While sleep is treated like a hard-to-achieve commodity in today’s society, rather than a necessity, it is vital to the body’s replenishment, refreshment, and regulated functioning. Although sleep is one of the key ingredients needed to execute a successful life, as it assists in such roles as helping the body function properly, stimulating the mind and the process of creativity, increasing memory, and even developing muscles, many people do not get the appropriate amounts of sleep. This can cause many complications and pose hazards to the body’s total well-being.

“My heart, which is so full to overflowing,

has often been solaced and refreshed by music when sick and weary.” – Martin Luther


What amount of sleep is considered to be adequate?

While there is not a specified number of hours that people should sleep for, since it varies on an individual basis that includes such factors as age and activity level, people should strive to feel well-rested and relaxed. Although there are a number of activities that may bring rest and relaxation, an adequate amount of sleep is vital to the body’s circadian rhythm and well-being.

What are some factors that may contribute to a lack of sleep?

Due to a number of reasons, people may lack the sleep needed to perform optimally. Such factors as stress, increased workloads, and hectic schedules often contribute to sleep deprivation. Additionally, staying up late at night to socialize or to engage the mind in activities which require substantial focus, such as playing video games, may make it difficult for the body to enter a state of sleep when it is ultimately sought. Moreover, physical ailments and some mental disorders may make it difficult to obtain well-needed rest.

What are some measures that people choose to employ in attempting to remedy their lack of sleep?

When faced with time constraints, many people may choose to engage in practices that they hope will serve as viable substitutes for sleep. Some rely on stimulants, like that which can be found in coffee or energy drinks, to aid them in obtaining the vigor to fulfill their tasks. Yet, it is important to realize that caffeine, which is the ingredient in these drinks thought to provide the sought-after results, can produce complications; while generally considered harmless in small doses, caffeine can pose significant problems, such as irregularities in heart rhythm and high blood pressure, for people consuming it in increased amounts. Other people may turn to alcohol which, though appearing to exert stimulant effects, is actually a depressant and can disrupt the ability for consumers to maintain an effective sleep schedule. Still others may try to remedy their lack of sleep by negotiating time. For example, they believe that if they sleep for only two hours one night, then they can use their day off to catch up on their sleep. However, this practice is actually not a remedy; instead, it is an additional contributor to the lack of receiving adequate rest as it promotes erratic sleep schedules. Irregularities in the amounts of sleep that people obtain can disturb their cycle of sleep and can eventually lead to such sleep disorders as insomnia in which they experience difficulties falling asleep.

Is there a safe alternative to obtaining the amount of sleep the body needs?

While the amount of sleep that bodies need can differ per individual basis, there is no adequate substitute for sleep. The body relies on its internal clock, known as the circadian rhythm, to function properly, and any disruptions may not only result in a number of sleep disorders but also in many other negative consequences for the body, such as problems with digestion, irregularities in hormone secretion within the body, and immune-deficiency complications. Establishing regular sleep routines are important to maintaining well-being.

What are some types of sleep disorders?

Some of the most common types of sleep disorders are insomnia, narcolepsy, and sleep apnea. Insomnia is a disorder which can affect people by causing difficulties in falling asleep, stimulating periods of time during the night in which they wake up and find it challenging to fall back asleep, and prompting them to wake up early in the morning feeling unrefreshed. Narcolepsy, on the other hand, is a disorder of the nervous system in which patients fall asleep erratically for periods of five minutes or less due to a lack of the neurotransmitter, orexin, which the body produces in order to stay alert. Sleep apnea is a disorder in which the breathing during sleep intermittently stops for the duration of a minute several times a night until the diminished amount of oxygen in the blood triggers the body to wake up and resume breathing. When people fail to get the proper amount of sleep, they create situations in which any of these three conditions become worse because the body has a more difficult time functioning optimally.

What are some of the complications that may stem from inadequate sleep?

In addition to potentially contributing to such physical problems as heart and blood pressure complications; changes in appetite; weaker immune systems, which can lead to illness; vision impairment; and muscle and joint pain, sleep deprivation or irregular patterns of sleep can add to difficulties in stress management, focus, and comprehension. Due to the wide range of physical, emotional, and mental challenges that sleep deprivation causes, people who do not get adequate rest are in jeopardy of performing poorly as they attempt to execute their daily functions. When people do not feel well, it is much more challenging to complete activities satisfactorily because, as the mind is aligned with the body, when one part of the interdependent system is having difficulties, so is the other. When the body is sleep deprived, the brain will not be as effective in concentrating and productively carrying out functions. Not only does a lack of focus and comprehension have the ability to affect judgment and reduce reaction time, as it does in many vehicular accidents, but it also may lead to more frequent errors in all realms of life. With regards to interpersonal relations, sleep deprivation may cause negative experiences for people as they tend to become more irritable and non-cooperative. Consequently, it is imperative that sleeping patterns be cautiously monitored and that people accommodate sleep into their schedules in a routine manner.

What are some measures that may be productive in obtaining adequate sleep?

Effective time management is one of the keys in obtaining adequate sleep. It involves the abilities to prioritize goals, to set realistic expectations, to implement actions aimed at achieving objectives, and to establish healthy lifestyle practices that will aid the body in performing to its optimal ability. Creating a well-balanced schedule is imperative to productivity and efficiency and must include sufficient time for the sleep necessary to maintain the body’s proper functioning. Additionally, people who find that their burdens are many and that their time still seems to be insufficient to accomplish their reprioritized goals may need to rely on the assistance of others in order to help alleviate some of the stress that is weighing them down and preventing them from obtaining appropriate rest. While some people may want to be or believe that it is their responsibility to be in charge and in control of managing the situations within their lives on their own or may lack the assurance in others who can help them fulfill their duties, support teams are critical components of life, and it is important that people realize obtaining the assistance of others does not make them weak or inept but, rather, affords the time needed to be their optimal selves. Moreover, obtaining peace of mind, letting go of undue stress, releasing tenseness through constructive means, and allowing the mind the time needed to not focus on any external forces are pertinent to success. Sleep can provide people with the abilities to feel renewed, to embrace their creativity, and to have the energy to persevere through life’s pressures and to press towards accomplishing their ambitions.

How can music help people who suffer from sleep deprivation?

Music has several positive benefits that can help people who struggle in obtaining adequate sleep. As some types of music have the ability to decrease muscle tenseness, blood pressure, and heart rate within the body, they may produce meditative states which can, ultimately, induce sleep. Additionally, music can alleviate stress and promote relaxation by causing the mind to diminish feelings of worry or nervousness. This not only assists in the amount of sleep obtained but also in the quality of sleep as it can help improve the body’s sleep patterns. Music can also help people to reprioritize goals and form decisions that will help them in achieving their ambitions. People who listen to music often report feeling at ease and empowered.