Sleep; It's Not Just For The Weak

Just thinking about writing this blog about sleep has got me day dreaming of my soft, comfortable bed.  Can you believe this; we spend over 25% of our life (maybe more) in our bed.  Of course, we may not be asleep that entire time, however, that is a heck of a lot of time during our life to be in any one place! 

We all need sleep for survival, however, how much sleep we need varies with our age, physical conditions, disease states, and how much sleep we have been getting the past few nights.  Our body, in its great design, produces and maintains our nervous system while we are sleeping.  Without sleep, our ability to perform even the most basic decision making processes becomes extremely compromised.

Some of us like to think that we have trained, or adapted, our bodies to survive on minimal amounts of sleep.  While this may be true for a limited few individuals, the theory is that we have just gotten use to the sleep deprivation and have developed a capacity for processing decisions on limited resources. 

Think about it, we love our down days.  If we have worked hard all week, getting up early and staying up late, at some point we love to have a down day where we sleep in, catch up and re-charge.  If we never had the chance to rest our body, our nervous system would continue to deplete its resources and leave us in a state of nervous anxiety.

If you are really interested in this topic, I recommend you take the time to read this discussion from the National Institute of Health.

So then, what do I do if I lie in bed, night after night, and can't fall asleep, or, if I sleep for maybe two hours and then wake up and lay in bed the rest of the night worrying that I will be tired the next morning when it is time to get up. 

1.  Sleep Hygiene; Google it.  We go to great lengths to take care of our personal hygiene, why not put some effort into our sleep hygiene.

2.  Talk to your pharmacist.  There are a few non-prescription sleep aids available and your pharmacist will help you figure out if one would be appropriate for your situation.

3.  Make an appointment to see your doctor.  You may have a sleep disorder such as insomnia, sleep apnea or restless leg syndrome.  Various prescription medicatioin treatments are available and your doctor will help you decide which may be the best option for your particular situation.

To learn more about the prescription medication alternatives for sleep,please register to become a member at AudibleRxTM, and then navigate to the "sleep" section of the Medication Specific Counseling SessionsTM.  You will then have full access to all of the current and future counseling sessions.


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