One of my favorite evening activities, just before I turn off the TV and computer and wind down for bed, is surfing YouTube for a video or two. Sometimes they’re educational, if I’ve got a question on healthy sleep habits or sleep disorders that needs answering. Sometimes they’re thought-provoking or dramatic.
And sometimes, they’re just plain cute.
Have a look at this sleepy little funny animal video. You’ll see some of the fuzziest and funniest-looking critters you’ve ever seen, all falling asleep – and falling over! See for yourself…
The Serious Side of Daytime Sleepiness
When it’s a fatigued feline or a dozy duck, it’s adorable. But daytime sleepiness is no laughing matter! If you’re so tired you’re falling asleep when you should be on the lookout (like those meerkats, for example), you’re probably not getting enough sleep – or good enough sleep.
A lot of things can cause fatigue or sleepiness during the day:
• Insomnia. If you want to sleep but can’t, or wake up in the middle of the night, you’re dealing with insomnia. Insomnia can be brought on by stress, evening caffeine intake, or medical problems with body chemistry or hormonal balance (among others).
• Sleep deprivation. Sleep deprivation can be a result of insomnia, of a particular situation (say, you’ve just had a new baby) – or it may be self-inflicted. If you’re working late into the evening at the computer and then getting up early to get the kids to school, you’re putting yourself at risk for sleepiness during the day. You may get a little more done, but you may be putting yourself or your family in danger.
• Sleep disorders or sleep disordered breathing. A variety of sleep disorders can make it difficult to get high-quality sleep, even if you log enough hours in bed. If you have sleep apnea, for example, your body may forget to breathe during sleep, so that your brain rouses (at least partially) to make sure you get enough oxygen. You may never even wake up completely – but your body’s sleep cycle has been disrupted, leaving you at risk for sleepiness during the day.
Enjoy the video – these guys are ridiculously cute. But if you see a little too much of yourself in these sleepy softies, talk to your doctor. You don’t want to find yourself face-planting like one of these poor puppies!
Are you sleep deprived? Why? What helps you sleep?