There are so many consequences to not sleeping well, some of which we likely don’t even think about, but that lack of a good night’s rest can have a huge impact on our waking hours. An average adult requires 7–9 hours of uninterrupted sleep each night to recharge and get the body going for the next day. But with the stress of work, family, and life in general, many adults say they’re only getting 5–6 hours nightly, and even that is often interrupted.
The Problems with Lack of Sleep
While being groggy the next morning and relying on a shot of caffeine to get you through the day may seem like the only issue due to a lack of sleep, the truth is that bigger problems are likely occurring below the surface as well. When you’re sleep deprived, your body’s immune system is compromised, leaving you with a feeling of being “worn down,” which can eventually turn into cold and flu. And that’s just the beginning.
Although you may not feel many physical issues because of your lack of sleep, your body can take on the effects internally. Not enough shut-eye can cause an inflammatory response in your cardiovascular system, which can lead to heart disease or stroke. And without adequate rest, your body develops conditions that resemble the insulin resistance of diabetes. Insulin sensitivity is a huge challenge and, over time, can result in the onset of Type 2 diabetes, meaning a lifelong problem.
Sleep deprivation not only leaves you sleepy the next day; it can severely affect your reaction and response times. Have you ever tried to drive when you’re tired? Studies have shown that sleepiness is as big of an issue on the roads as drunk driving, since both cause similar deficiencies in the ability to make quick decisions. And when you’re not getting solid REM sleep time during the nights, that sleepiness can hit at any time of the day, probably at the most inopportune times.
Lack of sleep can even lead to gaining weight! According to some research, adults who slept 5 hours a night over a period of time were 73% more likely to become obese than those sleeping 7–9 hours. And it’s not just adults! Childhood obesity has been linked to too few hours in bed each night as well. It pays to handle your insomnia sooner rather than later!
Some Good Z’s Are Worth Their Weight in Gold
So you know what problems a lack of sleep can cause, but what about if you are able to regularly rest well over the course of time? The benefits are just as wonderful as the problems are scary.
Obviously the opposite of the bad things are likely to happen when you’re getting enough sleep. You’ll be more rested, in a better mood, have improved circulation and immune responses, and overall look and feel wonderful. Those much-needed recharge hours help you get ready to compete and work out better, prepping your body to be in top form. You’ll also have better sex when you’re well rested, mostly because of the other reasons listed. When you feel good and look good, you’re less stressed and more apt to be interested in sharing intimacy with a partner.
Not Getting Enough Sleep? Try Acupuncture!
If you’re not regularly getting 7–9 hours of uninterrupted sleep each night, acupuncture may offer a viable solution. Used in partnership with Chinese herbal medicine, a sound diet and exercise plan, and simple relaxation techniques, acupuncture can have you sleeping well again in as few as 2–3 treatments.
During your visit, you can expect to be asked questions about your sleeping and waking patterns, as well as what’s going on in your life that could be leading to issues of insomnia. The acupuncture needles are used to release your qi, or energy, and remove disturbances in shen, the energy of your emotional body. You may even find that you’ll drift off while receiving your treatment, and before you know it, you’ll be catching just the right number of Z’s each night and waking rested in the morning. Insomnia, be gone!