Sleepyhead Syndrome

To be completely honest, I absolutely love my sleep. It has become one of my best friends. I remember a time in pre-school when I wouldn’t get up from nap time, so they dragged my bed into the classroom and I woke up to all the kids staring at me. I’m not too sure if it was a lesson the nuns wanted to teach me but all I gained from that experience is an extra an 15 minutes of sleep with a snack and chocolate milk waiting for me. Who wouldn’t love that?

This morning my mom said to me “What makes us sleepy?” and being the curious cat that I am, I wanted to find out. I did some research and came across a website called NIH: National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute and the name of the article was “What makes you sleep”. Upon reading this, I discovered that your body “clock” is a 24-hour repeated rhythm, which is also called circadian rhythm. There are 2 processes to the circadian rhythm, the first is a pressure to sleep that increases every hour of being awake. The second is all about your “internal” clock. This means that certain signals in your environment can trigger your sleepiness, such as light for morning time and darkness for night time. When it gets dark, your body will release Melatonin in order for your body to prepare to fall asleep.

Things that can make you feel tired are:

original_sleepyhead-pillowcase-teddyDehydration- Just because you’re feeling lightheaded, doesn’t mean you’re hungry. Next time try to drink a bottle (or 2) of water!

Cell phones- Constantly being on that phone of yours increases brain activity, making it almost impossible to fall asleep (yikes!)

Extreme Workouts- Running for longer than 30 minutes can rev up production on cortisol, which is a stress hormone.

Low Iron- If you’re not getting up to 18 milligrams per day of iron, you can start to feel worn out!

So if tomorrow you feel like a zombie, like I feel today, remember these tips. Re-evaluate how your day was yesterday, did you stay up all night on your phone? Did you drink enough water? Or are you just simply a night owl? For the nights were you find yourself counting sheep and it not working, try staying up all night, on a day off of course, and keep yourself busy throughout the next day. When 7 or 8 pm starts to roll around, settle yourself down –  maybe watch some TV or read a book, something that will make your eyes heavy. This way you’ll fall asleep at normal time and wake up feeling refreshed. I like to call it the “internal clock cleanse.”