Sleep is the bedrock to staying healthy. Lack of sleep affects your mental and physical health. Irritable, unable to concentrate, tired? These are signs your body is screaming back at you for not getting the rest you need. Other signs of sleep deprivation include yawning, depression, forgetfulness, slow reaction time, clumsiness – increasing your chance of injury while performing normal tasks.
Long term effects are serious, including a weaker immune system, and an increased risk for cardiovascular and respiratory diseases. A natural sleep rhythm is necessary, without it, we disrupt the secretion of growth hormones, insulin and testosterone. Consequences may include weight gain and increased risk for type 2 diabetes.
Many things can make it difficult to sleep or stay asleep, and snoring is a common culprit. This thief of sleep not only affects you, but those nearest and dearest to you. Snoring does not discriminate, young or old, male or female, it affects most of us. It can be once in awhile, or a regular affliction. There are also many causes for snoring, it can be short term due to nasal congestion from colds or allergy. It can also be more long term due to blocked nasal passages, or movement of your soft palate to obstruct air flow. Whatever the cause, the result is the same, you are blocking the optimum intake of oxygen while you sleep.
Snoring can be eliminated or reduced with some of the following steps:
- Sleep on your side, use a body pillow, or try changing your to a less firmer pillow
- Inclining or raising the upper body slightly with an adjustable mattress
- Weight loss may help
- Avoid alcohol or dependence on sleep aids
- Good sleep hygiene
- Clear nasal passages
Invest time with your Pharmachoice pharmacist to discuss good sleep hygiene practices and how to keep your nasal and sinuses clear. Your pharmacist can help with many non-medication choices including nasal rinses and nasal strips to make breathing easier.
Long term sleep deprivation is serious, consult a doctor or pharmacist if you or a family member shows symptoms of sleep deprivation on a regular or chronic basis.