Friday, January 30, 2015

Sleep Deprivation Affects Children Also-Part 3

As we continue on in this Sleep Deprivation Series, today we look at the effects of sleep deprivation on children. Probably most of us have seen children who were overtired, or in need of a nap. We can hear the whiny tiredness in the voice and recognize that the child needs more sleep.... or the older child who is grouchy and impatient.  Are those really an indication of needing more sleep? Yes, they can be!

If you missed Parts 1 and 2 of the series, you can get to them here:
Are You Sleep Deprived? Part 1
Yes, I'm Sleep Deprived-So What? Part 2



Sleep deprivation can affect children of all ages - even if they seem to be tolerating the deficit well. In fact, children who are overtired - sleep deprived- may actually seem to have LOTS of energy. Sometimes they even seem to be hyperactive and no where near ready to fall asleep, so it can be hard to tell.














Some symptoms of sleep deficiency can be: fussiness, cranky, whiny, irritable, tantrums, emotional, takes long naps, defiance, difficulty falling asleep, excessive talking, accident prone, increased appetite, hyperactive, having trouble waking up on time, clumsiness, poor grades in school, and more.  Obviously, some symptoms will apply more to older children, but all can be affected in some way.








Some experts say that children need the following amounts of sleep in each 24 hour period:

6-12 months............................... 3 hours of naps and up to 11 hours sleep at night
1-3 years old...............................10-13 hours (naps and night sleep)
Preschoolers...............................10-12 hours
School age 5-12 years old......... 10-11 hours
Teens..........................................8-9 1/2 hours

My research has shown that even losing as little as 1 hour of sleep in a night, can lead to learning difficulties, trouble concentrating, short attention spans, impaired learning and more.  A school child can seem to be lazy or a slow learner- just because of being tired.

 Another tidbit I found was that smaller children who go for 8 or 9 hours each day with no rest period... are more likely to end up in the Emergency Room.


 Behavioral problems may seem obvious with sleep deprivation, but there are also possibilities of health problems from it. Diabetes, obesity, ADHD can result... and possibly other ailments... including a lowered immunity which makes it easier to get sicknesses that are "going around".  Some children who are diagnosed with ADHD may actually only be sleep deprived.... and what a shame to start on a regimen of drugs to "fix" a problem - that really only needed more sleep. That is not to say that all ADHD falls into this category, but some can.  Other problems can include vision issues, nervousness, kidney problems and more.  I didn't find information that said that if your child only gets x amount of sleep, they WILL get ___________.  That is rather unknown...at least to me... and I know from my study on adult sleep deprivation, that earlier symptoms will be mild and continue to increase to the more serious ones if the problem is allowed to continue untreated.


I did find that teens who are sleep deprived, are at an increased risk of physical and mental problems. I also found that the primary cause of death in adolescents is: car accidents, homicide and suicide. It was interesting to note that each of these can also be affected by sleep deprivation. Drug abuse can also be a higher risk for those who are sleep deprived. Sobering.


Other information I found said that research is showing many adolescents have a 2 hour sleep deficit each weeknight. As we discovered in part 2 of the  Sleep Deprivation Series,
Yes, I'm Sleep Deprived-So What?    a sleep deficit needs to be made up.... in the same number of hours as what was "lost".  In the above example, a 2 hour deficit on weeknights would equal 10 hours of sleep deficit by the weekend.... and even if the child/teen slept in really late on Saturday, most likely they are not going to sleep 10 EXTRA hours.  If they do, there are also problems with upsetting the body's time schedule with sleeping during the day possibly making it harder to sleep well at night... and a vicious cycle can easily result.


Another difficulty for teens/adolescents, is that their bodies are changing so much during those years with hormones changing and other changes occuring. It is already a time of ups and downs emotionally...  highs and lows in life.... and any sleep deprivation can magnify that and lead to emotional instability.

 So many teens now use caffeine in the form of coffee, espresso, soda, energy drinks, "power shots", tea and more, to continue doing things when they are tired... just as adults do...... it is interesting to also note that many more people in this current generation are also on some type of drug(s) for emotions, for mental health, for helping with control, and more. I have to wonder (this is my own wondering)... if extra sleep and nutrition could possibly help such problems. Hmmm... it is something to think about.  Thank you for joining me....

