Newly Discovered Consequences of Lack of Sleep

Posted on 16. Nov, 2018 by in Uncategorized

Researchers at Penn State have determined that less than 6 hours of sleep is associated with dehydration. It seems that less than 6 hours of sleep affects the production of Vasopressin, a hormone that regulates hydration.

Dehydration is associated with many illnesses and diseases. Acute dehydration can cause fatigue, loss of focus, cramping and low blood pressure.

Chronic dehydration is associated with obesity depression, anxiety, headaches and altered kidney function.

A rule of thumb for adequate hydration is 8 glasses of water per day. A more accurate method is to take half your weight in ounce. If a woman weighs 140 pounds, she needs to drink at least 70 ounces of water a day. Notice that I said water, not liquid or fluid. That 70 ounces does not include coffee, tea or soda.

Now we have science establishing the need for more sleep. Simply telling you to get more sleep is not so simple, especially for if you have insomnia. Many of us who came of age in the 1990’s, when relentless work was the recipe for success,  learned to live on 4-6 hours of sleep. This habit has carried forward and may be the cause of many of the chronic illness that we experience today.

Today we are immersed in the information age, surrounded by technology. When I was a child, we had one television that received 4 channels. We had one phone, attached to a wire, that plugged into the wall outlet. There was no internet, no social media, no computers. After dinner, the lights dimmed and things quieted down. This was the signal that bedtime was near. 8-10 hours of sleep was not unusual in those days.

If you are having trouble getting enough sleep or if you know that you are an insomniac, here are a few tips:

  1. Change your priorities. Sleep is  essential to good health. We have the science that proves the need for at least 6 hours of sleep. We also know the short-term and long-term effect of lack of sleep. We are designed to rest and sleep at least a third of our life.
  2. Quit lying to yourself. Insomnia is a bad habit, not caused by a weird metabolism or hormone imbalances or anything other than wrong ideas. We were all created with the same need for adequate rest.
  3. Insomnia is not a medical condition or illness. Do not rely on sleep aids like sleeping pills, herbal teas or potions. These can be habit forming. Sleep is a natural process and should be encouraged naturally.
  4. Set a time to call it a day.  Turn off your devices, specifically your phone and computer. You don’t need to continually worry about messages, mail or what is happening in social media. It will keep for the night. Also, it discourages your other insomniac friends from  bothering you.
  5. Give yourself some quiet time to decompress from the day. Turn off the television, radio, anything that makes noise or flashes light to allow your senses time to decompress. I have noticed in recent year that people have developed the habit of being plugged in all the time. They wear earbuds and continually gaze into their phones when they are walking down the street, riding elevators or waiting for the bus. Trust me, noting is that important, especially if you are crossing the street.
  6. Allow yourself to wake up naturally. Alarm clocks can cause you to wake up in the wrong sleep cycle and this can be very hard on your autonomic nervous system Adjust your sleep time to allow for a natural time to wake up .

For a PDF copy of this article, click the linkbelow:

Lack of Sleep PDF

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