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Sleep: 1.5 Million Australians At Risk

There are more than 80 types of sleeping disorders and research suggests that that about one-third of people have suffered from a sleep problem at one or more times during their lifetime.  Sleep disorders affect individuals of all ages and may be brought on by a variety of reasons that range from physical illness to emotional factors to environmental influences.

Long-term sleep issues are linked to a number of serious physical and mental health problems, including heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, depression, and frequent anxiety.While most people experience difficulties with sleeping from time-to-time, around 15 % of the population suffers from a chronic sleep disorder, which can have dangerous implications.

Poor academic performance, drug dependency, relationships problems, car accidents (and fatalities), and even suicide have been linked to chronic sleep problems. It is also linked to hormonal imbalance between the hormones cortisol, DHEA and melatonin. Producing high levels of cortisol because of stress creates a change in your circadian rhythm, throwing into chaos your sleep.wake cycle, meaning you don’t often feel tired until very late into the night or early hours of the morning. It is also quite common to find certain bacteria in the gut that release nerve toxins keeping your mind alert and racing when trying to fall asleep, which will go on until treated causing years of insomnia.

Additionally, endless dollars are spent to treat sleep disorders each year and millions are lost in workplace productivity because of lack of sleep. Here are the most common sleep disorders.

  • Sleep Apnea (includes snoring)
  • Insomnia
  • Restless Legs Syndrome
  • Narcolepsy

Shift-work disorders, sleep walking, bedwetting, nightmares, and night terrors are relatively common sleep issues. Sleep conditions affect people of all ages and all backgrounds and it’s important to seek help right away.

Resolving stressful situations and improving the balance in your life can make a positive impact, along with addressing other health concerns you may have. Certain nutrients can be used to build the biochemical pathway to improve sleep hormones, breaking the cycle quickly. Once you are getting through a night without interruption, by taking a week to sleep for 9 or 10 hours each night to fill your sleep deprivation, and do what you can to include time for rest in your day. Be aware that doing too much of a good thing, such as working too much or exercising too much can also create problems. Sleep should be just as much a priority as every other aspect of your life, to achieve the emotional balance, abundant energy and happiness you deserve.STREPchanges_1

How do you know how much sleep is enough? Most of us know that getting a good night’s sleep is important, but too few of us actually make those eight or so hours between the sheets a priority. Sleep needs vary across ages and are especially impacted by lifestyle and health.

  • Newborns (0-3 months ): Sleep range 14-17 hours each day
  • Infants (4-11 months): Sleep range  12-15 hours
  • Toddlers (1-2 years): Sleep range  11-14 hours
  • Preschoolers (3-5): Sleep range  10-13 hours
  • School age children (6-13): Sleep range  9-11 hours
  • Teenagers (14-17): Sleep range  8-10 hours
  • Younger adults (18-25): Sleep range 7-9 hours
  • Adults (26-64): Sleep range 7-9 hours
  • Older adults (65+): Sleep range 7-8 hours

Follow these simple yet effective healthy sleep tips :

  • Stick to a sleep schedule , even on weekends
  • Practice a relaxing bedtime ritual
  • Exercise daily
  • Evaluate your bedroom to ensure ideal temperature, sound and light
  • Sleep on a comfortable mattress and pillows
  • Beware of hidden sleep robbers, like alcohol and caffeine
  • Turn off electronics at least 1/2 hour before bed.

Most importantly,  make sleep a priority . You must schedule sleep like any other daily task, so put it on your “to-do list” and cross it off every night. But don’t make it the thing you do only after everything else is done – stop doing other things so you get the sleep you need.

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