Next in the Sleep Deprivation Series, we will begin to address ways to help sleep deprivation. I hope you will come back.

Sleep Deprivation Series:
Are You Sleep Deprived? Part 1
Yes, I'm Sleep Deprived-So What? Part 2
Sleep Deprivation Affects Children Also Part 3



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Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Garage Face Lift-For FREE!

The garage isn't the main part of the house... and yet it is important. It was needing a face lift, so we gave it one. Our garage gets a lot of use.... and sometimes we even park the vehicle in there!!!!  :)  It is a place with paints, freezer, coolers, garden stuff, wood and more.  Over the years we have added shelves... our sons have hooked shelves together, used up old wood for more shelves... and more.....they were mostly wood ones, but they didn't match... some were painted, some were raw wood and none of it matched.




 You can see here that there is bare wood... old bare wood, and painted wood... just a mixture. I decided to paint it all one color figuring that would be better than the mixture of colors.

First of all, we needed to prime the bare wood.... so we picked some really bright yellow/green paint that I got for free at a garage sale, but it is really too bright for our house. It worked well as a primer coat. So did a couple of other odd paints.

We put everybody to work on this... we handed out lots of paint brushes and had a family painting "party".  :)
 
 You can see more of the shelving... it works, but there are a lot of different finishes and colors. We started at one side and kept emptying shelves and painting... it was a last minute kind of job.  :)

While the priming was being done, I was grabbing cans of paint off of the shelves and dumping them into a five gallon bucket. Some were parts of cans from paint jobs long done... others were free paints... there was quite a mixture. Some were ceiling flat paints, some glossy, some eggshell... I dumped and stirred with a long piece of wood... our youngest daughter helped me with this part also.  I dumped several kinds of paint in and stirred to see what color emerged. :)  I slowed down on the darker colors.... and ended up with a light green paint. .


 
 These first pictures look really light colored, but it was a little darker after it dried. Would I have chosen this color if I could have picked ANYthing I wanted to? No, probably not.... but it worked out fine......

 Here you can see that we still have the mess at the end. :)

I knew having all one color would look nice, but I was still really pleased with how much it helped the looks of things.

Here, you can also see the 5 gallon bucket with paint.



This color is probably more accurate for the finished color than the other pictures. We were all surprised at the color that emerged... and I wish I would have taken a picture of all the colors of paints used... there were whites, grays, pink, green, blues, pale yellow... and there was even a flourescent paint!

We ended up painting the whole garage all the same color... and we still have a gallon or so left for touch up.... things look better.... and the best part was that it was FREE. And we all worked together. It was a satisfying project.... and my husband bought pizza afterwards, which was a treat for all of us.... we were all really tired! 





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Monday, January 26, 2015

Yes, I'm Sleep Deprived-So What? Part 2

This is the 2nd post in my series on sleep deprivation. If you haven't yet read part 1 and would like to, you can read it here.
  Are You Sleep Deprived? Part 1 

  Maybe you already read it and realize that yes, you are sleep deprived.... or maybe you already knew that. So now that many of us realize that yes, we are sleep deprived, we ask the question..  What's the big deal?



We all know that sleep is something we need.... or do we?

I saw a saying that said, " Sleep is a substitute of coffee for people with too much free time on their hands." Yes, it is supposed to be funny, but how many of us believe that in at least a little way? How many of us take caffeine - coffee, soda, tea, chocolate, diet pills or other... to keep going or to help us get more done? Hmmm... ouch, that hurts a little, doesn't it? Okay, okay... most of us probably realize we use that artificial  "energy" sometimes...., but so what?

Research shows that the ideal amount of sleep for most people is about 8 hours and 10 minutes, although most people function well when they get between 7-9 hours of sleep since some people need a bit more and others need a bit less, but 8 hours is the average needed.

