterns.
This paper examined several studies which show how lack of or reduced sleep affects our daily lives and what we may need to change in order to make improvements. Some of the findings were surprising and others weren’t so much; however, all of them led me to believe that I should reconsider my current sleep patterns and perhaps even consider getting more restful nights each week.
Benefits of Getting Enough Sleep
The first benefit of sufficient amounts of sleep comes from the fact that when we are well rested, we feel better physically than if we had less than adequate sleep. A healthy body needs proper nutrition in order to function properly. Just like food, we also require certain nutrients throughout the course of every day such as those found in water. We refer to this source of hydration as drinking water or simply having access to clean running water. When you drink water regularly, you stay alert because your brain cells receive oxygenated blood flow. If you skip meals or eat too little then you become dehydrated. Dehydration leads to fatigue and tiredness.
In addition, the nervous system becomes impaired and is unable to send messages correctly. This causes drowsiness which makes it difficult to think clearly and concentrate at times. You might say that dehydration is similar to being hungry but without eating! It takes just two days of insufficient sleep before the body begins to suffer adverse health conditions. Most experts agree that adults require between seven to eight hours of uninterrupted sleep during the night time period. Children require even longer periods of sleep due to their rapid growth rate. As children grow older, they develop into teenagers and young adults. Teenagers typically need 9 – 10 hours of sleep while young adults only need 7 – 8 hours of sleep. Adults who lose 1 – 2 hours of sleep during the night usually wake up feeling groggy and sluggish the next morning. To get proper and adequate sleep, try using comfortable beddings. You must choose the softest bed sheets, blankets and mattresses.
What is Sleep Deprivation
Sleep deprivation has been defined by medical professionals as “a condition where individuals fail to obtain normal levels of sleep over an extended period of time. Lack of sleep often results from various factors including excessive daytime activity coupled with inadequate nighttime sleep.” According to research conducted by the National Institute on Aging, approximately 75% of Americans don’t get enough sleep. Many people find themselves falling asleep around midnight and waking up around 6 am after spending 12 hours awake. They wonder why they feel so exhausted and lethargic. It is important to understand that sleep loss occurs gradually and does not happen overnight. Over time, it builds up until someone finds themselves chronically sleepy. People suffering from chronic insomnia actually fall asleep during the day instead of going to bed early at night.
There are three main reasons why most people have difficulty achieving good quality sleep. First, they spend far too much time watching television, surfing the Internet, reading books or playing video games. These activities keep us away from the bedroom and prevent us from winding down before bedtime. Second, we work very hard during the day and try to compensate for missing out on sleep later in the evening. Unfortunately, working harder doesn’t always help since it tends to increase stress levels. Third, modern society encourages us to remain active 24 hours a day. To accomplish tasks such as answering emails, checking social media sites, shopping online, ordering takeout dinners and catching up on household chores requires constant movement.
