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The Danger of Sleep Deprivation

Not getting enough sleep can have a definite impact on your life. Whether it’s from insomnia, sleep apnea, Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS), or another sleep disorder, the danger of sleep deprivation is undeniable, manifesting in both minor and major ways and creating problems for your work, school, and day-to-day activities.

Your body requires a certain amount of sleep in order to function properly and if it doesn’t get enough, it will naturally try to find ways to reconcile the problem. For many, a solution isn’t always easy to find.

Many people don’t even recognize they have a problem to begin with, failing to note the subtle symptoms and then, not taking the time to investigate the possible causes. If your body doesn’t get a sufficient amount of sleep, the effects can begin with fatigue and overall drowsiness.

You may feel tired during the day, which could ultimately impact your physical and mental health. For older people, sleep deprivation typically means that restorative sleep is lacking so their bodies aren’t recharging properly for the next day. This pattern accumulates until it becomes a true medical condition that requires attention.

Another physical effect that a lack of sleep can result in is weight change – in particular, weight gain. One of the benefits of quality sleep is that your hormone levels are regulated.

But if you suffer from sleep deprivation, then your hormone levels grow to be imbalanced and as a result, some of your psychological processes – such as appetite – also change. You may feel hungry when you’re not – or in some cases, not full when you are.

Chronic sleeplessness can also lead to depression, irritability, and impatience. Unfortunately, emotional frustration is one symptom that people may feel they don’t need to address.

Some may even fail to see how their mood swings and emotional outbursts or breakdowns are linked to sleep, choosing to assign the blame elsewhere and focusing attention away from the real cause: a lack of sleep.

The dangers of sleep deprivation to one’s physical and emotional well-being range from slurred speech and anger to a slow breakdown of the body’s immune system, making you susceptible to injury, the common cold, and more.

Have you ever driven your car while drowsy? The inherent danger is obvious. And while it may be a dramatic example, it’s also one that’s all too common – a powerful illustration of how important it is to get enough sleep.

Proper sleep is a vital component to being healthy and it needs to be treated with the same concern and care that your other healthcare issues receive. The consequences of ignoring your sleep deprivation could be harmful to yourself or another person, depending on the circumstances.

5 Habits of Sleep Pros

At times, it can seem like everyone on Earth is getting plenty of sleep – but you. Some people have what it takes to drink two cups of coffee and still go in their room for a nice little nap, while you struggle to nod off after 48 hours of sleep deprivation – how do they do it?

Sleep pros know there are five habits they have that you might not. This is the competitive edge they use to get plenty of rest each night. If your sleep deprivation isn’t due to a medical condition, try implementing these tactics into your everyday routine to see if it helps you get your Zs.

Sleep Pro Habit #1: Stick to a Schedule! If you’re trying to go to bed at 8 PM one night and 2 AM the next, your poor body can’t get on a steady cycle of sleep. It needs a routine so that it can differentiate between daytime tasks and nighttime rest.

Sleep pros who get in bed at the same time each night and wake up on schedule each morning program their bodies to relax, like a science! If you want to include naps in your schedule, make sure they’re at the same time each day, too. Just be aware that naps can impede your nighttime sleep if they’re too long.

Sleep Pro Habit #2: Just Say “No” to Stimulants! You might recognize you have trouble sleeping, but don’t even think that 24-ounce Coca Cola you had at 9 PM could be the cause.

Caffeine, as well as other stimulants like electronic gadgets (video games, Television, and the Internet) can all contribute to your sleeplessness. Avoid products like alcohol, tobacco, chocolate, and sodas during the evening hours – save them for the daytime when you’re telling your body it’s okay to be alert and awake.

Sleep Pro Habit #3: Move Your Body Toward Sleep! Exercise may be the medicine you need to engage in a deep slumber tonight. Insomnia occurs less frequently in those who exercise on a regular basis for at least 20-30 minutes a day.

You don’t want to exercise near bedtime, but in the morning or afternoon instead. Studies have shown that many sedentary individuals who suffered from insomnia found their sleep disorder disappeared once they began an exercise regimen.

