Sleep deprivation can contribute to a number of health problems. Most of us are familiar with the more common negative effects such as impaired concentration and irritability. [showmyads] However, chronic loss of sleep can also contribute to much more serious disorders, impairments and illnesses such as depression, sleep paralysis, weight fluctuations, weakened immune system, memory loss, high blood pressure, diabetes and heart disease. Lack of sleep is also a major factor in the frequency of motor vehicle accidents.
Sleeplessness can arise from a wide variety of conditions and scenarios. Anxiety, fear, stress, uncomfortable sleeping environments, psychological trauma, etc., can all trigger the onset of insomnia. If you have difficultly falling asleep and/or staying asleep, why not try one of our practical tips for improving your sleep quality:
Tip #1 – Sleep Masks
The National Sleep Foundation asserts that “a dark bedroom contributes to better sleep.” Therefore, for optimal sleep quality, your bedroom must remain as dark as possible. However there are many distracting lights that can prevent you from drifting off. Illumination from clocks, street lamps and early morning sunlight coming through your curtains can all affect your sleep cycle. In most cases it is possible to obtain a sleep conducive bedroom by using blackout blinds or thick lined drapes. However this is not always possible, as might be the case when sleeping outside your home (for example at a hotel). When creating a dark room is not feasible then using a sleep mask can be great sleep aid. Sleep masks are light weight, easy to pack and perfect for taking along when you are out on the open road.
Tip #2 – Sleeping earplugs
Trying to sleep in a noisy environment can be quite difficult. If you live in a big city or even on a busy street, the surrounding clamor could be reducing the quality of your sleep. The same is true if you live with noisy neighbors or a partner who snores loudly. Hotels can also be extremely noisy with guests and staff members slamming doors and conversing noisily throughout the night. In environments with high noise levels, ear plugs can assist greatly in filtering out all distracting sounds. Using earplugs in conjunction with a sleeping mask can help you to get a good night’s sleep with anyone, almost anywhere.
Tip #3 – Sound Conditioners
A sound conditioner, also called a white noise machine, is a device used to mask unpleasant distracting sounds by playing peaceful sounds like moving air, running water, rain or the ocean. Sound machines are an excellent replacement for earplugs and compact light-weight machines can be obtained for travelling.
Tip #4 – Pillow Speakers
Pillow speakers slide under your pillow and can be connected to any sound device such as an iPod, CD player, radio or television. You choose the soothing sounds you wish to listen to as you fall asleep, without disturbing your partner and without the use of annoying headphones. Listening to soothing music while lying comfortably in your bed is an ideal way to relax and drift off into an undisturbed sleep.
If you have trouble sleeping and would like some more suggestions on practical steps you can take, then visit these supplementary articles on choosing a mattress and natural sleep remedies. A better night’s rest is just around the corner.
Photo courtesy of photostock / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
- Sleep Apnea (topdentists.com)
- New Nasal Spray Touted As Natural Anti-Anxiety Sleep Aid (prweb.com)
- Insomnia = Inspiration (treegirly.com)