Sleep Disorders Can Make or Break Your Health
Sleep disorders: A good night's sleep is one of the
blessings of life. Even a night or two of broken sleep can alert you to
the gritty, stretched stumble that becomes your day without sound,
But for those of us who endure much more than the
occasional night when the gates to the Land of Nod are locked, chained
and sealed shut, prolonged sleep deprivation can severely impact on
mood, lifestyle, performance and relationships. Sleep deprivation and
reaction time slowdown go hand in hand.
And it doesn't help when well-meaning friends brightly chirp 'Come
around to my place and I'll set you to work so you'll be so tired
you'll fall asleep without trying!"
The fact is, the human body and mind are extremely complex. Most of the
time they get things right, but when they get them wrong, the
consequences can be far-reaching and remedies difficult.
So it was with my sleep patterns. At different times I'd have trouble
getting to sleep; at other times, I'd drop off quickly then wake an
hour and a half later and be unable to go back to sleep... until about
half an hour before I was due to get up!
Yes, sleep disorders suck! In fact, I've read that 1 out of 10 visits
to the family doctor is due to chronic tiredness. So, what to do about
Sleeping pills are a false hope. Sure, they might work for a little
while and help to break a pattern, but bottom line is they don't really
allow you to get into the deepes stages of sleep when recovery takes
I've done a lot of reading and experimenting on ways to interrupt sleep
disorders, and it seems you can often train yourself to regain healthy
natural sleep patterns.
There are some pretty obvious lifestyle reviews - 'sleep
hygiene' - the experts call it. Just figure out whether you're doing
anything obvious that interferes with sleeping.
But the keys for me were:
- decide that bed meant sleep - tell myself as soon as
I lie down that it's time to relax and rest. Cut off any other
thoughts. That's a big one.
- go to bed and get up at the same time every day,
including weekends, and make that bedtime as late as you can
while allowing at least five hours for sleeping. You can always extend
it after your pattern improves.
Do that for perhaps 6 weeks (yes, it does seem forever!) and if you
mirror my experience, your sleep disorders
- and your life - could improve immensely!