No one — absolutely no one — functions at their best when they're without sleep. According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM), about one in five adults fail to get enough sleep and about 30 percent of adults have symptoms of insomnia. That sounds like one in five adults who will not be very happy the next day at work as they experience excessive daytime sleepiness.
According to the AASM, irritability, anxiety, symptoms of depression, fatigue, increased errors, and reduced vigilance are all effects of sleep deprivation. Sleep deprivation has also been associated with an increased risk of high blood pressure, obesity, heart attacks, and diabetes, according to the AASM and the Centers for Disease Control. The bottom line: getting an adequate amount of sleep (most adults need seven to eight hours) is imperative.
If you're looking for natural ways to fall asleep, you may want to consider trying Dodow ($59), a sleep aid device that guides your breathing, enabling you to fall asleep faster. You turn on the device and tap the surface once for the eight-minute mode or twice for the 20-minute mode. Next, the device projects a blue light onto the ceiling that will guide your breathing. You breathe in rhythm with the light, inhaling as the the light expands and exhaling as it gets smaller.
"Focusing on the light takes your attention away from the thoughts that stimulate your waking state. With reduced brain activity, the process of falling asleep becomes smoother and quicker," according to the Dodow website. It explains that the Dodow device gradually slows down your breathing from 11 to six breaths per minute, which is conducive to a relaxed state.
Whether your insomnia is caused by pregnancy, stress, noise, or thoughts running through your head, Dodow reports that on average, users fall asleep 2.5 times faster with the device. If you end up not liking it, Dodow will refund 100 percent of your money up to 100 days after the delivery date.
As a reminder, we are not doctors (unless one of my fellow editors has a secret they've been hiding) and advise you to consult your doctor or a neurologist about the best ways to manage your insomnia.