The Importance of Healthy Sleep


Royal PedicAccording to the National Sleep Foundation, at least 40 million Americans suffer from sleep disorders, and fatigue contributes to more than 100,000 police-reported highway crashes, causing 71,000 injuries and 1,500 deaths each year in the U.S.

Lack of sleep affects cognitive functioning, emotional health, and physical health. The immune system requires sleep to fight off disease and endure illness. Sleep disorders such as insomnia and sleep apnea may lead to fatigue, irritability, depression, forgetfulness, stress, obesity, and high blood pressure.

Insomnia

Insomnia refers to a general inability to sleep or remain asleep. Lack of exercise, dehydration, stress, anxiety, medicine, and caffeine are common causes of insomnia. Insomnia is a symptom rather than a disorder; many different conditions may lead to insomnia. Approximately 30-50% of people suffer from occasional insomnia, and 10% experience chronic insomnia. The incidence of insomnia increases with age.

Sleep Apnea

The Greek word "apnea" means "without breath." People with sleep apnea stop breathing while asleep, and they may wake up many times a night gasping for air. Allergies increase the risk of sleep apnea. Sleep apnea may be caused by a blockage of the airway by soft tissue in the throat, by a failure of the brain to maintain breathing during sleep, or by a combination of both. Sleep apnea affects over 12 million Americans and can cause high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, memory problems, obesity, impotence, and headaches.

Upper Airway Resistance Syndrome

Upper airway resistance syndrome (UARS) refers to a less serious form of sleep apnea often caused by allergies and respiratory infections and associated with snoring and chronic daytime fatigue. People with UARS don't completely stop breathing in their sleep, but their incoming airflow decreases, causing them wake up. Upper Airway Resistance Syndrome deprives people of valuable sleep and may lead to elevated blood pressure.

Snoring

Snoring is a mild form of upper airway resistance in which an obstruction of the free flow of air somewhere between the nose and the trachea (wind pipe) produces a sound. If left unchecked, frequent snoring may lead to sleep apnea. Breathe Right Snore Relief Spray lubricates the throat tissues with a blend of natural oils, reducing loudness and frequency of snoring and improving overall quality of sleep.

How to Get Healthy Sleep

You need healthy, restorative sleep to keep your immune system working well - especially if you are an allergy sufferer. Here are some tips to help you get the good night's sleep you deserve:

Unwind and relax before bedtime. Instead of watching TV, try reading a book or doing deep-breathing exercises.

Take a hot bath before bedtime. The hot water will help you relax, and the increase in body temperature may help you fall asleep.

Maintain a consistent bedtime. This will help your body get into a constant sleep rhythm. Try to go to bed at the same time and wake at the same time every day.

Avoid fluids before bedtime. Fluid intake will increase your chances of waking up during the night.

Avoid sugar before bedtime. High blood sugar can cause insomnia. A high-protein snack a few hours before bedtime may help you sleep; the amino acid tryptophan, found in meats as well as yogurt, cottage cheese, and peanuts, is a precursor of both melatonin (a hormone that induces sleep) and serotonin (a calming neurotransmitter).

Listen to white noise in your bedroom. Air purifiers like the Austin Air Healthmate provide soothing white noise as they remove allergens and impurities from the air. Airborne allergens may lead to allergy attacks and trouble sleeping.

Exercise regularly. Exercise is one of the best treatments for insomnia.

Avoid alcohol before bedtime. While it may help you pass out, alcohol deprives you of deep, restorative sleep.

Avoid caffeine and nicotine. Caffeine and nicotine are both stimulants.

Lose weight if you are overweight. Obesity increases the risk of sleep apnea.

Wear socks to bed. Warm feet equal better sleep.

Encase your bed with allergy relief bedding. Allergy relief bedding like Allergy Armor completely encases your mattress and pillows to protect you from dust mite allergen and other allergens. Allergy Armor Pillows do not require a special encasing because they are made with the allergen barrier fabric.

Avoid foods to which you are sensitive. Digestive problems often interrupt sleep. Discover your food sensitivities in the comfort of your own home with the ALCAT Food Sensitivity Home Kit.

Keep electrical appliances away from your bed. Electromagnetic fields may affect the production of melatonin and serotonin, which play important roles in the regulation of sleep.

Sleep in total darkness. Even a small amount of light can disrupt your sleep.

Monitor your relative humidity and adjust it as necessary with a dehumidifier or humidifier. If the humidity is too high, dust mites and mold will flourish in the excess moisture; however, if the humidity is too low, the dry air may irritate your sinuses.

Clear sinus and nasal passages to breathe better at night. Sinus relief products such as the Grossan HydroPulse, Vicks Personal Steam Inhaler, and Breathe Right Nasal Strips will help you breathe better at night. Breathe Right Snore Relief Spray will help you if you have a problem with snoring.

Sleep on a comfortable mattress with pillows that properly support your body. Our Certified Organic Latex Mattresses are not only hypoallergenic and naturally dust mite resistant, but they also absorb sleep-disturbing motion; plus, these NAOMI-compliant mattresses do not contain any of the toxic chemicals present in conventional mattresses. Royal-Pedic Mattresses are custom-built using only the finest natural materials; they're naturally hypoallergenic, and they provide maximum comfort and orthopedic support. Snoozer Body Pillows also help to maintain proper spinal alignment during sleep.

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