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Don't Let The Bed Bugs Bite

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Sleep affects our health and well-being, our moods and behavior, our energy and emotions, our marriages and jobs, our very sanity and happiness. 'About a third of the human lifetime is spent in sleep' (Hauri and Linde 8). After I gave a survey, I found that more than 95% of students tested enjoy sleeping but have problems doing so. 'Insomnia is the perception of inadequate sleep because of difficulty falling asleep, waking up frequently, difficulty falling back to sleep, waking up to early, or unrefreshing sleep' (NIH 2). Many people have these problems and consider it hard to get over. In my opinion, it is not hard to get a good nights sleep because most of it is all in your head.
The main reason that people today aren't getting enough sleep is that their before bed rituals are keeping them awake. 'Do not use your bed for anything but sleep; that is, do not read, watch television, eat, or worry in bed' (Hauri 21). Your aim is to strengthen the association between bed and sleep, so that bed automatically elicits sleep. In order to accomplish this, all other associations to bed must be eliminated. 'Never remain in bed, awake, for more than thirty minutes' (Riley 88). If you stay in bed awake, you are subtracting many valuable minutes of deep, restful sleep. If you do get out of bed do something boring to make you tired. Do not eat or drink because your pleasures will strengthen your awakening ability. For example, eating ice-cream will make you want ice-cream on other nights. For a better sleep try keeping a warm body and cool room to enhance your sleeping abilities. For more comfort consider that, 'sex is recommended whenever, wherever, and with whomever you choose because it alleviates tension' (Schwartz 24). The doctor can not be there for you telling you what to do or what not to do before bed. Therefore, a good nights sleep lies in your own will power.
People would do anything to control there sleep. 'Each year, Americans spend more that $98 million on over-the-counter remedies to help them sleep at night, and another $50 million on caffeine tablets to help them stay awake during the day' (Graber 90). Imagine how much money they would have saved if only they understood what keeps them awake or what puts them to sleep. Many smokers also wonder why they have contributed to that great amount of money in the statistics above. My guess is that more statistics prove that, 'after asked to give up smoking, their average sleep onset latency decreased from 52 minutes per night to 34 minutes after only 4 days of abstinence from nicotine' (Lacks 28). Putting substances in the body is not the only way to differentiate sleep. Under unusual circumstances there was a case of a boy, just for research staying awake for an extended amount of time. 'A 17-year-old high school student named Randy Gardner maintained a 264 hour vigil (that's 11 days) ' (Coates and Thorese 29). To do this he had to keep his muscles moving and keep his mind active. What makes this case so unusual is that the first night of normal sleep he only slept for 14 hours and went back to his normal schedule with no indications of tiredness. People have some pretty harsh methods of staying awake or falling asleep. If they would do a little research they should fine a more healthier way of obtaining both goals.
People think that common sense can tell everyone that if you are comfortable in bed that you should have a good nights sleep. It's true. Learning to relax your body will help you sleep better. 'Twenty minutes in the hot tub can relax your muscles for a peaceful night' (Insomnia 1). Nothing feels better than being free of aches and pains and then being able to lie down comfortably after a hard day. Some important muscles that can cause problems in sleeping when tense are your legs, buttocks, shoulders, and neck. Massaging these places will reduce tension that may deprive you of precious sleep. As for your mind, thinking of wonderful things can only bring a wonderful nights sleep. If you have problems to solve do it before you go to bed because the bed, to me, is a happy place that can take you to better places where you don't have to worry about problems. Everyone should agree that if you lived to be '100 years old and 30 of those years were spent sleeping,' (Graber 27) they wouldn't want to waste those years by being an unhappy sleeper.
Don't be unhappy because you don't understand why you can't sleep. 'Many causes of insomnia is advancement of age, being of the female gender and a history of depression' (NIH 4). It is easy to avoid insomnia despite the causes. If you think you are going to have difficulties in sleeping you will. Not only will things in your head, like worrying, disturb your sleeping habits, 'you have to be extra careful about excessive napping'(Hauri 35). If you are still having problems, try exercising in the late afternoon. I'm sure many people have told you not to eat before you go to bed. That is also true but a little snack could satisfy your discomfort you are experiencing. Again, the only way to get a good night sleep is if you, yourself realize what is keeping you awake.
Are you wondering how much sleep you really need? The answer is that the amount varies tremendously. There is no 'normal'' amount. Different people need different amounts of sleep. Seven to eight hours is the average. Even that is only an average and has nothing to do with what is good or bad. 'About 150 years ago, before Thomas Edison developed the electric light, our entire society slept about an hour longer, a little more than eight hours'(Hauri and Linde 9). This evidence goes to show that since there wasn't any light people just got bored ...

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