Sleep deprivation costs America an estimated 100 billion dollars a year in lost productivity, medical expenses, and sick leave time.
A National Sleep Foundation poll found the following:
- Nearly 7 out of 10 Americans said they experience sleep problems
- 69 percent of children have a sleep problem at least once a week
- 67 percent of elderly adults (40 and older) report frequent sleep problems
- 63 percent of adults do not get 8 hours of sleep a night (adults need 7-9 hours of sleep per night)
- 15 percent of adults have severe insomnia
When we don’t get adequate sleep, we accumulate a sleep debt that can be difficult to pay back. If our sleep debt gets too high, we start to experience physical, emotional, and hormonal damage including high blood pressure, obesity, and mood and behavior changes.
In a study, 20-year-olds were only allowed to sleep four hours a night for seven days. At the end of the week they all tested positive for diabetes or hypoglycemia. This shows that lack of sleep can cause hormones to change.
During the four years of college, the average girl gains 20 pounds. This diet shows one reason why. It has been reported that in the year 1900 the average person consumed 6-8 pounds of sugar per year. Today the estimate is over 200 pounds of sugar—and 1 in 13 adults are becoming diabetic in the process!
How can you increase and improve your sleep? Exercise during the day helps exhaust your excess physical stress. A good diet can help you get better quality sleep which helps you feel better rested in the morning. Even a simple back massage can help relax the muscles and make going to sleep easier.
A schoolteacher and mother of four children didn’t get more than five hours of sleep a night. Her family insisted something was wrong because she continued to gain weight, even when she ate half-meals. While visiting the doctor, she found she was insulin resistant and diabetic.
Her chiropractor recommended she take supplements, and walk 20 minutes every day. She was miraculously able to control her insulin levels without continued insulin injection, and within a year she lost 35 pounds.