SLEEPLESSNESS PREVENTION & TREATMENT

Sleeplessness can affect your mood, focus, and safety

Many people report being moody, irritable, and unhappy when they don't get enough sleep. The fact is that people who continually suffer from sleeplessness, either from too little time in bed or untreated sleep disorders, are at greater risk of developing depression. If you think insufficient sleep may be affecting your mental state, talk to your doctor.

Sleeplessness’ effect on focus, concentration, and safety

If you skimp on sleep, you'll likely pay a price. Cutting back by just one hour can slow your response time and affect your focus. Lack of sleep can:

·    Slow down thinking processes

·    Interfere with focus and attention

·    Make it easier to be confused

·    Lead to faulty decision making and more risk taking

·    Impair reaction time

When people who lack sleep are tested with a driving simulator, they perform as poorly as people who are drunk. Trying to function with a sleep deficit becomes a danger to you and those around you.

Preventing sleeplessness – some tips

Understanding your patterns of sleep and factors that keep you awake or help you fall asleep can contribute to better sleep habits and sleeplessness prevention.

As a first step, it can help to record your sleep patterns and factors that affect sleeplessness in a Sleep Diary. You can download and use this Sleep Diary for a period of up to two weeks to evaluate your sleep. To improve your night's sleep, the following tips can help make a difference:

·       Set and stay with a consistent sleep schedule, even on weekends

·       Get exercise, but no later than five or six hours before bedtime

·       Avoid stimulants and nicotine — effects can take up to eight hours to wear off

·       Avoid alcoholic drinks before bed

·       Relax before going to bed — reading or listening to music can help

·       Don't lie in bed awake — after 20 minutes get up and do a relaxing activity

·       Keep room temperature comfortable to prevent sleep from being disrupted

·       Talk to your doctor about over-the-counter or prescription medicines

.       See a doctor if your sleeping problem continues

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