Sleeping is a necessity; it allows for your body to recharge. The act of not sleeping is often pushed to its limits by many because they don’t see the importance of sleep. They don’t recognize it as a necessity but more of a luxury. Without a proper amount of sleep you will not function as well as you would with 8 hours. For children it is recommended for 10-13 hours, for teens it’s 8-10, and adults it’s 7-8. If not met, you may experience sleep deprivation and other dangerous consequences.
This happens when you do not get enough sleep. This could be because of a disorder such as insomnia which causes you to have trouble falling asleep. It’s because you are out of sync with your body’s natural clock. Your natural clock is what time you would naturally wake up and go to sleep. So if you go against that for any reason you are disrupting your sleep schedule. Not getting the right amount of sleep can really take a toll on your physical health.
Sleep Deprivation Causes:
- Type Two Diabetes
- Heart Disease
- High blood pressure
- Accidents caused by drowsiness/human error
- Such as car accidents
- Poor immune function
- More infections and colds
- Memory issues
- Poor balance
Complications of Sleep deprivations:
- Reduced function: Productivity and efficiency in work/school is much harder. Because of how exhausted you are it will make tasks take much longer than usual. This is also because your mental and physical capabilities are not at full capacity.
- Microsleep: These are brief moments of sleep while you are awake. It seems like you were out of it, and you usually don’t remember what you were doing while it’s happening. That can be very dangerous. Especially if you’re doing an activity that can harm you if you aren’t paying attention, like driving or cooking.
- Mood swings: Crankiness, irritability, and impulsive decisions is something many people feel when they haven’t gotten enough rest. You may also experience trouble controlling your emotions and coping mechanisms as well. Whether you are in a professional environment like work or a casual environment mood swings will effect your relationships. Depression can also be a complication which can lead to suicidal thoughts if severe enough.
Benefits To Sleep:
- improves learning and memory retention: it allows for your brain to prepare for the next day by creating new pathways while you sleep.
- Improves function and safety
- helps repair the body. It allows for body parts to rest. It lowers the risk for any cardiovascular diseases, and the repair of cells and tissues.
- keeps certain hormones in check, such as it helps how your body reacts to insulin. Which in turn helps prevent type two diabetes. Sleep helps growth and development. It triggers a hormone that encourages growth and muscle mass.
- Decreases risk for adverse health conditions
- It helps manage your appetite.
5 ways you can improve your quality of sleep
Set a sleep schedule:
Your body runs on a 24-hour cycle. You should plan to go to sleep at a certain time and wake up at a certain time, including weekends. Doing this can regulate your sleep pattern and it will be easier to get the same amount of sleep. Consider having the same nighttime routine as well. That can help your body prepare for bed and try to make it a relaxing activity. For instance, a warm bath, reading, etc.
Exercising regularly is a great way to getting a good night’s rest, it makes you fall asleep easier. According to help guide, exercising just 10 minutes a day will improve the quality of sleep. They also say the more intense the workout is the better sleep benefits there will be. But make sure you don’t exercise too close to bedtime. Try to plan your workouts at a time that will end three hours before your bedtime. Exercising close to bedtime can energize you instead of tire you out.
Turn down the lights:
When it’s dark your body releases a hormone called melatonin. Which makes you drowsy and signals you to go to sleep. Blue lights from devices such as tablets, televisions, and phones can prevent the correct amount of melatonin from being released. This causes you to stay up longer and disrupts your sleeping patterns and you won’t get the amount of sleep needed. If you still want to be on your phone before bedtime, turn the brightness down. This will combat the possible melatonin issue and the stimulating properties a brighter device has.
Be cautious of what you eat and when:
Stay away from food that stimulates the brain before bed. For instance food like caffeine, chocolate, refined carbs such as white rice, and sugary foods/drinks. It’s recommended by the CDC to not consume these products a few hours before you go to sleep. They say this because it disrupts the “winding down” process that prepares you to go to sleep. If you do fall asleep, it affects you in your sleep as well. Also avoid heavy meals before bedtime and drinking too many liquids. This can cause frequent bathroom trips throughout the night. If you do want a little snack try something light for example a banana or yogurt.
Create a comfortable sleeping environment:
Make yourself as comfortable as possible. Ask yourself the following questions: Is my bed comfortable? Do I need a new mattress? Does any body part of mine ache when I wake up?Am I too warm or cold while I sleep? Is my room dark enough? You should try to improve your situation to see if that helps with your sleeping. It’s recommended to keep your room at 65 degrees Fahrenheit. Make sure your room is dark, like stated earlier that can trigger the melatonin to make you drowsy. If noise is an issue, invest in some ear plugs, a sound machine, or a fan. You might have to invest in a new mattress and/or pillows to help get comfortable. Another way to create a great sleep environment is to make your bedroom just for sleeping. Try not to do work in there this can stimulate the brain and disrupt the environment you are trying to create.
Sleep is extremely important to proper body functioning. Sleep deprivation can cause you to make horrible decisions and can cause a lot of complications. You can improve your sleep by: schedule, exercise, less blue lights, eating habits, and your environment. Sleep can also help you with Muscle growth or even weight loss so you should try to get the recommended amount of sleep.