Sleep deprivation is one of those guests that are always unwelcome but ever present. It drags the energy out of you, makes you cranky and leaves you tired. Sleep deprivation, meaning the state caused by voluntary or involuntary loss of sleep, is an all too common situation faced by numerous people every day. However, though common, even one night of sleep deprivation can have a negative effect on the mind and body.
Just as your body needs air to breathe and food to sustain, it also needs sleep to repair and restore itself. With age, our body experiences wear and tear. Sleep deprivation speeds up the process and leads to many unsolicited chronic illnesses. It also lowers the quality of life, keeping you from success, happiness, and productivity.
Here are six ways to easily recover from sleep deprivation:
Table of Contents
1. Acknowledge the problem
People often associate sleep with laziness or vanity. By attaching a negative perception to completely natural and necessary behavior, they struggle to acknowledge the problem at hand. To recover from an ailment, it is important to first accept that you have a concern that needs fixing. The role of sleep in the efficient functioning of the human body is underrated. With the amount of sleep research available, people continue to wear a lack of sleep as a badge of honor. At night the body repairs and restores itself from the stressors of the day. Lack of sleep leads hormonal imbalance, causes you to overeat and prevents you from having an active life. Long-term sleep deprivation could lead to chronic illnesses of the heart, diabetes, a weakened immune system and affects the cognitive ability of the brain. It is also a contributing factor for mental illnesses. By recognizing the negative effects of sleep deprivation, people need to make a personal, conscious choice to aim for better sleep.
2. Improve your sleeping environment
In many cases, sleep deprivation is caused by an uncomfortable sleeping environment. External factors like light, temperature, distractions, bed comfort and noise can keep you up at night. Simple steps like installing blackout curtains and a fan can create a cool, dark environment needed to foster good sleep. Warm temperatures coupled with mattresses that aren’t breathable can cause mattress sweats, waking you up frequently. It is crucial for mattress purchases to be done after much research. Electronic devices like phones, tablets, and television sets need to be outside the bedroom at all times. Not only do these devices tempt and distract the user, but the backlit devices also causes the brain to increase its energy levels causing you to stay awake longer. People living in urban areas tend to be more sleep deprived than their counterparts because of the prevalent noise from the streets. In these cases, white noise machines play a beneficial role in attaining adequate sleep.
3. Reach out for help
Sleep deprivation can also be caused due to an internal struggle. As the brain toils to process negative emotions of the day or increased amounts of stress, it may manifest itself through lack of sleep. In these cases, you need to ask yourself, do you feel more pressure at work lately? Has something occurred that infuriates you? Are you struggling to sleep due to feelings of overwhelming anxiety? If so, then you need to reach out for help. Sometimes, a compassionate ear and a shoulder to cry on are all you need. However, if you continue to repress emotions, then you may need to visit a specialist. Sleep specialists are trained to help you sleep better. Therapists are proficient in helping you manage your emotions better. There is no lack of help in this world. All you need to do is reach out and ask for it.
4. Lifestyle changes
It isn’t difficult to spot sleep deprivation symptoms in a person. Grogginess, yawning, clumsiness, irritability, fatigue, lack of motivation and increased appetite are just some of them. The real question is what can be causing persistent sleep deprivation in your life. Often, lifestyle choice is the guilty offender. To overcome a serious behavioral inconsistency like sleep deprivation, one has to take a good hard look at the negative aspects of their lifestyle. It may be too much caffeine, not enough physical exercise, working long hours, drinking alcohol, substance abuse and so on. It takes strength, determination, and willpower to be able to welcome a healthier lifestyle and commit to it. It includes regular medical check-ups, an active life, balanced diet, set sleep schedules and apt work-life balance. The path to success is not working hard till you drop dead, rather improving the quality of life gradually.
5. Relaxation techniques
Sometimes, we have to face disappointments and failure in life. It might even seem like the universe is conspiring against us. The truth is we all need to go through the roller coaster called life to be able to appreciate the ride we have been on. There is no problem too big to handle and all we need to do is take a few deep breaths. Relaxation techniques like meditation and deep breathing exercises are taught to anyone who wants to listen. Clearing their minds and taking decisions in a moment of clarity has helped millions of people take on a whole new perspective in life. It has helped people overcome anxiety disorders, depression and eradicate the poison called stress. By practicing meditation for 10-30 minutes every night before going to bed, you remove the negativity you carry from the day and sleep peacefully. You can also create a cozy meditation corner in your room to remind yourself to find inner peace every night. With plenty of rug stores around, a meditation corner is just one click away.
6. Educate yourself
The reason why sleep deprivation is so prevalent is due to the lack of education regarding sleep. Sleep disorders go unchecked, sleep deprivation ignored and sleep schedules absent. This is why people need to take it on themselves to gain adequate sleep education. It not only details how you can sleep better but helps you diagnose the problems you have with sleeping. It aids you in preventing chronic physical ailments and averts chaotic mental conditions like depression. It teaches new parents how to create comfortable sleeping environments to foster cognitive and physical growth in their children. It details healthy sleeping rituals and helps you find clinically certified products.
Sleep deprivation is a phenomenon growing parallel to the increase in illnesses. Long working hours, unhealthy lifestyle choices and suppression of natural instinct are leading down a barren path. By educating oneself and keeping a vigilant eye out for our friends and family, we are paving the way to a healthy reset in life.