When you exercise, you’re relieving tension and increasing your body’s production of endorphins. You don’t have to exercise vigorously – a moderate walk is enough to aid you in your quest for sleep.

Sleep Pro Habit #4: No Napping! Just as eating in between meals ruins your appetite, napping between deep sleep can prevent many sleep disorder sufferers from being able to fall asleep and get a full night’s rest.

For some, a nap is just the medicine they need to re-energize for the day, but if you’re suffering from sleep deprivation, a nap may cause more harm than good. Even though in the beginning you may feel extremely sleepy, try to save your slumber for the middle of the night and not for a mid-day luxury.

Sleep Pro Habit #5: Don’t Go Back for Seconds! It’s a Thanksgiving ritual for many – stuff yourself so full you have no choice but to waddle down the hall and flop into bed for a nap.

But eating too much – especially near bedtime – can wreak havoc on your sleep schedule. Being overly stuffed with food can make sleeping uncomfortable, and if you’re one of the unlucky ones to suffer from indigestion, it can be a painful experience, too. Instead, eat just enough to quell your hunger and go to bed satisfied, but not distressed.

Not every sleep pro solution will work for everyone. The key is to find what works for you. Make lifestyle changes, keep records of your sleep quality, and seek out help from your doctor if signs and symptoms worsen.

5 Essentials for a Good Sleep Environment

Anxiety, stress, jet lag, a medical condition – all could be causes of a sleep disorder or impairment. While treatment of such problems will vary from person to person, a good sleep environment is never a bad idea.

By creating such an environment, it could prove the necessary first step on your road to a better night’s sleep (and all the positive effects that come with it). Here are five essentials to keep in mind when creating your own “good sleep environment.”

1. Keep the Bedroom a Place of Rest: These days, many of us have notebook computers, wireless Internet, and other mobile devices that make it possible for us to transform any room into an office.

But if you suffer from a sleep disorder, make sure you keep your bedroom a bedroom – a place of rest away from work and play. Don’t allow the bedroom to become an office, a playroom, or a TV room. Those who suffer from sleep disorders need to eliminate all distractions in the form of noise, light, or activity.

2. Ideal Temperature: When creating a good sleep environment, you need to make sure you minimize any discomfort. Being too cold or too hot can disrupt a comfortable sleep and once disrupted (for a person with a sleep disorder) it may be difficult to get back into a deep slumber.

Keeping the room at a constant, ideal temperature will help you get and stay asleep. While it’s debatable as to what the best temperature is, it can be agreed upon that anything about 75 degrees Fahrenheit is too warm and anything below 54 degrees, too cold.

Try a median between 60–70 degrees (65) as a compromise, but the deciding factor should be you personally and what you find to be “ideal.” If you keep kicking the covers off or shivering yourself awake, adjust the temperature until it’s just right – and make note of what that number is for you.

3. Comfortable Bed: One symptom of a sleep disorder or impairment is tossing and turning during the night, and one reason you may be restless is because your mattress is uncomfortable.

As with most anything in life, what’s “right” for you (and your back, your posture, your comfort) is specific to your body. However, research has shown that supple mattresses may be more conducive to a good night’s rest versus a firmer one.

Definitely avoid sleeping on a lumpy mattress if it can be helped. A new mattress may be in order if you’ve outgrown your current one, either in size or comfort. If you have a spouse who prefers a different type of mattress, consider getting the type of bed where each of you set the mattress to your perfect number.

4. Keep the Clock Out of Sight: If you can, try to keep your clock out of sight. Set your alarm and then put it somewhere else or turn it away from you – out of your general view. For instance, instead of having the clock on the nightstand, put it on the dresser in the far corner.

If a clock is visible, you may find yourself staring at it or waking up periodically to look at it. If you’re making an effort to create a good sleep environment, it means that you’re aware of an impairment.

If you’re trying to break the cycle of sleeplessness, then it’s important that you don’t focus on time. Seeing how early it is or how little time has passed, can only lead to frustration.

