This is part 4 in The Sleep Deprivation Series.
Sleep Deprivation.... a serious subject.... and lots of people suffer from it. Sometimes it is mild and sometimes it is severe, sometimes it is temporary and sometimes it is long-term. If we know we are sleep-deprived, WHAT can we do about it???
If you haven't yet read the first 3 parts of the series and would like to, you can find them here:
Are You Sleep Deprived? Part 1
Yes, I'm Sleep Deprived - So What? Part 2
Sleep Deprivation Affects Children Also-Part 3
For more severe sleep deprivation- that is more than missing just a few hours of sleep once in a while... it can take days, weeks, months.. or even years to stabilize the body and repair the damage.
We have reviewed some of the dangers of losing sleep... of a building sleep-debt. Some of those are health problems, accidents, clumsiness, irritabilitiy, depression, weight gain, fatigue, memory problems.... and more. So maybe you have concluded that you DO have at least some sleep deprivation.... maybe a little or maybe a lot. What can you do about it? Is there hope? What if you try... and still can't sleep? So many issues....
There is no magic cure... no pill to make it all "better"... and no shortcuts for making up the sleep.... but there are some things that can help. I do want to state that I am not a doctor... nor am I a health professional of any kind.... I am just a woman who has suffered from sleep deprivation and I have studied and experimented and I am sharing some those things. You will have to decide if you will do anything about this... and what it will be.
Here are some things that may possibly help:
~ limit caffeine and don't take any caffeine after 3pm or even 2 pm
~use only lower lights for 1-2 hours before bed.... not the overheads, if possible
~stop using the computer, cell phone, and other electronics devices 1-2 hours before bed
~keep the room you sleep in... a bit cool
~establish a bed time and try to keep to it as much as possible
~develop a routine for before bed and try to stick with it
~do lighter reading before bed and not high exciting adventure
~exercise, but earlier in the day-not right before bed
~make it a practice to breathe deeply several times a day
~a warm bath with epsom salts and/or a few drops of essential oils can be soothing
~don't watch TV in bed... or in the bedroom at all, if possible
~a cup of tea may be calming... chamomile is good... or peppermint...licorice, hops, etc
~sleep in a dark room, if possible
~wear ear plugs or a sleep mask, if necessary
~melatonin may help
~have a quiet spirit before bed... this isn't the time to "brain storm" or debate a subject
~be thankful, recite scripture, pray
~ a snack of bananas, turkey, yogurt or milk
There are also many sleep aid medicines on the market, but some of them can be dangerous, have unpleasant side effects or quit working after a while and I don't choose to use the mainstream remedies, although you are free to do so, if you choose. It is a good idea to do your research on them first.
There are natural ways to investigate for dealing with the problem also... Good nutrition is important for a healthy body, so eating a healthy diet is helpful. As was already stated, exercise is important... and working hard can lead to better sleep as the body, including the muscles, gets tired and relaxes. Also, sometimes certain vitamins or minerals could help.... like magnesium, calcium, brewer's yeast, and more.
Some possible nutritional helps include: hops, valerian, melatonin, lemon balm, passionflower,skullcap, california poppy.
Essential oils can be helpful and used as a bath additive or topically.... some good ones are: lavender, chamomile and marjoram. I suffer from allergies and feeling "stuffed up", so I LOVE using eucalyptus and peppermint in my bathwater. I put a few drops on the top of the water, then sprinkle epsom salts over the drops to absorb them... they stay fragrant, but they don't burn my skin when I get in.
Hormonal changes can lead to insomnia, so if you are at an age where this can be an issue, it might help to address that.
Obviously, this isn't a comprehensive article... much more could be said. You wouldn't want to do all of the things listed here... some of them I have never done, but I might someday... others I do every day and they help. It is important to do your own research before you use herbs, essential oils and more. They are VERY helpful... but be wise in using them. For example, some things are safe in pregnancy and others aren't, some are safe for children and some aren't and some may not mix well with medicines you are taking, etc. If you choose to try something, choose one item and research it and add it to what you do... if it helps keep it... if not, discard it.
There is hope... and it is possible to recover from sleep deprivation. Thank you for joining me for this series..... I am planning a summary article to the series, so I hope you will return for that if this is a subject which interests you. I hope you are able to sleep well and wake refreshed.
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