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The Essentials Of Sleep
Posted by Trevor Roberts on Aug 7, 2014 - 4:45:38 PM

Sleep is something that we all need.
UNITED STATES—Sleep is something that we all need to re-energize for the next day. Unfortunately, in the day and age that we live in, sleep is not a necessity for the everyday American. I’ve heard countless stories from many people who operate on little to no sleep and I hear stories from people who sleep all the time and still want to acquire more sleep.


So can we come to a common ground regarding what is too much and too little sleep? Not really, it’s all dependent on the person. There are people I know who can function whole-heartedly on only four hours of sleep; yep, sounds ludicrous right? It is. The scary aspect is that the person complains about how tired they are, yet they don’t seem to burn out.


We are told time and time again by researchers that at least 6-8 hours of sleep a night is recommended to fully operate the next day. I know, personally, most adults are only averaging between 5-6 hours of sleep a night. So that means we’re spending about 18 hours a day operating without fully being ‘charged,’ as some people would say.  So what are some of the drawbacks of sleep deprivation? For starters, it can be dangerous behind the wheel. So many people fall asleep at the wheel and as a result tragic accidents occur. If the body is not up for a drive, the person should just sleep it off. It’s better to be safe than to be sorry.


Second, the body is not fully functioning when a person is sleep deprived. You might force yourself to complete tasks or work to be performed, but many more mistakes are likely to take effect. Drowsiness, failure to pay attention to detail and blurry vision are all factors that can affect one’s performance. So what can someone do to ensure quality sleep?


First of all, don’t fight the urge to sleep. If your body is fighting to stay awake than you are sleep deprived and in need of a nap. Yep, a nap! This might sound crazy, but a quick 20-30 minute nap does the trick for most people to revitalize the body. I don’t know why. A nap can seem like one has been sleeping for hours or days sometimes. Having a set sleep pattern/schedule is important. Inconsistency in sleeping patterns can cause the body to fight those urges to sleep when you’re ready to sleep. Forcing yourself to sleep is not a good option. If the body is not ready to rest, you are going to have difficulty making yourself sleep.


Perhaps the biggest issue with sleep deprivation is distractions. Eliminate the television, get rid of the cell phone and put away the music. Most people sleep best when the lights are off and the amount of distractions are at an absolute minimum. Some of you may be asking what about those people who sleep more than eight hours a day, and still find themselves not fully rested. Well, that’s a side effect of having too much sleep.


Yep, there is a thing known as excessive sleep, also known as hypersomnia or excessive daytime sleepiness (EDS) that is a lack of energy even after receiving a prolonged amount of sleep. The Epworth Sleepiness Scale is a questionnaire that has been developed to measure whether a person is suffering from the disorder. Narcolepsy, sleep apnea and circadian rhythm disorder are all factors that can impact a person from feeling overly sleepy even though a sufficient quantity of sleep has been obtained.


So in essence, if you’re one not getting enough sleep and you have no reason to believe that you are suffering from a sleep disorder, then make adjustments to your schedule. If you are an individual who is sleeping too much and you are obtaining a reasonable amount of sleep each night, then it might not be a bad idea to seek out treatment from a sleep specialist to see what the issue might be. In the end, sleep is essential for everyone.


Cliffside Malibu




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