5. No Lights: Remember that a dark bedroom can help your body “know” it’s time for rest. Light triggers a lot in us and is associated with our waking hours. To help the body adjust to a regular sleep cycle, make an effort to distinguish between daytime and bedtime.

When it’s time to sleep, keep light sources to a minimum, including when you get up to go to the bathroom. As with a TV, computer, or video game, you’ll want to avoid anything that can stimulate your brain or body out of rest. Even if your eyes are closed, light in your bedroom can disrupt your sleep.

If these steps are taken, in addition to noise reduction and a few other considerations, such as making a separate sleeping area for pets (that are used to sleeping with you) – then you should be on your way to eliminating some of the factors that may have been contributing to your persistent sleep problems.

The Power Behind Continual Journaling

Thank goodness for journaling and those who journal.  If it were not for journals, much of history would be lost forever.  We owe so much of our knowledge of our forefathers and the world before us to those who took the time to make entries in their journal. 

 Ship captains kept daily logs while at sea and most of our founding fathers kept journals as they formed a new nation.  Long before that, records were kept on scrolls with quill and some form of ink.

Hieroglyphics line the ancient tombs of the pharaohs giving us an insight into what their lives were like.  Even cave men recorded history on rocks and hillsides.  Where would we be today if it were not for journals?

You may say, “Sure that’s all well and good for famous people such as presidents and celebrities, but I don’t have the time – and even if I did, nothing of any importance happens to me.”

Journals should be kept for you and what they can do for you regardless of your position in life.  That’s reason enough, but think how much your children and grandchildren will learn about their ancestors from the journal you may start today.

You may think you’ll always remember what you did on a certain date and why you decided to buy that article you always wanted but as the saying goes:  “The faintest ink is better than the most retentive mind.”  Writing down your thoughts and actions is one of the easiest and most compelling ways to remember and record your personal life.

Your brain is trained to think in a sequence of events.  Every thing is in order and has its place. The mind is capable of processing myriads of thoughts at any given moment.  And, as you would imagine, those thoughts are like sentences.  They contain a beginning, a middle and an end.  It’s like giving a speech when one thought relates to another and so on until the logical end.

By writing down your thoughts in a journal you can break free of sequential thinking and examine them from a new perspective.  Remember when Merlin in Camelot urged Arthur to soar like an eagle to view his thoughts and problems from high above the land.  From there he said there are no fences and no boundaries.  His thinking was set free with nothing to restrain it in conventional limitations.

Journaling gives clarity to your problems and allows you to substantiate your progress.  It’s easy to think you’ve made no progress and nothing of import occurred until you reread your journal a year later.  A question you may have thought impossible to solve will suddenly present itself with a solution when you view the written word.

Be specific when making entries.  It may seem trivial at the time but later when you examine the big picture you’ll see how it all came together and how events are still unfolding.  Write down your goals, intentions, obstacles, challenges, your likes and dislikes.  Make a note of people who’ve helped you and those who likely will in the future.

You can create a journal in a book or on your computer.  Software for this purpose is available.  A journal gives you direction.  It shows where you’ve been, where you are now and where you’re going.  Begin a journal today.  You’ll gain more insight into yourself than you ever thought possible.

 

 

How to Become a Person Who Takes Action

 

Some people are born doers.  Some people are born thinkers.  Some think about doing and never get anything done.  There are many ways to become a person of action and what works for someone else may not work for you.

Action people are usually people who are organized and seem to know exactly how to proceed from one project to another seamlessly and without effort.  Others flounder in a world of disorganization, haplessly moving one piece of paper to another location without knowing why.  At the end of the day, the doers typically have more energy than at the beginning as they feed on taking action.

The flounders at the end of the day are still floundering and can’t understand why nothing has been accomplished and they feel exhausted.  They step back to assess their day’s accomplishments and deceive themselves into believing progress is being made, when in realty little or nothing has been done.

For these people, organization is an essential key.  Whether it’s for your home or business, make a to-do list and prioritize it.  Put the most important ones at the top and each time you complete a goal or project scratch it off and feel the satisfaction.  Don’t mark it off until it’s done.  No cheating or rationalizing.

