Got Sleep?

Nov 22, 2012   //   Blog, Health, Research

by Kathryn Wage

Are you getting enough sleep? New studies suggest that chronic sleep deprivation is a widespread public health problem. Sleepiness and lack of attentiveness are not the only consequences of sleep deprivation; your overall health suffers as well. According to studies presented at the October 2012 Neuroscience annual meeting:

  • One in five American adults show signs of chronic sleep deprivation, making the condition a widespread public health problem.
  • Sleeplessness is related to health issues such as obesity, cardiovascular problems, and memory problems.
  • Children who experience sleep deprivation are more likely to have learning and behavioral problems.

Some of the measurable findings about sleep deprivation indicate that:

  1. Sleepiness disrupts the coordinated function of the networks in your brain which is one of the hallmarks of Alzheimer’s disease.
  2. Sleeplessness impairs the formation and recall of memories.
  3. Even losing a half-night’s sleep can impair memory and alter the normal behavior of brain cells.

Many things can interfere with a good night’s sleep yet there are many remedies to improve sleep as well. First and foremost is to determine the reason for sleep deprivation so that you can make the appropriate changes. Luckily many of the sleep robbers are under our control including using electronic equipment right before bed, eating too much or too late in the evening, drinking alcohol before bed, or being too exhausted to sleep.

Some suggestions to improve sleep include:

  • Refrain from electronics 45 to 60 minutes before bedtime
  • Eat smaller meals in the evening and do not snack after dinner
  • Wear ear plugs if noises bother you
  • Do not drink caffeinated beverages six to nine hours before going to sleep

A good night’s sleep does wonders for handling daily challenges, no matter your age. Creating the right personal routine to help ensure enough sleep is worth it for your long-term physical and mental health. Of course, if you have tried all the logical remedies and have not improved your sleep, speak with your physician. There may be more to consider.

At the California Learning Connection we take a holistic approach to help serve our clients. Sleep affects daily learning and thinking functions, therefore is an important factor in learning for all ages.

The amount of sleep required by the average person is five minutes more.”

-Wilson Mizener

Center For Communication Skills, Speech & Language Pathologists, Fresno, CA