Are You Getting Enough Sleep?

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A national study on sleep in the United States found that many Americans, while recognizing the importance of sleep, fail to prioritize daily sleeping habits in their everyday lives. With more demanding work hours and the escape of tempting, technology-based entertainment always within reach, it’s no wonder society has become so sleep-deprived.

End the fog and fatigue for good.

While each person’s sleep needs vary, sometimes the activity of day-to-day life can throw off your circadian rhythm. When this happens, you may encounter difficulty resetting it naturally. Pay attention to how many hours of sleep you get when you feel your best and how long you sleep when you don’t set the alarm clock. These observations can identify what is right for you.

Meanwhile, inadequate sleep can cause a number of surprising problems beyond simply being tired. To compensate, many people to search for natural sleep aids, few of which include herbs, nighttime rituals, and supplements. If you have one of the following problems, you should start by getting enough sleep.

Fatigue and brain fog

Brain fog has recently been linked to food—possible causes include both deficiencies and intolerances—but a sleep deficit can also cause this condition. Chronic fatigue and brain fog can go hand-in-hand when your body hasn’t received enough sleep.

Mystery aches and pains

Human growth hormone (HGH) is a complex protein produced by the pituitary gland in your brain. Your body releases it into your bloodstream while you sleep to repair and restore body tissue. Without enough sleep, you don’t get enough HGH and the repair and restoration stalls, which leaves you more likely to feel achy.

Difficulty losing weight

Low HGH levels from poor sleep also lead to greater fat accumulation and reduced muscle mass. Studies have shown that inadequate sleep is associated with an average 6.5- pound weight gain, and a 30-percent increased risk of obesity. HGH also helps slow the aging process, so the development of wrinkles on your face could also be a sign of sleep deprivation. Get your beauty sleep!

Colds that last forever

Poor sleep weakens your immune system. If you catch frequent colds that drag on and on, insufficient sleep could be the reason.

Nodding off during the day

Although you might normally be tired during the day, falling asleep in front of the TV while it’s still light outside or fighting droopy eyelids while driving can indicate the presence of sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder characterized by momentary pauses in breathing or shallow breathing while you sleep, typically followed by loud snoring. The combination of extra weight, high blood pressure, and falling asleep during daylight hours may indicate sleep apnea.

Night sweats

Unusual sweating at night while you sleep can indicate inadequate estrogen for woman or testosterone for men. It can also reflect nighttime acid reflux, infections, or drops in blood sugar while sleeping. The latter suggests adrenal fatigue, which is likely present if you get “hangry.”

How to find time for more sleep

Pick a weekend to allow yourself nine hours sleep each night and observe the difference in how you feel afterwards. Then cut out some of the things you spending time on that you don’t really enjoy (like watching news networks that overly dramatize reporting just to keep viewers stoked with fear and at each other’s throats, or business meetings that you don’t really need to go to). Use this free time for sleep instead. Adjust your sleep each night to find what amount leaves you feeling best.

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