When everything on the list is finished, reward yourself.  Even if you don’t quite complete the list in one day, go ahead and celebrate your victories.  This gives you something to look forward to and gives you incentive to accomplish more.  Again, be honest with yourself and only accept reward when deserved.

Another plan of action states that you can waste too much time making lists and you should visualize your task at hand until you have the energy to do it.   They suggest you sit quietly, clear your mind of all other things and concentrate on your task or goal at hand.  See yourself doing the project in vivid detail.  Whatever the job entails imagine yourself doing each and every step.  Fantasize about it, if you will.

Thought waves become energy waves as you focus your mind on one central thought.  These energy waves build until you feel the energy surging inside you pushing you into action.

You’ll build up so much energy you will be forced to act.  At that point, take action.  It could be just a small part of your overall project but let yourself be compelled to action.  This energy will dissipate, so do as much as you can before it leaves your body.

You’ve probably worked with a mind energy force involuntarily.  There’s a problem you’ve faced during the day and can’t find a solution.  Clear your mind, concentrate on the problem, even sleep on it and seemingly out of nowhere the answer becomes clear and you can take action. A happy attitude is imperative.  Most people who are happy are active.  Associate with happy people.  Change the way your think and you will change the way you act.

 

 

How to Make Your Motivation Soar Even When Faced With Obstacles

 

We’ve all asked the question:  How does the motivator stay motivated when it’s obvious he or she is being beset with seemingly insurmountable obstacles?  No matter who we are, we will all be granted a share of success and failure.

It’s easy to stay motivated when we reach one goal after another.  We may even find it difficult to understand how someone can be down in the dumps when life can be so good to you.  Then, failures, problems and obstacles enter your life and it’s not so easy to remain motivated.

Even the most renowned leaders and speakers must find a way to overcome these burdens and move forward if they’re to maintain success in both their professional and personal life.

There are many ways to overcome your obstacles and make your motivation continue to soar; but on the other hand, there is no one perfect answer for everyone.  You must find the way within yourself.

Understand what’s causing your fears and your obstacles.  The reasons could be tangible or they could be emotional.  They could be real or imagined.  Once you’ve determined what your fears are, ask yourself what is the worse case scenario.

If all of your obstacles and fears become reality what is the worse thing that could happen.  When put into perspective, the culmination of these events probably would not be the end of your life or even your lifestyle as you know it.

Believe in your goals and yourself and nothing can stop you.  Analyze what you’re striving for and what you and your company, or your family, will gain by achieving these goals.  If you do not believe in what you’re doing then you’re on the wrong track and should return to square one for reassessment.

Take action quickly.  Visualize yourself overcoming these obstacles and your triumph over them.   Don’t put off positive action no matter how small and seemingly insignificant.

The smallest success that stems from your action instills faith and belief in yourself and your ability to succeed.  Obstacles have many faces and we must decide how we can stare them down.  If the magnitude of the obstacles is too large for you to handle emotionally, break it down into smaller tasks.

Remain cheerful and positive and watch the size of the problem diminish.  It’s the old rule of mind over matter, or obstacles if you will.  Refuse to let negative thoughts rule your brain.

Stay inspired.  You can do this by reading inspirational books, or watching motivational video or audio courses.  Your environment should consist of inspirational people and things.  Our surroundings enable us to become what we are.

Obstacles are inevitable but how we deal with them is not.  We can choose to overcome and be happy or we can be miserable.  Don’t dwell on self-doubt.  Are your fears realities or something you fear might happen if you fail to take proper action?  Faith is instilled when you tackle the task.

One of the great motivators of our time is Margaret Thatcher who said, “Look at a day when you are supremely satisfied at the end.  It’s not a day when you lounge around doing nothing; it’s when you’ve had everything to do, and you’ve done it.”

Starting Your Day Off on the Right Foot

 

Not everyone gets out of bed in the morning easily and in a good mood.  Some can bounce out of bed eagerly anticipating the day and will talk your ear off if there’s anyone to listen.  Others groggily stagger out of bed reluctantly and you better not speak to them or they’ll bite your head off.

