Turn off the computer and television. Another culprit is the blue light rays emitted by television and computer. That light in the spectrum keeps us mentally stimulated and again prevents melatonin from being produced.
How much sleep you need to function at your cognitive, physical, and emotional best is not as easy as saying we all need eight hours a night. We have different needs according to age, developmental stage, times of stress, and general energy level. What we do know is that prior to the miracle of electric light, we slept most of the nighttime hours, so, close to ten hours a night.To think that a massive change in our biological requirements occurred with technological advancement, stretches the limits of reason. We still need to eat, sleep, work and play in roughly the same ways we have for thousands of years. But in the span of less than a hundred years, we have changed our habits to include some very unhealthy lifestyles.
Some scary notes about sleep deprivation:
- it is strongly linked to heart damage.
- it causes people to be three times more likely to catch cold after having been exposed to a cold virus.
- it interferes with memory formation, storage, and retrieval.
- it increases risk of motor vehicle accidents
- it increases body mass index – due to an increased appetite
- it increases risk of diabetes
- it increases risk for psychiatric conditions including depression, anxiety, and substance abuse
- it decreases ability to pay attention, react to signals or remember new information
It isn't more prescription or over-the-counter sleep medication you need. It's a reliance on your own healthy body to interact with nature (the dimming and brightening of sunlight) to get the sleep you need. When, after exercise, healthy nutrition, and regular "play" time, you are still unable to fall asleep or stay asleep, it will be time to look at the emotional issues you are trying to cope with and address those with professional, again non-medication, help.