Lack of sleep can have adverse effects on your physical and mental health and without getting at least 8 hours of sleep at night because of the constant staying up late attitude, it makes you feel unrested when you wake up. This is called Sleep Deprivation, it is now becoming more common especially for young adults and teenagers to experience this, likely often due to poor time management and inefficiencies of how they’re handling their day
This is mostly because many people would prioritize unimportant activities over sleep such as being up late to binge-watch their favorite series, or by browsing the internet and visiting their social media accounts. Although, sometimes sleep deprivation is impossible to avoid especially when you’re working and doing nightly shifts and rotations for your job as demanding of a profession as those in the field of medical, law and criminology, or whether you are a student studying for the upcoming exams.
How does sleep deprivation affect you?
We each have individual sleep needs, and the average amount of sleep changes over our lifetime but according to experts we must ensure that we have slept for at least 8 hours. If you have short hours of sleep each night, you start to feel many health related issues as Sleep deprivation leads to impaired memory, compromised problem solving abilities, impaired fine motor skills and an increased risk of getting in a car crash if you’re behind the wheel without getting enough sleep because of the decrease level of alertness. It makes your immune system to shut down and will almost guarantee to make you sick, the common cold for example.
Sleep quality depends upon various factors such as your mental health, sleep hours etc. Stress is usually common cause for poor sleep quality.
To avoid loss of sleep and if you have difficulty maintaining or getting enough sleep you must consider to do the following:
- POWER NAP for at least 15-30 minutes as it has been shown to improve an individual’s alertness and improve memory functions and energy levels. Avoid much Longer Naps exceeding to an hour or 2, because of sleep inertia which will impair your performance
Whether you’re at your workplace or working at home without enough time to get more sleep during the night experts suggested taking a nap while at break to recover the lost hours of sleep that you should have when sleeping at night.
- Avoid eating 2 to 3 hours before bedtime as it may encourage unhealthy habits and lifestyle, disrupts your sleep and causes you to wake up feeling bloated because of all the calories you consumed late at night.
- Turn off, limit the use of electronics before bed and sleep with peaceful surroundings, It is preferable to keep the room with little light, minimal surrounding sound, a proper temperature as it is comfortable for sleep. Turn off all the gadgets 30 minutes before bedtime as it may help you fall asleep faster because Blue lights from these screens decrease the release of melatonin (a hormone which initiates the sleep and maintains sleep cycle) which may cause disturbance of sleep cycle & poor sleep quality. You can use night mode feature but sleeping with your phones on for example gives you the urge to use it more which will likely cause you to be up late, so rather just turn it off.
Studies have shown that electronics are harmful for your health because of the higher radiation that is in the technology.
- Meditate and listen to relaxing music before going to sleep because if you sleep in a relaxed state you’ll wake up feeling similarly. Many people say that you should meditate sitting upright. But if you don’t have the time during the day, it’s best just to do what works for you. You can always meditate when you get into bed while listening to a piece of relaxing music while meditating and do it for as long as comfortable, desired, or until you fall asleep.
Some researchers have gone on to explore how listening to soft music can help a person fall asleep faster as it reduces stress levels and makes us feel comfortable which gives you a good night’s sleep.
- Avoid caffeine, alcohol and dehydration. Caffeine is a sleep disruptor and drinking coffee during the day will spike up your energy levels making you harder to sleep during the night and drinking alcohol leaves you feel hangover and not refreshed when you wake up in the morning. With that said, by drinking water it not only replenish the lost fluids throughout the day and keeps you hydrated but also helps in relaxing the body, as the body is replenished. You will feel rejuvenated when you wake up the next day and if done regularly, you will start sleeping soundly as well.
- Start to Count Sheep’s when in trouble sleeping, Most of the time people are not able to sleep because there’s too much on their mind. Counting sheep calms the mind, it lets you focus on simple image visually and a simple counting operation for the mind to be in a relaxing state because It is a monotonous task, and it’s very boring nature is supposed to put one to sleep.