Feeling Sleepy? You’re Not Alone
Sleep Deprivation and Your Health
- Central nervous system: think of your central nervous system as the information highway in your body. When this brain network is impaired by a lack of sleep, you may experience problems making decisions, focusing, and in maintaining a positive mood. When lack of sleep becomes chronic, your central nervous system becomes progressively more damaged, resulting in depression, paranoia, and even suicidal thoughts.
- Immune system: your immune system is critical in protecting your body from viruses, bacteria, disease, and other unwanted invaders. When you’re sleeping, your immune system gets to work creating cytokines to help you fight off infections, inflammation, and diseases. As an extra bonus, these cytokines also help you sleep. When you’re suffering from sleep deprivation, your immune system doesn’t have a chance to regenerate and be prepared to protect you from illness.
- Cardiovascular system: when you’re missing out on sleep, your heart and blood vessels are forced to work harder to keep you healthy and moving. You’ll likely experience elevated blood pressure, blood sugar levels, and increased inflammation – all which impact your cardiovascular system. In fact, a study published in the European Journal of Preventive Oncology showed the connection between insomnia and increased risk of heart attacks and strokes.
Get Some Sleep!
- Stick to a schedule. Try to go to bed and wake-up at the same time through-out the week.
- Skip the caffeine. Yes, this means no coffee, tea, or caffeinated drinks such as Coke or a fancy coffee shop drink in the early evening and directly before bed.
- Exercise. To get to a deep restful sleep, your body needs to feel tired. Avoid exercising right before bed since for many people exercise often has short-term stimulating effects that can disrupt sleep.
- Control stress. Yes, often the stress is a result of being over-tired… but try to keep stressful thoughts under control as your bedtime approaches.
- Meditation. For many of us, our head hits the pillow and our brain starts going bonkers with thoughts about the day, the next day, and more. Meditation or deep breathing when you lie down can help calm your mind and signal to your body that it’s time for rest.
- Immune system support. Remember those cytokines – you need them to help you sleep. If you’re low on sleep, you’re likely low on cytokines… Don’t forget that AHCC is key in strengthening your immune systemand giving it the edge it needs to keep you healthy and rested.
- Get comfy. Make sure your bedroom is at a moderate temperature (not too hot but not too cold), that your blankets or quilt are comfortable, and that you feel cozy. When we’re not comfortable in our surroundings, we end up at a heightened level of alertness, which can make it challenging to calm down and sleep.