Why You May Want to Play Catch-Up...On Your SleepSleep
Most Americans are just not getting enough sleep!
The lack of adequate sleep is so bad that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently declared sleep deprivation as a health crisis. Sleep is critical to our overall health. And insufficient sleep, in some cases, is considered a form of torture.
“Severe sleep deprivation has been labeled torture,” said Yolanda Huang, an attorney, who discussed female inmates being subjected to extreme sleep deprivation, in one report.
The report goes into detail about recent lawsuits filed by three women incarcerated in Santa Rita Jail in Dublin, California. The women claim “...the jail’s sleep practices have impaired their memory and speech, contributed to the development of depression and anxiety and compromised their immune systems.”
“If the sheriff of Alameda is genuinely concerned about the safety issues and the smooth operation of Santa Rita Jail, he will insure that all prisoners can get much needed and vital rest,” Attorney Huang said.
(Not only is sleep important for our physical and mental health, but as we also recently discussed, a lack of sleep may lead to immoral and unethical behavior. So the restraints of being incarcerated combined with a lack of sleep may be a recipe for disaster).
Reportedly, inmates are subjected to hourly safety checks at night in which bright flashlights are shined in their faces, metal cell doors are banged on and guards yell if an inmate does not wake up. Reports claim these practices have majorly contributed to depression, anxiety and suicide among inmates.
Sleep deprivation has also been used as a form of torture for interrogation. A lack of sleep can practically drive a person insane.
“The first signs of sleep deprivation are unpleasant feelings of fatigue, irritability, and difficulties concentrating. Then come problems with reading and speaking clearly, poor judgment, lower body temperature, and a considerable increase in appetite [which would partly explain why a lack of sleep often causes weight issues]. If the deprivation continues, the worsening effects include disorientation, visual misperceptions, apathy, severe lethargy, and social withdrawal,” (Psychology Today).
I know the topics of incarceration and interrogation are extreme and most likely don’t apply to you, but I guess what I’m trying to say is if you are not getting enough sleep each night, you might be guilty of self imposed torture.
As parents, spouses, students and, overall, just hard working people, we spend much of our time taking care of others and focusing on work and outside activities. And in this process we neglect the fact that we have to be proactive about our health by making sure we get enough quality sleep (ideally, seven hours a night).
A recent report emphasizes the health issues associated with not getting enough sleep. One of these issues, which I particularly find concerning, is diabetes. A lack of sleep can have an impact on your insulin (which regulates the amount of glucose in the blood) levels.
“Doctors and scientists have known for decades that insufficient sleep affects the body's hormone levels and ability to regulate and metabolize glucose. That means if you're excessively sleepy, you could be at higher risk for weight gain...and even type 2 diabetes,” reports the National Sleep Foundation.
But if you can’t seem to get the recommended seven to eight hours of sleep each night, the good news is that you may benefit from playing ‘catch-up.’
“A number of studies have been done to evaluate the benefits of ‘catch-up’ sleep—sleeping late on weekends to make up for missing sleep during the week,” according to the report.
And one study found some evidence that there were positive insulin changes with two nights of extra sleep in healthy, young men who were sleep deprived.
There was also evidence that every hour of “weekend makeup sleep” helped reduce the risk of obesity. So if you feel guilty for sleeping in on the weekends, you probably shouldn’t.
This does not mean that sleep is the solution to all of our health woes and that we shouldn’t wake up for that early yoga or spin class. Sleep, along with performing some physical activity , managing stress and eating healthily are proactive lifestyle habits we must all adopt in order to feel good mentally and physically and help prevent disease.
And if you suffer from insomnia or have difficulty sleeping, proper nutrition, as in getting the correct amounts of certain nutrients like vitamins and minerals, may help you sleep longer and better. To read in detail about what specific nutrients and foods you may need to help you sleep and additional tips for a good night’s rest, click here. And read here if you suffer from sleep apnea.
It is also highly advised that you take routine nutrient tests. Nutrient testing will generally identify whether you have the right balance of nutrients in your system to help you sleep and live a balanced and healthy life. If you are not nutritionally balanced, a competent healthcare professional can work with you to make the necessary dietary changes and/or possibly recommend quality supplements you can take.
Finally, if you are constantly feeling lethargic (due to a lack of sleep) during the day, you may need an added boost of energy with focused nutritional therapy (which, in turn, may help you sleep!). I have been successful at increasing my energy levels and consistently getting good sleep at night by being nutritionally balanced and utilizing pH IV Nutrient Drips for those nutrients that I have difficulty absorbing from food. Intravenous nutrients go directly into the bloodstream to help boost my nutritional status. I wholeheartedly believe this has successfully contributed to my good health, reduced my stress levels and helped me sleep ‘like a baby.’ (Also check out our nutrient injections and pushes).
Enjoy your healthy life!
The pH professional health care team includes recognized experts from a variety of health care and related disciplines, including physicians, attorneys, nutritionists, nurses and certified fitness instructors. This team also includes the members of the pH Medical Advisory Board, which constantly monitors all pH programs, products and services. To learn more about the pH Medical Advisory Board, click here.