I have this vivid image of people scurrying and hurrying along as if responding to a ‘fire call’. I can imagine their brains signaling messages like: “the roof is on fire, the house is burning up, fire’s spreading across the streets, you gotta run, run, run for dear life” to their limbs and they have no choice but to hurry and be on the run.
This image in my head clearly translates to and represents the lives most of us live – life on the run! Literally, there may be no ‘fire call’, however I wonder if there really wouldn’t be “fire on the mountain” with such approach to life.
Living in a ‘fast track’ environment where almost everything gets done in a rush could be harmful if not handled with utmost delicacy. A major effect of this is observed in people’s sleep pattern. In order to meet up with the rush of daily life amidst work, family, household, or school responsibilities, you may find yourself cutting back on your sleep.
Sleep is a very vital part of your existence. Studies have shown that a number of vital tasks, which the brain carries out during sleep help maintain good health and enable people function at their best. Invariably, not getting enough sleep is very dangerous for you. People vary in the amount of sleep they need and this variation depends on many factors, including age.
Adults: 7-8 hours/night
Newborns: 16-18 hours/day
Pre-school children: 10-12 hours/day
School-aged children/Teens: at least 9 hours/night
Pregnant women (first 3 months): more hours than usual
Sleep is beneficial for many reasons:
1. Sleep makes the nervous system work properly. If you have too little sleep, you become drowsy and unable to concentrate. If sleep deprivation goes on for too long, hallucinations and mood swings may develop.
2. Sleep (deep sleep) stimulates the release of the growth hormone in children and young adults.
3. Deep sleep is truly “beauty sleep”. Proteins, which are building blocks needed to for cell growth and repair of damage from factors such as stress and ultraviolet rays, are broken down at drastically reduced rates during sleep.
Question: Does it really matter if you get enough sleep?
Sleep is good for you and skimping on it isn’t. The quantity and the quality of your sleep are vital issues. This is very important for your:
a. Health: According to several studies, not getting enough sleep or getting poor quality sleep on a regular basis increases the risk of developing high blood pressure, heart disease and other medical conditions. Also, hormones that fight various infections increase during sleep.
b. Mood: Insufficient sleep can make you irritable and is also linked to poor behaviour and trouble with relationships (at home, school, or work).
c. Performance: You need sleep to think clearly, react quickly, and create memories. Studies have found that when you lack sleep, you are more likely to make bad decisions and take more uninformed and dangerous risks.
Just as much as eating well does good for you, so also is getting a good night’s sleep vital to your well-being. The following are a few tips to help you:
1. Stick to a sleep schedule.
2. Avoid caffeine and nicotine because their stimulating effects take longer hours to wear off fully.
3. Avoid medicines that delay or disrupt your sleep, if possible.
4. Relax before bed. Take time to unwind with a relaxing activity such as reading or listening to music.
5. Have a good sleeping environment.
Remember, you’re better off being alive and WELL! Sleep Well, Stay Healthy!
© 2013 AyotundeElegbeleye
Jesus is LORD!