Another study—this time about the effects of lack of sleep on the human body. The guinea pig was a young man who decided to see just how long he could go without sleep. The reason—according to him—was to see what happens if a person does not “lose” one –third of his or her life sleeping. What he wanted to do was to use the time he would otherwise use sleeping to do all sorts of other things. The results—he landed in a hospital with a range of health problems including hallucinating while talking to a pumpkin that he swore was talking to him.
The new study says that sleep is absolutely essential for good health. Without adequate sleep, the study says that the results can be one of a host of ailments including depression, high blood pressure, weight gain, heart disease, and probably early death. The article pointed to at least two people who fell dead from lack of sleep—one person stayed awake for 11 straight days watching the European Football Championship—then fell dead. Another, a bank intern died after three days of lack of sleep. Apparently lack of sleep disrupts all of the body’s normal functions
So how much sleep de we need. Some folks claim they can get by with 5 hours of sleep, but researchers say that the average—normal—person needs at least 7 hours, and, as we age, more sleep is better. Trying to catch up on sleep? Apparently you can never catch up on lost sleep. If you regularly go to bed at 2 a.m. and sleep about 5 hours, over the course a 7-day week you have lost 14 hours of sleep—if you need 7 hours per night. So how or when could you make up for those 14 hours. If you decided to make up for sleep on a weekend you would need to sleep a full regular 7 hours, plus the lost 14 hours meaning you would need to stay asleep for 21 hours to catch up. Can’t be done—and most certainly can’t be done over an extended period.
How to get a good night’s sleep? Everyone has a formula. Aside from medicinal sleep aids that some folks claim do more harm than good in the long run—getting a “natural” good night’s sleep can be a challenge. But going to bed at the same time every night, sleeping in a dark bedroom, not watching television in bed, getting enough physical exercise, and avoiding foods that have too much caffeine–all of this is supposed to help with a good night’s sleep. One sure-fire way to get to sleep is to learn how to breathe the way babies do. Watch a baby sleep and you will see their little mid-section—their diaphragm moving up and down. That is the key to getting to sleep. Breathe from the lower rib cage—breathe in while pushing the diaphragm outward then slowly exhale allowing the diaphragm to slowly constrict. Breathe deeply—not shallow short breaths through your nose and mouth, breathe in pulling all the air you can into your lungs, then release slowly. Do this several times and you will fall asleep before you know it. If you wake up through the night, just repeat the same deep breathing.
Happy New Year!!! Get some Shut eye!!
Copyright 2013 – L. Arthalia Cravin. All rights Reserved. No part of this commentary may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without written permission from the author.