Thursday, March 7, 2013

Top 10 Sleep Awareness Week

National Sleep Awareness Week March 3 - 10, 2013

1. How many hours of sleep do you really need?  According to the chart on the NIH website, here are the recommendations:


AgeRecommended Amount of Sleep
Newborns16–18 hours a day
Preschool-aged children11–12 hours a day
School-aged childrenAt least 10 hours a day
Teens9–10 hours a day
Adults (including the elderly)7–8 hours a day

2. We have all had those days when we wake up groggy and we know why.  I didn't sleep well last night.

3.  What are some of the things that can keep us from getting a good nights sleep? I would venture to say the number one answer would be, something is on your mind. Temperature, lumpy pillow and unfamiliar environment would probably factor in as well.  We all like to be comfortable when we sleep.

4.  It is a time to let your hair down, let your cares go drifting into space (isn't that a song?), check out and disappear for a while and it is all legal.

5.There are things that can disturb ones sleep.  Noise is a big one for me.  I am like the guard dog.  I hear something and my nose immediately perks up, followed by my eyes opening up.  This is when I most feel like I have robot tendencies.  My eyes begin to roll, my head can spin around and in the very next nano second I can remain perfectly still as I analyze exactly where that noise came from.  I am the girl that determined that the siding was flapping in that last wind storm and the same one that knows it has not been addressed yet but I have turned in the report and I am no longer going to lose any sleep over it.

6. Medical conditions that can interrupt a good nights sleep include medications, read the labels when you take them.  Maybe you should take them during your waking hours.  Talk with your doctor if it is an issue.

7. Sleep Apnea is another serious medical condition that should be addressed.  Unless you are sleeping with someone else and they notice the symptoms like snoring, trying to catch your breath, dry mouth, sore throat, I don't know how you can know you have a problem.  The Mayo Clinic has a whole list of symptoms and to be diagnosed properly you most likely will have to take a sleep test which could or should involve an overnight stay in a hospital sleep clinic.

8. Peculiar sleep issues can be walking in your sleep and talking in your sleep.  In my previous life I was know to be a sleep talker but similar to my waking hours nobody is listening so why bother with the pillow talk.  I still try it every once in a while though with a question like, did you hear that? The response is typically no, I was sleeping.  If I find it to be a particularly dire situation, I will get more physical and use an elbow. He couldn't possibly be sleeping now.

9. Sleeping in on the weekend and catching up doesn't really equal that lost sleeping time.  The only  way to get back in sync is to get back to a normal schedule of the required amount of sleep for your age bracket listed above.

10. Although I don't recommend it because it drives me crazy to walk into a room with a tv blarinng and someone snoozing on the sofa, you could try a little white noise but please use the sleep function on the television. That is what it is there for.

I was a little disturbed the other day, I heard an advertisement for a sleep aid for shift workers.  Personally my hat goes off to these people because I don't know how they do it. I did it for a while alternating from day shift to night shift and some days I didn't know if I was coming or going.  Anyway I heard this advertisement, its a new medication and they talked about getting your sleep rhythm corrected.  I know this is a struggle for a lot of people, so it sounded like a good deal and then they slam you with the adverse reactions can cause nausea, diarrhea, convulsions, psychotic thoughts, dizziness, gas, headache, stomach pains and insomnia.  Those thoughts alone are enough to keep me up at night.  Did you ever try warm milk or meditation? It works. Those problems that keep you tossing and turning will not be cured overnight but if you get the proper sleep you could wake up with a fresh idea in how to tackle it. For the more serious conditions see a doctor.

Further reading and sources:
Sleep Disorders U. S. National Library of Medicine
Sleep Disorders National Sleep Foundation
CDC Fact Sheets on Insufficient Sleep

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