Tip of the day: The best treatment for insomnia according to researchers is to change your thought patterns. Once you change your thoughts your behavior will follow. You see, what you think is what you get. So it makes sense that insomnia really is, all in the mind.
By Jan Yager, Ph.D.
You’ve heard that expression, “I’ll sleep when I’m dead.” Well, it turns out that getting enough sleep, and other kinds of rest, just might postpone when your death occurs as well as increase the effectiveness and joyfulness of your life.
Consider this: the Nurses’ Health Study conducted by Harvard University found that getting too little sleep is linked to a greater risk of getting breast cancer, colon cancer, diabetes, and heart disease.
Furthermore, sleep deprivation causes drowsy driving which can lead to accident fatalities. As reported by the the National Sleep Foundation at their website devoted to drowsy driving, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that 1,500 deaths and 71,000 injuries are caused annually because of falling asleep at the wheel.
In another study, a review of information about 28,000 children and 15,000 adults found that too little sleep doubled the chances of being obese. Obesity has, in turn, been linked to a variety of life-threatening illnesses including sleep apnea, a condition in which we stop breathing during sleep. As pointed out in “Sleep Apnea Tied to Increased Risk of Stroke,” especially for men over the age of 40, having sleep apnea more than doubles their potential for a stoke.
Preventing an early death or decreasing the likelihood you will become obese aren’t the only reasons we need to get enough sleep and rest. We also need it so we can be alert at work, making it less likely that we’ll make mistakes, have accidents, or fall asleep during meetings, which could embarrass you or, worse, get you fired. Also, too little sleep can increase someone’s tendency to fly off the handle or to be overly emotional, reduce memory retention and increase depression. Simply put, too little sleep reduces the overall quality of our lives.