In my research, I found that studies have been done in keeping someone up for days and testing them, recording what abilities they lost and when they lost them. In fact one individual who did something like this never recovered their health from it and such tests have been not used as much anymore.... they are just too dangerous. In testing rats and keeping them sleep deprived for many days, they eventually die.... just from lack of sleep even when their other needs are met. Humans also need sleep and can die from being sleep deprived for a lengthy time.

Well, we don't plan to go days and days without sleep, so we are fine, right? Wrong!!!   It doesn't take severe sleep loss for the body to start reacting to it.... even if it is just missing a couple of hours a day for a few days. There are hormonal changes that occur and allow cortisol, the stress hormone, to be higher than normal. Emotions destabilize, brain function deteriorates, and more.  Sleep deprivation WILL lead to health problems. If caught early enough, these can be reversed through severely changing sleep habits.  If not, the damage continues and grows.

 
One tidbit for those who want to lose weight and wonder why they can't.... The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition says that if you only get 4 hours of sleep a night, you can expect to consume an extra 559 calories the following day. :(  Not good.  Also lack of sleep interferes with metabolism and it becomes more difficult to lose weight.








Other possible consequences of sleep loss:
-those who get less than 5 hours of sleep a night have a 2-3 times higher risk of a heart attack.
-immune system is weak
-depression, anxiety, paranoia, confusion, hallucinations can result; psychosis
-thyroid gland problems
-cranky, irritable, anger, impulsiveness, mood swings can result
-body temperature can decrease
-impaired coordination
-vision issues-blurred vision, trouble focusing, vision can seem "off"
-general discomfort
-actual pain - ongoing
-inflammation leading to heart problems, increased risk of cancer and more
-brain deterioration, higher risk of Alzheimers
-stomach upset, diarrhea
-diabetes and other illnesses
-shorter life expectancy
-look older
-affects intimacy with spouse
-micro-sleeping - brief involuntary dropping off to sleep-even without realizing it
-higher blood pressure
-more, even possibly.... death
















When there isn't enough sleep, we start to accumulate a sleep debt. While we may never use a credit card to buy stuff at the store or if we do, maybe we limit it and pay it off quickly.... we may be running up a huge debt of sleep. They say that for every hour of sleep lost, we need to have an extra actual hour of sleep. It is easy to see how that could quickly build up and become almost impossible to reverse. If we lose 1 hour of sleep for a couple of nights, we can sleep in on Saturday morning and probably be fine. What if we lose 1 hour of sleep for 10 days and we then need to get 10 extra hours of sleep? Then an emergency happens and we lose 3 hours a night for 3 nights... now we are up to 19 EXTRA hours of sleep needed. When will we get those 8 hours of sleep a night PLUS those extra 19? Then it goes on and on.

As I said in part 1, this is a "heads up" post.... alerting us all to some very real dangers to our health, productivity, attitudes and more. It would be good to evaluate how we are doing in this area.... and plan to make some necessary changes.... BEFORE the doctor gives us bad news like diabetes, cancer, heart attack or other diagnoses we don't want to have. I know I am taking this seriously and am making more changes....

Thank you for joining me for this series. In the next part of the series, we will be discussing children and sleep deprivation.... I hope you have a good week.... and some extra sleep. :)






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Friday, January 23, 2015

Rejoicing-The Lost Is Found!

My younger daughter has been sad over losing something very precious to her.... for about 2 years now.... maybe a bit longer. Oh, she has laughed and played and had fun during that time... she hasn't been mad or withdrawn. She hasn't complained about it and I didn't even know about it for a while. After I found out, I was also sad for her, because I knew how very much these meant to her. It was even more sad to me that she bravely accepted the loss and grieved alone. Well, in the last week, the lost was found.... and we are rejoicing!!!! :)

A couple of years ago, we scraped the popcorn ceilings off and painted ALL of the bedrooms - ceilings and walls. Then we had a graduation party.... with no carpeting, only the subflooring.... and we lived with the rooms that way for quite a while..........then a couple of months later, we had new carpeting put in. SO.. this meant that ALL of the bedrooms had to be emptied .... TWICE.... and the second time it happened... they ALL had to be emptied... AT THE SAME TIME.... even the closets!!! That was 4 bedrooms...and beds, dressers, clothes, shoes, books, toys, EVERYTHING for all of us... from 4 bedrooms! Can you tell that it was a lot of work and a bit traumatic?! We had stuff in the basement, the attic, the familiy room, the garage, the living room. We were quite organized the first time... but by the second time, not so much. There were things in bags and boxes... some things were labeled and some not. It was a LOT of hauling around... up and down stairs. I am SO glad that is over!!!!!

