Sleep Deprivation

How timely. This arrived in my inbox this morning from my employer's health benefits program. I write this with sniffling, post-nasal drip, sore throat and body aches. My observations are in red.

Did you know?
  • People who sleep fewer than 6 hours a night have a 50% increased risk of viral infections and an increased risk of heart disease and stroke (woke up sick)
  • Sleep allows both the body and the brain to rest and heal. Without enough sleep the brain loses power and an individual will have problems with memory and concentration (and here I've been blaming all that time I was on Zoloft)
  • Adults need 7-8 hours of sleep each night and school ages children/teens need at least 9-12 hours of sleep a night to be productive (I am lucky to get 6.5 during the week)
  • Driving while sleepy can be just as dangerous as driving drunk, since your reaction time are slower when you a sleepy (been there,done that, DO NOT want the t-shirt)
If you're one of the many people who are short on sleep, here are the some tips for getting a better night sleep:
  • Avoid stimulating activities within two hours of bedtime (does that include bedtime sex?)
  • Avoid caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol in the evening (so, no after dinner coffee or wine with dinner?)
  • Avoid going to bed on a full or empty stomach (I get home at 730, eat dinner about 8, in bed by 10)
  • Stick to a regular sleep schedule (what counts as regular?)
If you are spending enough time in bed and still wake up tired or feeling sleepy during the day then you could have a sleep disorder that you should discuss with your doctor.  Some signs of a sleep disorder are:
  • You consistently take more than 30 minutes each night to fall asleep
  • You consistently awaken several times each night and then have trouble falling back to sleep
  • Your bed partner says that when you sleep, you snore loudly, snort, gasp, make choking sounds or stop breathing for short periods of time while sleeping (no sleep apnea here thank goodness!)
  • You often feel sleepy during the day, you take frequent naps or you fall asleep at inappropriate times during the day (I thought that was just the sleep deprivation from lack of a good night's sleep)
The good news is my insurance offers an online program to help with your sleep issues. I wonder if I'll ever get around to signing up for it.
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