Effects of Sleep Deprivation on Work
The effects of lack of sleep can be devastating because they tend to occur slowly. However, when you finally realize what’s happening to your brain and how quickly this process happens, it becomes easier to see how detrimental these changes really are. If you’re experiencing any one of the following symptoms, then chances are that you’ve become severely sleep deprived:
In addition, there are many other side effects associated with poor sleeping habits that affect our overall well-being. When we do not get adequate restorative sleep every single night, our bodies experience physical ailments like headaches, fatigue, muscle aches, decreased energy level, constipation issues, mood swings, depression, anxiety, memory problems, weight gain, etc. Not getting enough sleep also affects our ability to focus and remember things. This leads to more mistakes and errors in judgment. Research shows that if you sleep less than six hours a night, you’ll make twice as many critical thinking blunders as compared to those who got nine hours worth of shut eye. In fact, studies show that employees who slept fewer than five hours per night were almost four times more likely to commit workplace errors than workers who averaged about seven hours of sleep each night. And according to another study published in the Journal of Applied Psychology, researchers discovered that men who worked long shifts had higher rates of impulsive behaviors when they didn’t get enough sleep. So, if you want to improve your productivity at work, start by making sure that you obtain sufficient sleep each night. One way is to follow a regular schedule so that you know exactly when you need to go to bed and wake up in order to achieve optimum results throughout the course of the next twenty-four hour period. Another simple solution would be to avoid caffeine after noon while trying to maintain an eight-hour gap between dinner and going to bed. That way, you won’t feel jittery all through the night which will allow you to enjoy some uninterrupted slumber. It may sound counterintuitive but research has shown that taking short naps throughout the afternoon helps boost concentration and creativity. Of course, if you use caffeine, don’t drink alcohol or consume food within two hours prior to falling asleep; otherwise, you risk becoming extremely groggy upon waking up. Also, make sure you don’t stay awake late into the nighttime. Ideally, let yourself drift off around 10 P.M. and only awaken when morning comes. Don’t think that simply lying down on the couch, staring blankly at the TV screen and waiting for daylight to come is a legitimate strategy to pass the time. According to experts, doing nothing except relaxing isn’t productive. On the contrary, staying busy will stimulate the mind and increase blood flow to the cerebral cortex. Moreover, engaging in mental exercises such as meditation, creative writing, solving puzzles, exercising, learning something new or even just reflecting on life experiences will promote better cognitive function.
How to Improve Your Sleep
So, what can we do to ensure that we get adequate rest? First of all, it’s important to realize that there are certain factors outside our control that impact how well rested we are. For instance, whether or not we have access to sunlight during the day is irrelevant because this element determines vitamin D levels, which directly affect melatonin production. What matters most in terms of improving sleep quality is getting enough exposure to light at night. Additionally, since we spend half of our lives sleeping, we should try to optimize the amount of time spent in REM sleep. A good rule of thumb would be to set aside three hours every other weeknight to catch up with Zs. If you’re someone who struggles to fall asleep right away, consider keeping a white noise machine running beside your pillow until you finally nod off. Finally, one of the best ways to ensure that you get the proper number of hours of shuteye is to eliminate any activities before bedtime that interfere with sleep onset. Think about turning off electronics, avoiding stressful situations and limiting the consumption of caffeinated beverages. Buying a new bed sheet and other beddings that are comfortable can also help in improving your quality of sleep. With these tips in place, you shouldn’t experience too much difficulty obtaining the recommended eight hours of sleep every single night.
The Importance of Being Healthy: How Exercise Can Help You Lose Weight & Keep Fit!
Health is wealth! Without proper health, no matter how wealthy you might appear, you cannot live a full and happy life. So, why do so many people fail to take care of their bodies? It seems like everyone wants quick fixes instead of focusing on long-term strategies that help them achieve lasting results. And while some treatments are effective, they usually involve harsh chemicals or invasive procedures that require anesthesia. The solution lies in physical activity—not necessarily intense exercise, but rather daily movement. This type of routine boosts energy and keeps us healthy by promoting weight loss, reducing stress and regulating metabolism. In addition, regular workouts improve bone density, strengthen connective tissues and prevent osteoporosis. Here are five benefits of being fit:
- Exercise lowers cholesterol Levels.* High cholesterol is linked to heart disease. While diet plays an essential role in lowering bad LDL cholesterol, exercise works wonders for boosting HDL cholesterol. Studies show that adults who exercised regularly had lower total cholesterol and triglyceride levels than those who did little or none.
- Exercising increases self confidence.* When people feel stronger and healthier, they become less likely to give up easily and stick with hard tasks longer.
- Exercise reduces stress.* Regular aerobic training improves cardiovascular fitness and strength, which means your body doesn’t need to work harder to maintain normal functions. As a result, you’ll find yourself dealing with fewer stressors in your everyday life. Stress often leads to overeating, lack of focus and fatigue.4*5.
Sleep is an essential part of our lives and it is very important that we get an adequate amount of sleep and rest to stay active and energetic throughout the day.