The Importance of Sleep

The Importance of SleepI grew up hearing “You’ll get enough sleep when you’re dead”.  Well, at times I do feel dead.  I find myself on auto-pilot driving in to work, zombie mode when doing administrative duties and thinking about the next time I will receive R&R (the weekend).  During the week, I am lucky to receive 6 hours of sleep.  According to National Sleep Foundation (, I should be receiving 7-9 hours of sleep nightly.

The National Sleep Foundation reports the following sleep recommendations for different age groups:

Newborns (0-3 months): 14-17 hours

Infants (4-11 months): 12-15 hours

Toddlers (1-2 years): 11-14 hours

Preschoolers (3-5 years): 10-13 hours

School Age Children (6-13 years): 9-11 hours

Teenagers (14-17 years): 8-10 hours

Young Adults (18-25 years): 7-9 hours

Adults (26-64 years): 7-9 hours

Older Adults (65+): 7-8 hours

So, what is the importance of following the recommended sleep time?  Well, there are mass benefits!  Not only will you feel rested, but you will also experience: an improvement in learning and retaining information, a hormonal balance, a natural immune system booster, alertness, less dependency on caffeinated drinks, and an enhancement in creativity!  With all these benefits, why would we not want to sleep?  Starting tonight, I plan to commit to receiving 8 hours of sleep by setting an alarm to go off on when I need to call quits on daytime functions and to say hello to the cows that I need to count.

So, how are you stacking up on your z’s?  Do you need to change some of your habits?  If so, what do you plan on doing differently to receive your appropriate sleep hours?

…One more saying before I catch some z’s: “Sleep tight, don’t let the bed bugs bite.”

Signs of Being Stressed!!!

Conquering StressIn most of our everyday lives we try to complete as many tasks as possible in a day. Usually with many task left incomplete or not even started. You get comfortable with the duties of a job, only to have your boss add additional duties to the list. We tend to do the same for ourselves. This has become the norm but when does the rush of trying to comply as much as possible in a days’ time become stress? Do you know what symptoms you portray when stressed? While surfing the web, I came across a list of commons signs of stress on The American Institute of Stress website: There are numerous emotional and physical disorders that have been linked to stress including depression, anxiety, heart attacks, stroke, hypertension, immune system disturbances that increase susceptibility to infections, a host of viral linked disorders ranging from the common cold and herpes to AIDS and certain cancers, as well as autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis. In addition stress can have direct effects on the skin (rashes, hives, atopic dermatitis, the gastrointestinal system (GERD, peptic ulcer, irritable bowel syndrome, ulcerative colitis) and can contribute to insomnia and degenerative neurological disorders like Parkinson’s disease. In fact, it’s hard to think of any disease in which stress cannot play an aggravating role or any part of the body that is not affected (see stress effects on the body stress diagram) or. This list will undoubtedly grow as the extensive ramifications of stress are increasingly being appreciated.

50 common signs and symptoms of stress

  1. Frequent headaches, jaw clenching or pain
  2. Gritting, grinding teeth
  3. Stuttering or stammering
  4. Tremors, trembling of lips, hands
  5. Neck ache, back pain, muscle spasms
  6. Light headedness, faintness, dizziness
  7. Ringing, buzzing or “popping sounds
  8. Frequent blushing, sweating
  9. Cold or sweaty hands, feet
  10. Dry mouth, problems swallowing
  11. Frequent colds, infections, herpes sores
  12. Rashes, itching, hives, “goose bumps”
  13. Unexplained or frequent “allergy” attacks
  14. Heartburn, stomach pain, nausea
  15. Excess belching, flatulence
  16. Constipation, diarrhea, loss of control
  17. Difficulty breathing, frequent sighing
  18. Sudden attacks of life threatening panic
  19. Chest pain, palpitations, rapid pulse
  20. Frequent urination
  21. Diminished sexual desire or performance
  22. Excess anxiety, worry, guilt, nervousness
  23. Increased anger, frustration, hostility
  24. Depression, frequent or wild mood swings
  25. Increased or decreased appetite
  26. Insomnia, nightmares, disturbing dreams
  27. Difficulty concentrating, racing thoughts
  28. Trouble learning new information
  29. Forgetfulness, disorganization, confusion
  30. Difficulty in making decisions
  31. Feeling overloaded or overwhelmed
  32. Frequent crying spells or suicidal thoughts
  33. Feelings of loneliness or worthlessness
  34. Little interest in appearance, punctuality
  35. Nervous habits, fidgeting, feet tapping
  36. Increased frustration, irritability, edginess
  37. Overreaction to petty annoyances
  38. Increased number of minor accidents
  39. Obsessive or compulsive behavior
  40. Reduced work efficiency or productivity
  41. Lies or excuses to cover up poor work
  42. Rapid or mumbled speech
  43. Excessive defensiveness or suspiciousness
  44. Problems in communication, sharing
  45. Social withdrawal and isolation
  46. Constant tiredness, weakness, fatigue
  47. Frequent use of over-the-counter drugs
  48. Weight gain or loss without diet
  49. Increased smoking, alcohol or drug use
  50. Excessive gambling or impulse buying




“Laughter is inner jogging.” –Norman Cousins

We respond all the time with LOL but are we actually doing so?  Laughter is a great stress relief and actually increases oxygen in the body like deep breathing and exercise.  It’s no wonder we are drawn towards funny people and things that allow us to have a good laugh.  Someone said laughter is good medicine and I believe it to be true.  Carry on with all the LOL’s!