Do you love your PT Cruiser?
I assume not; in fact, the PT Cruiser scored poorly on crash tests as warned by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Just imagine the possibilities that come from a vehicle such as that. The sole life-threatening danger: car crashes. Car crashes are caused by many different variables; some examples can be a lack of sleep, impaired driving via third-party influences, or pure negligence while driving. The unseen problem in our society is the lack of sleep. Not getting enough sleep results in impaired actions, slower mental processing speeds, and insomnia.
In a study by the National Sleep Foundation, the answer to that is seven to nine hours for adults between the ages of 18 and 54. Not getting seven to nine hours can cause such symptoms on the human body. According to the Institute of Medicine’s publication “Sleep Disorders and Sleep Deprivation: An Unmet Public Health Disorder,” it states that “more than 50 million Americans suffer [from] a chronic sleep disorder…” Given that the United States population is approximately 327.8 million, if we assume that there are precisely 50 million citizens that are affected by some form of a sleeping disorder, we can conclude that roughly 15.25% of the United States population has a sleeping disorder.
Sleeping disorders formulate from either a lack of sleep or too much sleep. The problem presented is that people are getting an insufficient amount of hours of sleep per night. An inadequate amount of sleep can lead to fatigue, mental instability, obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes. The reason why these dangers are more likely to occur is due to that the Central Nervous System (CNS) gets weakened as a person goes long without rest.
As stated by the United States National Library of Medicine’s publication “Human Immune System During Sleep, ” the reason that the CNS is weakened as a result of a lack of sleep is that the “circulation of leukocytes is increased by petty alterations…”
Leukocytes are white blood cells; their purpose is to protect the body from infectious diseases and foreign invaders. Since the white blood cells are actively growing during the chemical changes that are occurring in the body, it is inversely weakening the CNS because the increase in white blood cells can cause infection, stress, or additional diseases.
First and foremost, what is the lack of sleep?
As stated by the publication by Remedy’s Health Communities, it states that “sleep deprivation is not a disorder; it simply indicates that a person has not been getting enough sleep.” In a sense, this means that the lack of sleep is not a disorder, it is more or less an issue with that person’s vessel both psychologically and physically.
Attacking the lack of sleep can be approached from different angles; examples to counteract the lack of sleep would be relaxation training, stimulus control, and cognitive behavioral therapy.
- Relaxation training is a method where one tenses and relaxes the muscles in different areas of their body to help induce sleep.
- Stimulus control is a method where one limits activities in the bedroom; meaning that the bedroom is only for sleeping.
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is just the act of maintaining a schedule of when to go to bed and getting out of bed.
Circumstances are different for everyone; however, there is one solution of the three that can be easily attained. CBT, in lame man’s term, is to establish a strict schedule of when to wake up and when to go to bed. There are benefits that come with establishing and maintaining a healthy sleep schedule; such examples are reduced illnesses, lowered risk of heart disease, reduced stress, more clear thinking, and improved social interaction (Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion). Establishing a sleep schedule also has a biological factor to it; the times that you sleep at do matter. According to the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion’s tips on sleep, they state that “your body sets your ‘biological clock’ according to the pattern of daylight where you live.” This means that you get tired when the Earth has rotated into darkness away from the Sun and is alert when the Sun has direct visibility to your current location.
Rather than rearranging your house to fulfill the needs for the stimulus control method or trying to control different parts of your body, the cognitive behavioral therapy is the least intruding. The fundamentals of using the CBT method is to sleep at a designated time and waking oneself up at another designated time in the morning. To ease into falling asleep at night, there are different ways to make it easier to do so. For example, enabling the blue-light filter on electronic devices allow for less strain to be placed on the eyes and it makes it easier for the eyes to transition into the rapid-eye-movement state. Another example would be to cushion yourself with a better mattress and pillow.
The reason being is because it reduces the stress on the muscles when laying in bed; the reduced stress makes it easier for the body to enter a relaxed state. To make it easier to wake up in the morning, alarm clocks are the best option. Eventually, your body will get used to waking up at the desired time. It will take time, but it is the sole purpose of the Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.
The lack of sleep can have dangerous consequences that range from fatigue to heart disease. Countering the lack of sleep is easily handled by committing to a sleep schedule; to make the commitment easier, there are the blue-light filters on electronics, the cushioning of sleeping materials, and alarm clocks. Simple methods can go a long way for improving your health and lifestyle. Those complete seven to nine hours can make a difference.
Asif, Nayyab, Razia Iqbal, and Chaudhry Fahad Nazir. “Human Immune System during Sleep.” American Journal of Clinical and Experimental Immunology 6.6 (2017): 92–96. Print.
Healthfinder.gov. (2018). Get Enough Sleep. https://healthfinder.gov/HealthTopics/Category/everyday-healthy-living/mental-health-and-relationship/get-enough-sleep
Institute of Medicine (US) Committee on Sleep Medicine and Research; Colten HR, Altevogt BM, editors. Sleep Disorders and Sleep Deprivation: An Unmet Public Health Problem. Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); 2006. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK19960/ doi: 10.17226/11617
“National Sleep Foundation Recommends New Sleep Times.” Sleepfoundation.org. N. p., 2018. Web. 22 May 2018.
Jensen, Cheryl. “PT Cruiser Scores Poorly In Crash Tests.” Wheels Blog. N. p., 1229. Web. 22 May 2018.
Swierzewski, S. (2018). Sleep Disorders Overview. Healthcommunities.com. Available at: http://www.healthcommunities.com/sleep-disorders/overview-of-sleep-disorders.shtml