Difficulty sleeping can be frustrating, especially for those who have busy schedules to adhere to the following day. According to a National Sleep Foundation poll in 2011, almost half of all Americans fail to get enough sleep.
While the amount of sleep necessary may vary between individuals based on factors such as age or lifestyle, it is generally accepted that adult require 7 to 8 hours of sleep per night on average.
Getting too little sleep may not seem an issue after one night, but eventually it will begin to build up and your body will demand the opportunity to recover.
A lack of sleep can affect judgement, reaction times and cognitive functions, which could damage your health, work life and relationships over time, so it’s important to correct bad sleep habits before they wreak further havoc on your lifestyle.
It may be tempting to combat the troubles of insomnia with medication, such as sleeping pills or other prescription drugs, however they often prove to be more of a hindrance than a help when it comes to your health.
What’s wrong with sleeping pills?
Sleeping pills are one of the most frequently prescribed medications in the United States, yet they can easily become addictive and should be considered a last resort, rather than an attainable helping hand. They also have potentially damaging or dangerous side effects, such as drowsiness throughout the day that could result in poor cognitive performance, putting your safety at risk.
What are the alternatives?
Medication doesn’t have to be the only step to a good night’s sleep. It’s worth taking notice of the psychological approaches that focus on mindfulness to ensure a good night’s rest, assuming you’ve already taken the usual precautions such as blocking out light, reducing noise, shutting down technological devices such as computers and avoiding caffeine and alcohol before bedtime.