Coping With Sleep Deprivation
Is Your Sleep Pattern Non-Existent?
Sleeping is especially important for us all to function in everyday life and coping with sleep deprivation can have a very negative effect.
But we all know our sleeping pattern is somewhat inconsistent at times or we are up late watching another TikTok, Instagram feed, YouTube or a movie/series etc. But how damaging can sleep deprivation be to us?
What can sleep deprivation do to our bodies?
- Impair cognition! → A lack of sleep impairs our memory and our ability to process and recall information.
- Depression → Our neurotransmitter can be disrupted when we have a lack of sleep. These changes in neurotransmitters can cause changes in our mood in a negative way.
- Higher levels of anxiety → Lack of sleep can cause our body alert system to constantly work therefore causing an increase in our anxiety levels.
- Stroke risk → Interestingly if we sleep 6 hours or less we have a higher chance of having a stoke – as large as 4 times increase compared to someone who have at least 8 hours of sleep.
- Risk of diabetes → When we sleep our body is recharging us and the cells in our body is repairing any damage or concerns. So when we are awake our body is working extra and these extra jobs they do are related to insulin resistance.
- Weakened immunity → Working our bodies to much can be very damaging, therefore as previously mentioned a lack of sleep weakens our protect mechanism to defend ourselves from viruses.
So what can we do in the mean time do try to get at least 8 hours of sleep?
Young adults and older need 7-8 hours of sleep each night to stay in good mental and physical health, promote quality of life, and avoid an increased risk of injury.
Younger children need increasingly more hours of sleep but overall 8 hours of sleep is recommended. Below are tips you can implement in your lifestyle to help get some more sleep!
- Go to sleep at the same time each night, and get up at the same time each morning, even on the weekends.
- Don’t take naps after 3 p.m, and don’t nap longer than 20 minutes.
- Stay away from caffeine and alcohol late in the day.
- Avoid nicotine completely.
- Get regular exercise, but not within 2-3 hours of bedtime.
- Don’t eat a heavy meal late in the day. A light snack before bedtime is OK.
- Make your bedroom comfortable, dark, quiet, and not too warm or cold.
- Follow a routine to help you relax before sleep (for example, reading or listening to music). Turn off the TV and other screens at least an hour before bedtime.
- Don’t lie in bed awake. If you can’t fall asleep after 20 minutes, do something calming until you feel sleepy, like reading or listening to soft music.
- Talk with a doctor if you continue to have trouble sleeping.
- Banning all-nighters (Don’t leave homework for the last minute!).