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March 2-8 is Sleep Awareness Week – What is Your Sleep IQ?

True or False?

sleeping time by ageDuring sleep, your brain rests.
False. While your body rests, your brain doesn’t. An active brain during sleep prepares us for alertness and peak functioning the next day.

Sleeping just one hour less a night can prevent you from learning or functioning normally.
True. Most adults need around eight hours of sleep to function at their best. To determine your sleep need, sleep until you wake on your own…without an alarm clock. Feel alert? That’s your sleep need. You can teach yourself to sleep less, but not to need less sleep.

Boredom makes you feel sleepy, even if you have had enough sleep.
False. Sleep loss causes sleepiness. Boredom, like a warm or dark room, merely unmasks it.

Resting in bed with your eyes closed cannot satisfy your body’s need for sleep.
True. Rest is not a substitute for sleep. Sleep is as necessary to health as food and water. When you don’t get the sleep you need, your body builds up a sleep debt. Sooner or later, this debt must be paid… with sleep.

Snoring is not harmful as long as it doesn’t disturb others.
False. Snoring may indicate the presence of a life-threatening sleep disorder called sleep apnea. People with sleep apnea snore loudly and wake up repeatedly during the night, gasping for breath. These repeated awakenings lead to severe daytime sleepiness. Many people with sleep apnea are unaware they have this condition.

Everyone dreams every night.
True. Though many people fail to remember their dreams, dreaming does occur for every person, every night. Dreams are most vivid during REM or rapid eye movement sleep.

The older you get, the fewer hours of sleep you need.
False. Sleep need remains unchanged throughout adulthood. Older people who sleep less at night tend to sleep more during the day. If poor sleep habits, pain or health conditions make sleeping difficult, a physician can help.

No matter how sleepy you are, you can force yourself to stay awake.
False. If you’re sleepy enough, you can fall asleep anywhere. It’s also possible to fall asleep for a few seconds and not even realize it. These “microsleeps” can be dangerous if they happen when you’re driving.

If you’re sleepy, raising the volume of your radio is a great way to stay awake while driving.
False. Playing a radio, chewing gum, and opening windows are not great ways to keep sleepy drivers alert because their effects are short-lived. If you’re having trouble staying awake while driving, try to pull over at a safe place and take a short nap or have a caffeinated drink. The best solution is to drive after a good night’s sleep.

Most sleep disorders go away even without treatment.
False. Sleep disorders don’t disappear without treatment. Treatment may be behavioral (for example, going to sleep and waking at the same time every day), pharmacological, surgical or a combination. Untreated sleep disorders may have serious consequences that worsen your health, quality of life, school and work performance, and relationships. Worse, untreated sleep disorders can lead to accidents and death.

How’d you do?  It’s probably safe to say that most Americans are not getting the amount of sleep that they need.  Sleep is crucial at all ages.  Sleep provides an opportunity for the body to repair and rejuvenate itself. In one experiment, animals deprived entirely of sleep lost all immune function and died in just a matter of weeks. Many of the major restorative functions in the body like muscle growth, tissue repair, protein synthesis, and growth hormone release occur mostly, or in some cases only, during sleep.

Benefits of Adequate Shut-eye:
• Improve memory
• Live Longer
• Curb Inflammation
• Spur Creativity
• Improved Athletic Performance
• Improved Learning
• Better Attention
• Improved metabolism
• Lower Stres
• Improved mood

Here Are Some Tips for a Good Night’s Sleep:
• Avoid caffeine after 2:00 PM
• Avoid a heavy meal right before sleeping.
• Keep lights lowered in the evening.
• Try gentle stretching and deep breathing right before bed.
• “Unplug” from all electronics one hour before bed and keep all electronics in another room after bedtime
• Make your bedroom a calming, comfortable haven.  Clear it of all distractions and stress.

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