Although it is unclear what the perfect recommended sleeping time is, everyone has their limits. Adults need about 7 – 9 hours of sleep to function normally during the day. If you don’t get the amount of sleep you need, you will suffer the consequences of sleep deprivation. Lets find out how sleep deprivation affects your lifestyle:-
Sleep deprivation vs insomnia – are they the same?
Both sleep deprivation and insomnia involve not getting enough sleep. However, they have a huge difference. People with sleep deprivation do not make or have enough time allocated for sleep. People with insomnia, on the other hand, will fail to fall asleep even when they have plenty of time allocated for sleep.
What causes sleep deprivation?
Sleep deprivation can be caused by several factors including lifestyle choices, poor sleep hygiene, sleep disorders, work obligation or even medical conditions.
Effects of sleep deprivation
Fatigue – this is one of the first early signs of sleep deprivation. You wake up and go through the day feeling fatigued and unmotivated for your work and social life.
Memory loss – One main importance of sleep is it helps your brain process new information into memories and stores it in your brain. Sleep deprivation can cause major memory loss since your brain does not get enough time to process this information.
Impaired brain activity – You will have an issue with learning and concentration, lack of sleep reduces your cognitive and creative abilities which then affect your coordination, judgment and reaction times.
Mental health issues – Long term sleep deprivation can be damaging to you brain. Extended sleep deprivation periods have been linked to paranoia, hallucinations and disorientation.
Low libido – sleep deprivation can mess with your libido. This is because the part of the brain that regulates circadian rhythm is also responsible for regulating hormones. Lack of sleep can lead to lower hormone production in both men and women.
Obesity/Weight gain and diabetes – lack of sleep causes stress which can lead to release of the stress hormone cortisol. This results in major anxiety and frustration which can often lead to poor nutrition and emotional eating. Without exercise, this could lead to obesity and other weight gain issues.
How to treat and prevent sleep deprivation
Do not brush it off
Many people try and cope with sleep deprivation instead of addressing it. This is because it is widely accepted as normal. Instead of taking action to get more sleep, many resorts to energy drinks, caffeine and power naps to function normally throughout the day.
Unfortunately, brushing it off won’t last you a long time. You will experience more side effects of sleep deprivation that will affect your health long term.
Make sleeping a priority
Insufficient sleep or sleep deprivation is often as a result of sacrificing sleep time for something else. It can lead to serious, damaging health effects. To avoid such, you should make sleep a priority
Start by setting boundaries
You should always separate your work life and social life from your personal life. It can be easy for your social and work life demands to take over your life. For this reason, you should always set boundaries between them. Designate time for work, social and personal life making sure you get enough time for your personal life.
Have a consistent sleep schedule
With enough time for personal life, you can create a sleep schedule. Go to sleep and wake up at the same time every day. Make sure you have enough time to get enough sleep.
Have a bedtime routine
A bedtime routine is essential and could aid in the quality of sleep you get. Simple things like brushing your teeth, putting on comfortable pajamas, reading and stretching/yoga could put you in the right mindset for sleep.
Create a comfortable sleeping environment
The bedroom environment should be ideal for relaxation and sleeping. A good quality mattress and cozy, breathable sheets can go a long way in providing comfortable high-quality sleep for the entire night. Make your bedroom dark and quiet during bedtime to promote deep sleep. Keep tv, computers and cellphones out of the bedroom while you sleep as they can interfere with your sleep patterns.
Avoid alcohol and caffein
Being well rested is more than just the amount of time you spend sleeping. Getting the Best mattress, comfortable quality sheets, and black out curtains also play an important role in creating the perfect sleeping environment and preventing sleep deprivation. Lack of sleep can be very damaging, follow the steps mentioned in this article to aid in prevention and treatment of sleep deprivation.