A New Obsession with Sleep

Dr. Dan JensenOverall Health, Research, Sleep

A New Obsession with Sleep
Dr. Dan Jensen

Have you been struggling to sleep at night? Do you wake up feeling short of breath or have difficulty falling asleep? Millions of Americans complain about being tired during the day, staying up too late, or having poor quality sleep. With all this talk of being tired, it seems like our society is obsessed with sleep, and we’re all looking for ways to improve our sleep and get a good night’s rest.

Policing Sleep

While it’s true that many of us struggle with sleeping, and need help with our sleep hygiene, policing and regulating sleep has become a major issue for many Americans. We read articles, talk to friends, see Instagram posts, and spend hours policing sleep. We talk to our friends about how exhausted we feel, swap stories of insomnia, and ask if anyone has tried the latest trends in sleep hygiene.

Why Are We Always Tired?

Not only are we all looking for a great night’s sleep, but we’ve come to expect that we, and the whole society, are tired all the time. We’ve started to equate fatigue with success, and if you’re tired, it must be because you’re doing so many amazing things with your life. If you’re not tired, maybe you’re doing something wrong, and you need to take up a new hobby, accept an extra project at work, or join a new gym.

Look at successful people, or think about the self-help books you’ve been reading. Everyone talks about getting up early, and finding time to do a million things in a day. Many of these successful people who share their stories or write book are over 50 years old. According to Dr. Paul Kelley, Honorary Clinical Research Associate in the Sleep and Circadian Neuroscience Institute at University of Oxford, older adults need less sleep, and naturally wake up earlier in the morning. So, if you’re in your 20s and are looking to these adults for sleep advice, this could be having serious consequences to your health.

Being Sleep Deprived

Now more than ever before, people in our society are sleep deprived, and more people collapse from exhaustion or have break downs due to our crazy schedules and full lives. If you’re not sleeping well, you’re not alone. From poor sleep hygiene to overuse of technology, to the expectation to always say yes to more things, we just don’t get enough rest to be healthy. Many people say that we’re in the middle of a sleep epidemic, and that poor sleep is leading to a host of other health concerns. It’s estimated that 1 in 3 people suffer from insomnia, sleep apnea, or another sleep disorder, and aren’t taking steps to change their sleep habits.

Tracking Sleep

Are we more sleep deprived than our parents’ generation? While some argue that we’re sleeping far worse than people 30 years ago, others say we’re just more aware of our sleep habits and sleep cycles. We monitor our sleep with apps, compare our sleep to others, and even compete with ourselves, seeing if we slept better or worse today than we slept last week. We wear smart watches that monitor activity levels, heartrate and quality of sleep, purchase t-shirts with sensors, or sleep with our phones under our pillows so that our sleep apps can monitor our night, and we’re obsessed with sleep like never before. We know if our sleep was deep or light, how many times we shifted in the night, or if we were snoring. We hyper analyze our sleep, and don’t always ask ourselves how we feel. If our technology tells us we slept poorly, we feel tired, even if we slept the appropriate amount for that day.

Sound Sleep Medical

While our society has an obsession with sleep, and everyone is monitoring their sleep habits, it’s important to recognize when you’re having normal sleep, and avoid comparing your sleep to someone else’s. What’s normal for you might be too little or too much for someone else.

Have you been struggling to fall asleep, or feel tired all the time? A sleep disorder will impact your overall health and wellbeing in profound ways. Visit us today at Sound Sleep Medical to find out more. Don’t rely on society to tell you if you should feel tired, but trust the experts at Sound Sleep Medical, and rest well knowing that you’re getting the sleep that you need.