Chronic Sleep Deprivation, the Disease of Our Time

Chronic Sleep Deprivation, the Disease of Our Time

Friday, March 15, 2019 12:20:03 AM America/Los_Angeles

According to experts, we are sleeping less than ever before.  In fact, chronic sleep deprivation has been called ‘the disease of our time’.

Lack of sleep has been linked to increased risk of cancer, heart disease, diabetes, obesity, drug dependency and mental illnesses such as depression, dementia and Alzheimer’s as well as learning disabilities.

A century ago, people slept for an average of nine hours a night, today it is closer to seven hours – often less.  And while we may think it is not that serious not getting enough sleep, research tells a different story.

One of the comments most commonly heard nowadays is “But I just can’t switch off” and “I am exhausted, but I lie awake for hours before drifting off”.

So, why can’t we go to sleep? There are numerous factors such as busy lifestyles, work stress, difficult relationships and poor diet.  The one factor that has been overlooked until recently is how our environment has changed: the lights we use, the activities we partake in even the way we read books…

The artificial light from LED lights, televisions, cellphones, tablets and e-readers is therefore believed to be responsible for wrecking our sleep.  All emit high levels of blue light which suppress melatonin production – the hormone needed for sleep.

Signs you may be sleep deprived

The main sign that you are experiencing ongoing sleep loss, is excessive daytime sleepiness, but other signs include:

  • yawning
  • moodiness
  • fatigue
  • irritability
  • depressed mood
  • difficulty learning new concepts
  • forgetfulness
  • inability to concentrate or a “fuzzy” head
  • lack of motivation
  • clumsiness
  • increased appetite and carbohydrate cravings
  • reduced sex drive

How to bounce back from sleep deprivation

The good news is that most of the negative effects of sleep deprivation reverse when sufficient sleep is obtained. The treatment for sleep deprivation is to satisfy the biological sleep need, prevent deprivation and “payback” the accumulated sleep debt.

To prevent and help yourself bounce back from suffering the effects of sleep deprivation, you need to invest in your sleep and sleep hygiene. The blocking out of blue light is the most important part of the process for getting a decent night’s rest. Your circadian rhythm is being interrupted, specifically when you are exposed to blue light in the evenings when your body is supposed to be preparing for sleep. SleepSpec prevents this from happening by blocking out blue light in the evening. This allows your body to undergo its natural sleep process, for you to have a quality night’s sleep. Wear these shades for the allocated time before bed, to prepare for the first phase of sleep.

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