Sleep Deprivation | VideoVan Tieu | 3/11/2013
Fall back, spring forward. We just changed our clocks.
"You do lose an hour of sleep, and so, we always talk about how sleep loss can affect your health," said St. Alexius Sleep Center Coordinator Dr. Karla Smith.
In fact, lack of sleep or even interrupted sleep can be more problematic than keeping your eyes open.
"It can cause depression, heart disease, obesity, diabetes, all those things," Smith said.
Your body works like a machine, and when it doesn`t fully charge your hormonal balance may be thrown off.
"Not getting enough sleep can throw off how your body secretes insulin," Smith said. "If you don`t get enough sleep, you don`t have enough melatonin in your body. Melatonin cleans up the free radicals in your body. "
Research also shows that people who don`t get the recommended 7-9 hours of sleep a night are at least 50 percent more likely to be obese and at greater risk for heart disease due to increased cortisol levels, also known as the stress hormone.
"The most important tip is make sure you have a routine. So bed time, same time and wake time, same time. Even on weekends," Smith said.
The bed should be reserved for sleep only. Smith says it is important to turn off the radio, TV, and most importantly, your cell phone. "It can be distracting. It can keep us from going into that sleep."
The sleep cycles goes through stages, and it takes about 90 minutes to enter the Rapid Eye Movement stage.
"We really need to get to all those stages and most importantly, REM sleep. That`s how our body charges through REM sleep," Smith said.
Children and teens require more sleep than the average adult. Smith encourages enforcing a no phones in bed rule for them as well to ensure a good night`s sleep.