Happy Birthday, Kiddo!

No one dies from not sleeping enough, or so I am told. When I was a new mother, my newborn kiddo kept me awake most of the night. There was to be no catching up during the day! I adore my son and he is so talented and blessed; the memories are stacking up in my brain. While I like to reminisce about the early days of his sweet life, the lack of sleep had me worried. How long can someone actually stay awake safely? I read on this web page – https://www.berightlight.com/long-can-someone-stay-awake-safely/ – that said people who are forced to stay awake as a form of torture suffer severe anxiety. If it due to a natural cause such as worry, too much exercise, a sick child, or too much daylight, it is not a cause of great concern. Most of the time you fall asleep out of exhaustion. But I suppose there is a limit to what the body can tolerate. I remember how my son would make noise all night in excitement over a birthday party the next day. Sometimes, he would poop out before the cake was presented.

Many studies have been done in the area of sleep. There are special labs that do this kind of work. We have data and can reach many conclusions as a result of the interest in what we do a great part of our lives. I have seen lists of bad reactions to a lack of sleep such as poor physical appearance, grumpy mood, a propensity for accidents and injuries around the house or office, drowsiness and impaired driving, lower brain function (including poor judgment), and a variety of health issues from high blood pressure and diabetes to stroke and heart attacks. Sleep deprivation is the culprit when it comes to sexual activity. It is also associated with insomnia and depression and is likely to make you more forgetful. For those who want to preserve their looks, sleep loss affects the body’s ability to produce enough growth hormone while it prompts it to release too much stress hormone cortisol. Both impact the quality of your skin. Sleep is the best anti-aging remedy.

On the really negative side, as if there weren’t already too many problems, insufficient sleep can cause you to gain weight. I love the saying “if you snooze, you lose.” Lack of sleep stimulates hunger and appetite. People who get only a few hours of rest are prone to obesity. Thus, quality sleep is a huge health issue in this country. We all have to put those cell phones away at bedtime and turn off the TV and the lights. Taking care of yourself is more than good nutrition and a daily workout. Analyze your sleep patterns now and see if you are falling victim to a terrible, often unrecognized, ailment.

Not wanting to end on a negative note, I feel that it would be remiss not to mention the effect of lack of sleep on the mortality rate. This was my original concern with kiddo. I felt I would die of fatigue. While it is not likely, as mentioned above, sleep problems imply a greater risk for fatal health issues like cardiovascular disease.