 Anyway, my younger daughter kept a few of her babies (these were not dolls to her... they were her babies!) out to sleep with each night, then she sorrowfully put others in a bag to be moved with all of the stuff.

When the projects were all done and the carpet in and everything back in order (mostly), we were relieved. However, I didn't yet know about the missing babies.... I found out a few weeks later and we searched and asked all of the guys, but they couldn't be located. I cried with my daughter about it more than once and I started praying.

 The longer these were lost, the more hopeless it seemed and my daughter became convinced that they had been thrown out.... they were in a bag and we donated or threw out many things in this time. This is part of why her grieving was so strong.... she finally told me that she hoped at least these went to the thrift store so that some other girl could enjoy them. That melted my heart...and I kept praying.... but I started praying that God would provide more of these dolls...similar ones... at garage sales, so that I could at least give her some more dolls..... but I never found anything that would work and time went on.

These dolls may not have been special to anyone else, but they were to my daughter... ever since she was little, she carried a baby... EVERYWHERE with her. :)  It was cute...and frustrating at times. There were times, I had to tell her to put her baby down for a nap and do her chores with both hands. She took one or two to church each week(yes, I limited it! :)

At church each week, we have a time of prayer at the end of the service and most of us kneel during that time. When she was little, she started putting her babies in a kneeling position against the back of the pew and had their little hands together. She was training her babies. :) Precious. Well, anyway, the babies were gone... for good, we assumed.
Then one day a couple of weeks ago, while another project was happening... my sons are working on storage areas in the attic... it is going to be great.. and there will probably be a blog post about it in the future! :)  Anyway, in moving stuff in the attic and doing this project... one of our sons found them. He didn't realize it was that big of a deal... I did though, and took the bag right down to my daughter and we pulled all of those babies out..... and rejoiced.


She carried them down to the sofa and sat for a few minutes, hugging them all. :)

She really is too big for the dolls now... and she loves the babies at church, so her doll babies just aren't the same to her as they used to be, but she is still so glad to have them back. Will she be carrying them around and playing with them? No, but yesterday she was organizing them on a small display hutch I gave to her.... and they are in her room... all safe and sound. :)

Now this may all seem quite trivial.... and believe me, her brothers just don't "get it"! They can't understand WHY this was such a big deal. Even her dad asked, "Well, doesn't she still have a couple of dolls?" He didn't get it either. :)  She has cared for these dolls..... and since she was really little, she has been learning how to be a mother... how to care for little ones......   I never liked dolls... at all... until I had my first daughter (Wholesome Joy). I grew up the oldest of 5 children and due to my mom's illness, I had to be a second mom to siblings... it wasn't any fun playing with dolls... I had real babies to care for.... and I was glad my daughters could enjoy their dolls for a time.

I think part of why this all bothered her so much was that she felt responsible for those "babies" and she felt she had lost them, let them down. A mother cares for her children.... and though these were only dolls, they were her pretend children. I am so glad we have found them. I am so glad that my daughter can rejoice in finding these, and also put them aside... as she continues to grow up. She still brings a doll out for little girls who visit... they all know she has babies... and look up to her and like to play with her babies. She is wonderful with the little ones at church and I love seeing her tender heart. She will be a good mother someday.

Is any of this important? Well, in some ways, no... it's just a little thing, but God does care...even about little things that affect our lives. His plans are perfect.... He knew where those dolls were all this time and He could have revealed them a lot earlier, but He didn't. Why? I don't know.... but I know there was a reason...



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Monday, January 19, 2015

Wonderfully Easy Peanut Butter Bars!