Which of these describes you?  Or do you fall somewhere in between?  Which would you rather be?  Typically, the person who bounds out of bed wide awake is the person who gets more done in the morning and is happier to do it.  This isn’t always true.  Some get just as much work done; it just takes them longer to get to it.

If you’re not happy with your morning habits and want to change, it can be done but it has to be a concerted effort on your part.  Many people don’t want to change.  They’ve been that way for years and it works for them.  On the other hand, who wants to be an old grouch in the morning making yourself and everyone else miserable?

You can become an early happy riser and make it a habit you will embrace.  First, admit your current method of waking up in the morning isn’t working and you want to change.

Be willing to try a different method and realize it may not be the first different method you try that will transform you into a new you.

Technique is important.  Prepare yourself for bed with the same routine if possible.  With children and spouses this is sometimes difficult.  Start with a healthy diet.  Stay away from heavy fatty foods and sugars before bedtime.  Eat dinner early.  Of course, no caffeine or other stimulant before bedtime.

Try the early healthy dinner a few nights and make a note as to how you feel the next morning.  Is it working?  If not, don’t give up.  You just need to add more and different methods to your morning madness.

Exercise daily.  The better shape your body is in the better it will sleep and the better you’ll feel each morning.  Morning exercise is usually more helpful than just before bedtime. Nighttime exercise can get the blood flowing too much for you to fall right to sleep.

Do something pleasant before going to bed to put you in a good mood.  Read a good book for a few minutes.  Don’t get so caught up in it that you can’t put it down.  Don’t balance your check book or pay bills before going to bed.  Money worries are one of the main causes of sleeplessness.

Anticipate the morning routine.  Don’t give yourself something boring to look forward to.

Make time for at least some morning exercise even if it’s just stretching.  Perhaps, sit outside and greet the sunrise with a morning devotional.  Count your blessings and plan your day. New morning habits were not accomplished in a day.  Be patient and willing to experiment.  Soon you’ll like yourself better in the morning and so will your family.

What Goes Into an Emergency Preparedness Kit for Short Term Disasters?

 

Emergencies can be classified as either short or long term. You may deal with short-term emergencies – such as losing power for a day or having a health emergency. These usually pass fairly quickly.

But when something causes a short term emergency, unless you’re prepared, you could find yourself in a bind, putting yourself and your loved ones at risk.

Weather emergencies such as floods, hurricanes, tornadoes and blizzards are the top four causes of short term disasters that people are forced to deal with. These disasters create situations where you can end up without any lights, heat or air conditioners.

Without electricity, you won’t have a way to keep your food supply from spoiling. If the disaster causes a rush on grocery store supplies, there will be empty shelves, leaving you without a way to get food.

Without electricity, you can lose the ability to call out for help for health reasons or if there’s looting and the battery on your cell phone dies. The time to plan for a disaster is right now – while you have electricity – while you have the food you need and the means to get ready for what might come your way.

Prepare yourself now, but have an emergency preparedness kit. In that kit, you need water for every member of your family and enough food to last everyone for at least a week.

You’ll need a way to keep warm – especially if the disaster is during the colder months. Use thermal blankets and waterproof sleeping bags. Have battery powered or solar powered gadgets that can charge cell phones.

Have flashlights and radios on hand that run on batteries and keep extra batteries ready. Or, invest in the hand crack variety. Make sure you have a first aid kit that includes face masks and all prescription medications. Prepare your kit with infant and pet needs, too.

Keep antibacterial wipes with the kit and seal your personal ID copies in with the kit. In case your originals are destroyed in the disaster, you’ll have a backup copy that will save you from a future hassle.

You’ll need matches, a hand held can opener and a multi-tool as well as a whistle. A whistle can be heard over long distances and will make it easier to locate you. Keep all of your supplies together in an air-tight waterproof container and store the container somewhere that the temperature doesn’t vary.

There are places that offer readymade disaster kits – and some people choose to buy those. If you pick that option, don’t forget to add copies of your important paperwork since a readymade kit won’t come with that.

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