Sleep deprivation over a long period of time can create a profound sleep “debt.” Some researchers believe that we have to make up our sleep debt hour for hour. For every day that we don’t sleep, we fall deeper into debt. Like financial debt, a continual increase in debt can eventually bankrupt us.
Sleep debt can cause or contribute to many illnesses and can delay healing. Sleep deprivation is responsible for an increased risk of motor vehicle accidents, workplace accidents or errors, and has a profound effect on our personal lives. It causes diminished performance — lack of judgment, slower cognition, more errors, improper perception, reduced efficiency, increased irritability and conflicts in our relationships with others.
As the costs of sleep debt are destroying lives both personally and professionally, we have to find a way to get out of this crisis. Knowing that sleep debt is a problem only helps if you can put in extra sleep time to make up the debt. For the millions of Americans that struggle to get to sleep and stay asleep in the first place, a deeper solution is needed.
The first step in solving the problem is identifying the underlying factors that are causing you to experience sleep deprivation. The most important question you can ask yourself is, ‘why.’ Why are you struggling to get to sleep? Why do you wake up repeatedly at night? Why, when you do sleep, do you wake up still feeling exhausted? What is the root cause of the problem? If you are struggling to answer that question, then you need to seek out the services of a health care practitioner skilled in doing the investigative work necessary to find the answer. At Vital Health, I have developed a highly effective evaluation process, the ‘Complete Bio-Functional Analysis,’ that allows me to identify the underlying causes and develop a plan to resolve them. When you are able to identify the causative factor(s), you then have the power to find a solution to the problem.
The reasons for sleep problems are varied. They can be caused by an imbalance in hormones, an imbalance in the way the body manages blood sugar, nutrient deficiencies or a health disease that effects sleep. Restless leg syndrome, gastroesophageal reflux disease, heart palpitations and hot flashes are common health conditions or symptoms affecting sleep. Other things to consider are medication side-effects, the sleep environment, emotional trends, foods and liquids consumed, stimulants, sleep hours and other factors.
If one of these (or another) condition prevents you from sleeping, you need to get the condition healed, not just medically managed. The benefit of handling the condition responsible for limiting sleep is that, not only will the condition be better, but the side effect will be sleeping well and the opportunity to get out of sleep debt.
Learn more by attending our upcoming health class, 7 Secrets to Getting to Sleep, Staying Asleep & Waking Refreshed, on Wednesday, March 27 at 7 p.m. at Vital Health in Coeur d’Alene. Fee: $10. RSVP: 208-765-1994 or register here: http://bit.ly/SleepClass.
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Holly Carling is a Doctor of Oriental Medicine, Licensed Acupuncturist, Doctor of Naturopathy, Clinical Nutritionist and Master Herbologist with nearly four decades of experience. Carling is a “Health Detective.” She looks beyond your symptom picture and investigates WHY you are experiencing your symptoms in the first place. Carling is currently accepting new patients and offers natural health care services and whole food nutritional supplements in her Coeur d’Alene clinic. Visit Carling’s website at www.vitalhealthcda.com to learn more about Carling, view a list of upcoming health classes and read other informative articles. Carling can be reached at 208-765-1994 and would be happy to answer any questions regarding this topic.