These are pretty wonderful peanut butter bars... we have been enjoying them. You see... we like peanut butter cups, but they tend to be rather sickening sweet... so I have taken a recipe and changed it to reduce the sweetness. They are still sweet... but not overly so.




 I wanted LOTS of peanut butter flavor...and not as much sweetness, so I increased the peanut butter, decreased the sugar and more. The result is really good. :)

They are so simple also... just put the graham cracker crumbs and peanut butter in the bowl.....

Add powdered sugar and melted butter and mix it all up.

I made these to put on Christmas plates we took to neighbors this year. One neighbor wanted the recipe.... BUT I didn't really have one since I tweaked here and there.  So, I told her I would make them again and actually measure. I'm not all that good at measuring usually... you know... a little of this and a little of that... :)
It's  that easy.... 

So I did... I made another 9" x 13" pan.... and we gave some to other neighbors... and my family ate "some" and the bars were all gone. The kids suggested that I should make another pan... and I did because we were having company... and the bars were all gone. The kids kept encouraging me to "test the recipe again".... and of course, the bars were eaten up quickly. :)
 Press it into a lightly greased 9" x 13" pan.

It became a joke.... see, I wanted to send a few of the bars to my neighbor along with the recipe, but each time, the bars were gone too fast or the neighbors weren't home when the bars were ready. The one day, I made a little plate of the bars right away after the bars were done. They were on a plate and wrapped up...ready to go, but I didn't have the recipe written out yet.... well, my husband got home from work... and got into the plate of bars!!! *sigh* The whole family loves these. :)

Pour melted chocolate over and spread it over the peanut butter layer.  They can be left plain like this... or add toffee bits to the top of the melted chocolate.

So far, I have made about 6 pans of these bars in the last few weeks!!!! By the way, my neighbor still hasn't gotten the bars or the recipe, so I plan to try it again. The kids are pretty glad..... and I bought more peanut butter- after all, each pan of these takes about 3/4 of a regular jar of peanut butter!!!   :)
 Chill and cut...... and enjoy.

They really are good!  This plate went to church on Sunday....  we have a potluck fellowship meal twice a month.











                          ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                  Wonderfully Easy Peanut Butter Bars
 2 1/2 cups crushed graham crackers
  1 1/2 cups peanut butter (we like crunchy)
  1 cup butter, melted
  2 cups powdered sugar
                                          Mix  first 4 ingredients together. Press into lightly greased 9"x13" pan.
  2 cups melted chocolate chips... (semi sweet or milk chocolate or mix the two)
                                           Spread melted chocolate over the peanut butter layer. Smooth out. Add
                                   toffee chips to the melted chocolate, if desired. Chill and cut. Enjoy. :)

       ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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Saturday, January 17, 2015

Frugal?.... or Cheap?

We make a LOT of cookies here at our house... and I use cookie sheets often. Since they get used so much, they tend to wear out, although I just keep using them.  In the last couple of months, my kids have been asking if they can PLEASE throw away a couple of the cookie sheets....


   I didn't want to throw the one away because though I had other cookie sheets for cookies, I didn't have enough cookie sheets WITH sides, so I kept using these. When I make things like 
Buttery Crescent Rolls 
I need something that will keep the butter from rolling off the sides into the oven and creating a fire hazard.



 You can see that the corner is not in good shape here.... in fact 2 or 3 of the corners were breaking and becoming sharp.

This still worked for setting under a pie, though and for other uses.


Yes, it looks like it should be replaced.

This is certainly not in the best of shape and someone had been scratched on it, so it's true.... it was time to replace it......and it probably had been for a long time. 
 This other cookie sheet was used for so many cookies... lots and lots. It has been my favorite cookie sheet for probably about 20 years since I found it at a garage sale for 15c.  REALLY!! I remember the price because money was so tight then and I really needed a cookie sheet and prayed... and God provided this one.  :)  When I bought it, it was in great shape and none of the aluminum was showing (I do not normally use any aluminum for cooking).
 Over time it has been bent a bit, it has cracked....and my guys have crimped it back together with a pair of pliers or a vise. After thanking them, I would say,   "See,it still works".... and it did.

