Copyright Goodheart-Willcox Co., Inc. Chapter 3 Getting the Sleep You Need 91 Summary Lesson 3.1 Understanding Sleep People who get insufficient sleep are sleep deprived, which prevents their bodies from rejuvenating, healing, and resting. Those who do not get enough sleep experience a sleep deficit. Naturally occurring physical, behavioral, and mental changes in the body that follow the 24-hour cycle of the sun are called circadian rhythms. The body monitors light in the environment and releases melatonin at night. Disruptions to the circadian rhythm, such as using electric lights late at night, can take a while to overcome. Throughout one evening, you cycle through five distinct stages of sleep multiple times. People who get insufficient sleep are more likely to develop serious health conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, and obesity. They also have an increased risk of getting sick more often. Sleep deprivation can negatively impact young people’s growth. People who are sleep deprived are less likely to do well in school or in sports than people who get plenty of sleep. Lack of sleep affects concentration, problem-solving skills, and memory. Lesson 3.2 Common Sleeping Problems Delayed sleep phase syndrome (DSPS) or “night owl” syndrome is a disorder that results in a person being unable to fall asleep until very late at night and naturally not waking up until much later in the morning. DSPS is common during the teenage years. Trouble falling or staying asleep is called insomnia. This affects a person’s ability to get enough sleep. The most common forms of parasomnia are bed-wetting, nightmares, sleepwalking, restless legs syndrome (RLS), and teeth grinding. Sleep apnea is a potentially serious disorder in which a person stops breathing for short periods of time during sleep. This can be due to an obstruction in the person’s airway (obstructive sleep apnea), or the brain failing to send the right signals to the muscles that control breathing (central sleep apnea). Narcolepsy affects the brain’s ability to control the sleep-wake cycle, which can cause people to suddenly fall asleep for seconds or minutes at a time. Lesson 3.3 Developing Strategies for Getting Enough Sleep Setting and following a sleep-wake schedule every day of the week is one of the best ways to avoid an irregular sleeping pattern. Naps can be helpful for getting some extra sleep throughout the day as long as they are no longer than 30 minutes or are not too close to bedtime. Exercising at least 20–30 minutes every day can help people fall asleep and stay asleep. Even if they do not struggle with sleep disorders, people should avoid drinks and foods with caffeine near bedtime. Practicing relaxation techniques before bed can help prepare the body for sleep. A comfortable sleep environment is also important for getting the best sleep possible. Most people sleep best in a cool, dark, and quiet room. Chapter 3 Review and Assessment
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