Thursday, April 7, 2011

Good Friday is a Good Nights Sleep

Do you lose sleep at night because you dread going to work the next day? A study of 3,500 adults surveyed admitted calling in sick on Monday because Sunday night is the worst night to sleep easy. As many as 80% found that they slept the best on Friday night because they weren’t stressed about their bitchy boss or trying to finish that dreadful project. Sleep deprivation during the week can be blamed for lack of focus, increase frustration and falling asleep on the job. Not only are 60% of the people surveyed not sleeping well on Sunday night, they are trying to make up for lost sleep on Friday and Saturday night. This not only disrupts your sleep/wake cycle, but a sleep marathon will not make up for your sleep debt. What a body needs is a consistent sleep pattern of 7-9 hours every night, even on the weekends. Let’s look at an example to see if Good Friday is a good nights sleep.

[caption id="attachment_1079" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Good Friday is a Good Night's Sleep - Sunday Worst Night Sleep"][/caption]

Let’s say you lost two hours of sleep Sunday through Thursday and on Friday and Saturday night you got an extra two hours. Come Monday morning you may feel refreshed, but you are still missing six hours of sleep. 10 hours lost – 4 hours gained = 6 hours of sleep debt. Sleep debt is the difference between the amount of sleep you are getting less the amount you actually get. Short-term sleep deprivation can lead to confusion, difficulty remembering and reduces physical response. Long-term effects can cause health concerns like heart disease, obesity, type 2 diabetes and depression. According to the National Sleep Foundation on average and adult loses one hour of sleep each night which ends up being more than two weeks of sleep every year!

How can you make up for your sleep debt? Sleeping an extra one or two hours of sleep each night for a few months can get you back into a natural sleep pattern. Going to bed at the same time each night and waking up with no alarm clock in the morning will begin to correct your sleep/wake cycle. You might sleep up to ten hours at first, but as the days pass the amount of time you sleep will gradually lessen. To recover, the quality and quantity of sleep is equally important. See: Mind Your P’s and Q’s Easy Sleep Techniques Meditation and Self Hypnosis Your most refreshing and restoring sleep is during deep sleep.

Deep sleep helps in the following areas:

Memories - sleep helps to recover lost memories as well as organize current memories.

Learning - sleep helps your brain to retain the knowledge you gain each day.

Moods and social behaviors - REM sleep allows the parts of the brain that control your emotions, social interactions, and decision-making to slow down and recuperate from each day. This allows you to face each new day in a good mood rather than being cranky and easily frustrated as when you don't get enough rest and begin the day tired.

Immune System - Not getting enough sleep can cause your immune system to weaken which makes you more vulnerable to diseases and infections.

Nervous System - Some experts believe that neurons used during your waking hours repair themselves as your sleep. Not getting enough sleep causes these neurons to perform ineffectively and your nervous system becomes impaired.

Growth and Development - While you sleep, your body releases growth hormones that are vital to your physical and mental development.

[caption id="attachment_1081" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Good Friday is a Good Night's Sleep - Enough Sleep You Can Answer Important Questions"][/caption]

As you reestablish your natural sleep/wake cycle you will find how much sleep you actually need. While some of require only 6 hours others need 9-10 hours a night. Don’t think you can make ‘less sleep’ a habit that you can live with; you are only fooling yourself, but not what is happening to you mentally or physically in the long run. The Sleep journal reported the more tired we get, the less tired we feel. If you’ve made a habit of skimping on sleep, you might not even remember what it feels like to be fully rested and wide-awake. This is often misinterpreted as your body ‘adjusting to cope with less sleep’, but that’s simply not the case.

Experts believe when you earn back your lost sleep you will feel better and improve your mental and physical capabilities. Finally, a scientific reason to make a Good Friday night even better. The content provided in Good Friday is a Good Nights Sleep is for information purposes only, intended to raise the awareness of different solutions for your sleep problems and should not be considered medical advice. For medical diagnosis and treatment, please see your qualified health-care professional.

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