The cookie sheet was also quite warped and bent out of shape and while I never would have bought them this way, I had gotten used to using them.
 In fact, both of them look pretty bad and out of shape. Both were warped and bent and damaged.

 I am determined to be content, though, and I have been and will continue to be. However, there comes a time where being "frugal" is actually being "cheap"... and that is not a good thing. I want to be frugal, but I do not want to be cheap or stingy. A while back, I told the kids they could throw them away as soon as I bought new ones... and I would look. Well, with all of the difficulties with my dad's health
 When An Emergency Strikes
in the last couple of months, I rarely even went to a store, so I forgot about it.  We were in high alert status and such things weren't really important... and I just forgot.


When we opened gifts on Christmas morning, it was different than usual, but it was still very good. 
 A Different Kind of Christmas

 One of my boys gave these 2 new beautiful cookie sheets to me for Christmas. I was really surprised.... and quite pleased. :) What a treat... and we all laughed because now, those old cookie sheets would be thrown away.




The guys celebrated by making the start of a "paper" airplane out of one of the old cookie sheets.  :) 

I realized that I could have (should have) made it a priority to replace those cookie sheets. Yes, I am frugal... and that is really a good thing. I save my husband lots of money, I am content and not a complainer and I will use what we can afford. I think I have gotten so used to doing without certain things that I just didn't even question it... I'm just thankful. Those cookie sheets have been made fun of much over the years, especially this cookie sheet... and I defended it... at the time I really couldn't afford to buy another one.... and I was thankful.... and if that's all I had, I would still be thankful for it... I believe that is the right thing to do.  But, I am sorry that I kept something too long and it started to scratch us.... it had served its purpose and it was time to get rid of it... so why did it take my kids to tell me that? 

I wonder how many times we do that in life.... we get used to things and we don't complain. It is good not to complain and yet I wonder how many times we accept things that should be discarded and replaced.  Those new cookie sheets are a joy to use... they sure improve the whole baking experience.
This week, we just had new windows put in.... we have saved for quite a while to do this... the old windows were old, but we were thankful for them and yet we are so enjoying these new ones.... and our house stays much warmer since the wind isn't coming in around the windows anymore. 

So should we just spend money on everything we think we need?  NO.... that wouldn't be right either. I see women who "need" this and that.... and buy things easily, and are not content. I have seen husbands who feel despair over their wife's spending habits and division is happening. That isn't the answer either. Rather I think we need to be thankful (the Bible says to be thankful and content) and we need to also evaluate what needs to be replaced  and do it when we can... while also being thankful for the old and the new. I am so glad for my new cookie sheets....   
 
Thank you for joining me today..... I hope you have a great week. :) 


























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Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Are You Sleep Deprived? Part 1

Sleep Deprivation? Is it real? Is it true? Is it important?

Yes, it is real, it is true and it is very important. As moms, most of us have been sleep deprived at one time or another.... like when a new baby arrives and needs to eat every 3 hours.... or during times of stress to finish a project or a job.... or during an emergency... or other times. After the crisis is over, we tend to sleep to "catch up" on the sleep we lost.... and life goes on.


College kids sometimes feel like they thrive on being sleep deprived, and pulling all nighters gives certain "bragging rights" and seems to demonstrate invincibility.  There's a certain admiration that can come from waiting till the last minute and then staying up all night long.... to "study".  We all know that sometimes it's not all study and sometimes the "need" to stay up is only because of procrastination..... but we are young in college and we can handle it..... extra caffeine in the form of coffee or soda can help make it through the night... and the next day.

A new baby in the house leaves parents perpetually tired.... and a toddler in the house can leave a parent ... perpetually tired.... and teens in the house can leave a parent perpetually tired..... and after a while that tiredness feels normal.... and we become used to tiredness... to being sleep deprived. It is hard, but sometimes we take a nap, get some extra sleep... and continue on and it is no big deal, right?

After all, we expect to be tired...we have busy lives and our children need us and it is good to work hard... for the Lord, right? Hmmm....

God does say things about sleep... and He gives His beloved sleep...

Our human nature can be so prideful... we can be so out of balance. Work is a good thing, caring for our family is a good thing, working hard is a good thing... sleep is also a good thing, and it is necessary.



