Do you spend endless nights tossing and turning, unable to get as comfortable as you want, knowing you dread how you’ll feel the next day – completely out of sorts? Sleep deprivation is more than just a stormy night’s sleep and does so much more than just making you feel a little dizzy. It is a poor night’s sleep night after night, and the long-term effects are real and can be life-changing.
The Signs Of Sleep Deprivation:
Your Immune System Decreases
If you get less than 6 hours of sleep per night, your immune system can weaken, and this is our body’s primary defense line! Any infections in the air are attracted to your body, and they will attack.
Without a good night’s sleep, you will spend your day feeling exhausted. The night you missed will move onto the morning and through the day, and it’ll be uncontrollable.
Your Hormones Are Everywhere
Hormones regulate your metabolism, tissue function, sexual function, growth and development, and mood. So, without a good night’s sleep, your hormone irregularity can cause depression and lower moods.
Appetite Increase or Weight Gain
Our sleep affects the way we eat. Whether you feel too hungry or not hungry at all. If you feel hungry all of the time, you’re more than likely going to be craving foods that can increase your weight, such as; sugar and carbohydrates. These are the foods that give you a short burst of energy but then leave you to come crashing down.
Your Brain Doesn’t Work Properly
Our Brain needs rest, just like our body. So, when we sleep, we take everything we learned from the day, and our Brain puts it in the right place. If we lack that excellent night’s sleep, then our Brain suffers. We begin to make mistakes and forget things easier than we did before. It also affects a part of our Brain that results in mood swings.
The Causes of Sleep Deprivation:
Napping through the day
This can cause a complete downward spiral. If you’re feeling tired through the day, you should concentrate on staying away and fixing your night’s sleep. If you’re tired, try and get some fresh air to wake yourself up. By the time you get to bed, you’ll be tired enough and should get a better night’s sleep.
Too much caffeine throughout the day and before bed
Caffeine is one of the biggest culprits of insufficient sleep. If you’re fuelling your tiredness with cups of coffee and energy drinks, your body will eventually give up. The problem with caffeine is that you get a little burst of energy, and then your body becomes even more exhausted. Instead of continuing to fuel your body with more coffee because you feel tired, drink some water or teas such as chamomile, valerian root, lavender, lemon balm, passionflower, and magnolia bark.
Not Having A Settled Sleep Schedule
If you’re going to bed at different times every night, your body isn’t in a settled sleep schedule. So, consider planning it out and ensure you’re going to bed at the same time every night, where possible. This will eventually train your body to become tired at that time, and then you’ll find it easier to fall asleep.
Too Much Phone/Electronic Time Before Bed
In a 2011 study in Sleep in America poll, 95% of people said they regularly use some electronics within an hour of bedtime. This can interfere with your quantity and quality of sleep. Consider reading a book, write in your journal, meditate or listen to your favorite podcast.
Heavier Meals Before Bed
If you’re stocking your body full of food before bed, this can cause you to wake up during the night feeling uncomfortable. So, ensure that you’re eating food earlier – such as 6 pm, at the latest. Try to avoid sugary snacks also. All of these foods can sit on your stomach and cause issues such as sleep deprivation. Instead, you can have snacks such as nuts, seeds, fruit, and vegetables.
Not Enough Exercise Or Stimulation
If you’re going through the day without mind-engaging activities or exercise, your body and mind won’t be tired enough for the night. Remember to have some stimulation for your body and mind as you go through the day, even if it’s going for a walk or jog. To stimulate your mind, you could do some writing or research on your favorite topics.
How to Deal with Sleep Deprivation:
Nap (But Not For Long)
Taking a short 15/30 minute nap in the middle of the day won’t cause many issues to the night’s sleep you should get. If you leave your rest too long, it becomes detrimental to your sleep at night.
Don’t Overdo It
You’re already going to feel exhausted during this time, so ensure you don’t overdo it. If you do, this could make your symptoms worse. So, take it easy and relax but remember to get some stimulation as well.
It’s Okay to Delay Household Chores
If you’re struggling to do household chores because it takes too much energy, then you can delay them. Or, if you’re up for even a tiny amount of time, that’s okay too. Take your time and do what your body allows you to.
Listen to Your Body
You know your body, and if your body tells you that you’ve had enough, then listen to it.
Get Some Fresh Air
If you’re feeling tired, then getting out, getting active, and having a waft of fresh air can make a huge difference. Not only are you stimulating your body and mind, but you’re also waking up your Brain.
Focus on High Energy Foods
Think of the foods you’re consuming. Foods that are high in energy will help make you feel better overall. Just remember not to overindulge and to cut food out at a particular time, so the food isn’t heavy on your stomach by the time you go to bed.
Ask for Help
If you’re struggling, ask for help, whether it’s from a friend or a professional. They’ll always be willing to help, and you may get some more information on how you’re feeling.
Sleep deprivation doesn’t mean that you’ll always feel that way. It will eventually pass if you take the advice into action. If you feel like you’re a lost cause, the best route would be the speak to a professional, and they may suggest a natural remedy or prescribe a specific medication for you.