To function as well as possible, you should be getting between seven and nine hours of sleep daily. Did you know, however, that many of us fail to get an adequate amount of sleep?
Females in particular are often burdened by sleep debt. More than 60 percent of females regularly don’t hit the mark. This adds up to hours upon hours of lost sleep that fills up the sleep debit column.
Interestingly, the larger your sleep debt, the more difficult it is to recognize. Once you’re feeling the effects of sleep deprivation, like:
you may not even remember what being totally rested feels like — and how well you feel when you get a good night’s sleep night after night.
As you fall further and further into the cycle of sleep debt, the consequences to your health increase. This puts you at real risk of issues like memory loss, stroke, heart disease, diabetes, weight gain and more.
Here we look into the causes of sleep debt, if we can repay sleep debt, and a few ways to help overcome sleep debt. If you feel that you’ve built up a sleep debt, know there are things that you can do, including investing in a comfortable bed, such as one with a latex mattress. But first, let’s talk more about the reasons you might be sleep deprived.
You may have developed a sleep deficit for any one or more of the following reasons:
Every living creature needs sleep. We’re all programmed to get it. When it’s time to slumber, your body has a couple of ways to signal this. It boosts the circulating levels of the neurotransmitter adenosine, and sends signals from the circadian clock that controls the daily rhythms of your body. Working in unison, these systems create the ideal bedtime.
Adenosine is in part a by-product of the energy expenditure of your body’s cells. As your cells are powering you through the day, this is released into your bloodstream. From there, it’s taken up by your brain receptors that control being awake. This is similar in idea to a dimmer switch, turning down lots of the processes associated with being awake. For example, reaction to physical stimuli, memory and attention.
As levels of adenosine in your brain get higher, you begin to feel drowsier. Because when you sleep you don’t need to expend energy, your levels of adenosine drop. When you’ve had a great night’s sleep, your adenosine levels are at their lowest, so you’re at your most alert.
Sleep is a basic need that none of us can live without. Tests in lab rats that have been sleep-deprived for extended periods result in the loss of immune function and in death due to infections. Additionally, studies have shown that sleeping for only a few hours a night is bad for your immune system. Not only this, but is can bring on diabetes, high blood pressure and elevate your stress hormone cortisol levels. Interestingly, these changes can be reversed by making up the hours of sleep you’ve lost.
The following problems and life interferences result from building up sleep debt:
The bottom line is that we all need adequate sleep to function correctly as a human being. So, how can you calculate your sleep debt?
You know how much sleep you should be getting. To calculate your sleep debt, you need to take the hours of sleep you should be getting, and to subtract the number of hours you are actually getting. This then tells you your sleep debt for one night. Measure this sleep debt over a week, and you can create a better picture of exactly what’s going on in your sleep deficit department.
Your circadian clock is responsible for regulating every function within your body. This means more than your waking and sleeping patterns, but also your blood pressure, body temperature, some hormone,s and your digestive enzyme levels.
Your body clock may make makes you feel sleepy between 11pm and 6 a.m., and a little tired between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. This of course varies from person to person.
An important point here is that if you’re a night owl with a day job, or an early bird with a night job, you might not be following your natural sleep clock, resulting in you developing a sleep deficit.
Keeping up with a consistent schedule of sleeping between seven and nine hours per night is the best way to make up your sleep debt. Catching up with your short-term sleep debt is crucial to avoid falling into long-term sleep debt.
If you’re having trouble sleeping at night, there are many ways you can try to get a good night’s rest. These include:
Investing in a high-quality, comfortable latex mattress can help you overcome your sleep debt. Why? Because sleeping on a latex mattress feels good. It also offers many benefits that help with sleep, including these:
If you’re still unable to get the sleep you need at night, or wake up feeling unrefreshed in the morning, you need to speak to your doctor. There are many common medical conditions or sleep disorders that may be responsible.
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60 percent – http://www.health.harvard.edu/womens-health/repaying-your-sleep-debt
Tests – http://www.health.harvard.edu/womens-health/repaying-your-sleep-debt
Accelerate – http://www.alaskasleep.com/blog/what-is-sleep-debt-catch-up-on-lost-sleep
Study – http://www.alaskasleep.com/blog/what-is-sleep-debt-catch-up-on-lost-sleep
Studies – http://www.alaskasleep.com/blog/what-is-sleep-debt-catch-up-on-lost-sleep