As I have shared before, I have adrenal fatigue issues and have to be careful....  and I have been learning just how important sleep is... and one of the frustrating problems with adrenal fatigue/exhaustion is that though the body desperately NEEDS sleep, sleep is hard to come by. The body can become UNABLE to sleep well.  We do pay a price eventually.

There can also be long term consequences to sleep deprivation... things that don't go away after a few early nights or naps.

As a young woman in college, I did the study hard, lose sleep thing... pulling all nighters at times. Since vacation times were short and making the time at home last longer (12 hours away)... we travelled at night many times. I juggled study and work and pushed myself. One summer, to help pay my college tuition, I worked 2 jobs back to back.... 8 hours each, so 16 hours straight... and sometimes more than 5 days a week. On the night job, an old gruff security officer stopped in each night and chastised me... saying, "You're going to hurt your health." Well, I was young and foolish and feeling invincible...and I continued on. I felt I had to ... to pay the bills.

After college, my parents had moved and were then 21 hours away, SO I drove to see them once or twice a year. Since I was still paying college bills... and was frugal, I drove straight through to avoid hotel costs. Like I said... the foolishness of youth.

After I got married and we had children, there were those responsibilities to make me tired, but I did well with it...  and continued on.  Our second son was born with severe medical problems and needed LOTS of care... all of the time... and I had a toddler at the time also....  and I started to learn what exhaustion was.... that exhaustion went on for years... we could not leave son #2 with a babysitter... only a registered nurse trained in trach care could watch him and that wasn't available, so we did what we had to do.... and so on. Do I regret that? NO NO NO... what a blessing all of my children are... and my husband... I am blessed. I do regret; however, not putting a bit more emphasis on my health- especially my sleep, over the years.

After a while, the constant sleep interrruptions became so normal... and my husband's job schedule changed a few times, so that my body never could settle into a good pattern for sleeping. When I woke  in the night, I learned not to lay in bed for hours watching the clock, but instead I would get up, have time with the Lord, write, do lesson plans, make a list, etc. It was easier to just start the day, than to work so hard to sleep more - especially when there was a sick child or Son #2's alarms would go off frequently in the night. My body ended up never really sleeping deeply. I worried that I was getting Alzheimer's or something since I couldn't remember words... I couldn't even think how to say "refrigerator" one time... and had to take my husband to the kitchen and point out the thing I was talking about. That was scary... but it wasn't Alzheimer's... it was sleep deprivation. After more concentrated rest, that was gone.

Did you know that some of the consequences of sleep deprivation can be:

-reduced alertness
-impaired memory and cognitive thinking
-higher risk of injuries
-higher risk of car accidents
-genetic changes affecting the body- including heart problems and obesity
-osteoporosis
-diabetes
-obesity
-brain deterioration
-stroke
-stresses on relationships
-much more....


They say that driving while sleep deprived can make you just as dangerous as a person driving drunk. That is scary.... response time slows down, nodding off happens, and more.

Maybe you think that you are not sleep deprived... and maybe you are not.... I hope that is true. However, it is good to do a little research and also evaluate your life. They say that while losing sleep for one night won't seriously hurt you... losing sleep for a week of nights CAN be a bigger problem....after just 7 days or so.

Maybe you are just a little sleepy sometimes during the day... or a bit grouchy... maybe forgetful.... or extra hungry.... or sluggish... or other things... they can ALL be symptoms of sleep deprivation... and that CAN hurt you.


I am not a doctor, nor am I an expert on this subject... I am just someone who has studied it and is trying to recover from effects of ignoring it. This is a "heads up" post.... maybe you can see that you are not at your best and that you have shorted your sleep. Whether it seems to bother you or not... it is a dangerous path to take and I encourage you to think about it.  There is a lot of information on the subject.... and I will be addressing more in the 2nd post of this series. I hope you will return and see if it can be of any use to you.

Thank you for joining me.  I hope that now you are able to answer the question.... Are You Sleep Deprived?

   Part 2 of the series is here..... Yes, I'm Sleep Deprived, So What?





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