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Poor Sleep linked to Dementia and Death:

Poor sleep has been linked to critical health issues and even early death.  Getting quality sleep can be a challenging experience for some of us, while others just lie down and go to sleep.  I have been researching way to improve my sleep for the last twenty years and have come to realize the importance of quality sleep.

Sleep Studies:

According to the CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention) one-third of adults in the United States get less than the recommend sleep. 

Not getting enough sleep is linked with many chronic diseases and conditions—such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, obesity, and depression—that threaten our nation’s health. (Center for Disease Control & Prevention, 2020)

The connection between sleep, dementia and early death from any cause is especially worrisome, experts say, due to the sleep habits of Americans and people around the world. (LaMotte, 2021)

According to the findings from the National Health and Aging Trend Study sleep difficulties have been implicated in the development and progression of dementia and in all-cause mortality. (MD, LK, W, SF, & CA, 2020)

Sleep Studies Findings:

These finding are alarming and I could list another ten pages of research that links poor sleep to chronic health conditions.

You know you feel better when you get a great night’s rest but it seems over time and as we age quality sleeps become harder and harder to achieve.

There are a large percentage of people that turn to sleep aids in order to secure a decent night’s rest.  I wouldn’t recommend going that route first without trying a host of other things first.  But as always I recommend talking with your doctor first.

Actions to Take:

If you cannot measure it you will not improve is a well known scientific fact and in this case refers to measuring your sleep every night.

How do you measure sleep?  Well the old school thought is I went to bed at 10:00 pm and fell asleep around 10:30 pm and got up at 6:00 am.

Simple math would indicate that in this case the sleeper got 7.5 hours of sleep.  But did they?

If the sleep cycle was analyzed with instruments a clear picture of how much sleep was achieved is much different.

We would see all the time you woke up and how long you were in each sleep cycle.  The reality would look much less in most cases and might be off by as much as 10% or more.

How to track Sleep:

Thank goodness we have technology readily available and at a reasonable price to solve the issue with collecting sleep data.

There are devices to wear for example the Fitbit health trackers that track sleep and give you a daily score which I highly recommend.

It is easy to see your score daily, while measuring how much time was spent in each sleep cycle and how long and often you were awake each night.

Armed with this data you will be able to start making small changes to your behaviors and environment and then track to see if the changes make a difference in your sleep score.

After You Measure:

Okay, you now have a base number of how much sleep you are getting and an actual sleep score as a starting point.

So you may ask what’s next.  Let’s start with the simple stuff and work our way up to the more complex or even expensive.

Look at your environment first, we have written an article on how to get the best night’s sleep.  Sometime is as simple as adjusting the thermostat down a couple of degrees.

Are you sensitive to light?  If so, read this article on best eye sleeping mask.

Are external noises keeping you awake at night or even worse suddenly jolting you awake when you hear them?  A pink noise machine can easier mask out the sound in your environment giving you the best night sleep.

Stress Causes Poor Sleep:

Maybe stress is keeping you up all night worrying, in that case studies have shown that weighted blankets will reduce stress and anxiety.

The next area to check is your sleeping equipment, are using a high quality pillow that fits your needs?  A great pillow will change your sleeping score for sure and I would recommend you read this article on best pillows.

The biggest cost you will encounter in your quest for quality sleep is no doubt the mattress itself and there are in fact hundreds of choices in this category.

The Mattress:

Choosing the right mattress is a daunting task and you should take some time to research before going out to the store and look. 

Don’t be afraid of buying mattresses online as there are some great deals and here a link to help guide you in your search.

Also, if you are on a tight budget then another low cost option is buying a mattress topper.  Think of this as a remodel for your current mattress and a way to address poor sleep.

Buying Advice:

Whatever sleeping equipment you do buy whether online or in the store, please don’t buy any product that does not offer a free trial period and or free returns.

It takes a good two to three weeks of using new sleep equipment before determining whether or not it’s right for you.

If a company doesn’t offer a trial period and or free returns then walk away, as plenty of companies do.  Also, make sure you check to ensure there are not restocking fees or other hidden charges for returns.

Final Thoughts:

I have spent the last twenty-five years of my life working on improving my health.  I wish that I would have done this my whole adult life.

When I realized quality sleep impacts my health in such a large way I started researching sleep and dedicated myself to finding the best sleep products.

I now take the time to share that information with family, friends and readers like yourself.

My recommendation is to look for the small inexpensive things you can try first before moving to the more costly.

However, you will not regret buying a great pillow as they will provide you quality and comfort that you cannot get from a cheap department store pillow.

 

 

Work Cited:

 

Center for Disease Control & Prevention. (2020, April 15). Sleep & Sleep Disorders. Retrieved June 24, 2021, from Center for Disease Control & Prevention: 

LaMotte, S. (2021, June 18). Poor sleep linked to dementia and early death, study finds. Retrieved June 24, 2021, from CNN Health: 

MD, R. R., LK, B., W, W., SF, Q., & CA, C. (2020, December 10). Sleep difficulties, incident dementia and all- cause mortality among older adults across 8 years: Findings from the National Health and Aging Trends Study. Retrieved June 24, 2021, from Wiley Online Library:

 

Robert Frontier

Robert Frontier

Getting quality sleep is important to people of all ages and is just one of many areas of our health we need to be maintaining. When I was younger, I didn’t understand that my health was my greatest asset and took it for granted. I have spent the last twenty years of my life in the pursuit of a healthier life style. I am a parent, grandparent, author, and entrepreneur. My desire is for you and your family to get the best possible sleep and that starts with quality sleep products. Welcome to VJ Pillow.