Sleep deprivation or insufficient sleep happens when a person doesn’t get an adequate amount of good quality sleep regularly. If a person doesn’t get recommended of 7-9 hours of sleep, a person is considered to be suffering from Sleep deprivation.
According to a recent study, people who sleep less than six hours a night have a 13% higher mortality rate in comparison to those who sleep a minimum of seven hours.
There can be many reasons for sleep deprivation, like family problems, or financial uncertainty, or underlying health concern and the major reason is work-related stress and anxiety.
The level of sleep deprivation varies with the severity – it can be chronic or acute. Chronic sleep deprivation has an adverse effect on your brain and cognitive functioning. It is known to increase the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, obesity, and can lead to depression as well. It also makes your immune system weak and your body becomes prone to getting sick very often and weakens your immune system to fight the infection.
It also affects your social well-being, as it is known to make people irritable, moody, and reduces your energy level of performing your daily tasks.
Older adults are known to be more resistant to the effects of sleep deprivation, whereas young adults and kids are more vulnerable. They may become hyperactive, or rebellious, or develop depression and may start suffering from low self-esteem.
What to know to avoid sleep deprivation?
1, Have a perfect sleep environment
Having a perfect sleep environment is going to help a lot if you are suffering from sleep deprivation.
The most important item in your bedroom is going to be your bed. A comfortable bed with a good comfortable mattress that supports your body perfectly and creates no pressure points is a must. A poor mattress is always a matter of concern and you will feel cranky, tired, and experience restless sleep. You should invest in a good mattress that also can regulate the air so that you don’t become hot while you are in slumber and also helps you to avoid becoming sweaty during the night.
Your bedroom should be made dark by having dark blinds or heavy curtains so that outside light doesn’t cause any disturbance to your resting time.
Your bedroom should have a cool temperature, you should set your thermostat anywhere in the range of 16-19.4°C (60-67°F).
Add a humidifier to keep moisture level at a reasonable level to avoid having skin issues.
Add a red or pink night bulb, if you like to go to bed with the light on.
No outside noise should be able to penetrate your bedroom that will result in disturbing your sleep. You can have a white noise machine playing soothing sound.
If you are thinking of buying a mattress, check out this review from SleepStandards.com.
2. Maintain Sleep Schedule
You should maintain a regular sleep schedule for bedtime and wakeup time. It should help your circadian rhythm to be set and allow your body to follow a regular sleep cycle. It is tough to follow this schedule during the weekends, but it needs to be followed so that you do not suffer from sleep deprivation.
You should not spend time in your bed if you are not feeling sleepy.
You should follow a regular schedule for meals, or workouts, household chores, and other activities as well.
3. Avoid Caffeine
You should avoid consuming any caffeine-laden drinks or food, like caffeine-laden chocolates or coffee, or energy drinks. They all are stimulants that force your brain to stay alert and awake which has an adverse effect on your sleep cycle and doesn’t allow you to have an adequate amount of zizz.
You should also avoid drinking al*ohol, as it may make you drowsy at the start, and you are going to have disturbed resting time during the night.
You should avoid consuming sodas as well, as sugary drinks harm your quality of sleep.
You should also reduce the amount of water intake in the evenings to avoid frequent trips to the bathroom in the middle of the night.
3. Follow Proper Bedtime Rituals
You should follow proper bedtime rituals daily, like brushing your teeth, washing your face, putting on lotion. You can also read, or write in a journal, or listen to music as part of your bedtime ritual.
These work out well as cues for your brain to know it is time to zizz.
4. Do Meditation or Mindfulness Activity
You should start doing meditation before going to bed. Any sort of meditation or mindfulness activity is known to have a positive effect on your body and mind. It helps you clear your mind, feel relaxed and helps in reducing your stress level and anxiety.
You can take the help of App for guided meditation sessions. There are lots of Apps available that should be able to help you with doing guided sessions. Headspace is the best app that has lots of courses that should make your meditation journey easy.
5. Switch off Your Electronic Gadgets
You should stop using electronic gadgets two hours before going to bed, worst-case scenario, 30 minutes before dozing off. The blue light emitted from these electronic gadgets fools your brain into thinking that it is a day and is known to disrupt your sleep cycle.
Using electronic gadgets also results in information overload and forces your brain to process more resulting in a rise in stress levels and anxiety which can create havoc on your sleep cycle.
6. Do Physical Activity
You should exercise regularly not only to stay fit but also to get sufficient good quality slumber every day. You should exercise as it helps in reducing stress levels, enhances your mood, and reduces anxiety which can result in you getting sufficient sleep.
You can exercise at your home, in your gym, or outdoors in a park or ground. Swimming, cycling, or even a walk should be good enough to help you in getting sufficient good quality sleep daily. You should do a minimum of 150 minutes of physical activity per week which comes to about 30 minutes per day for a minimum of five days a week.
You should also include light stretching or yoga in the evenings. You should not fall prey to heavy exercising in the evening, as it may result in sleep deprivation.
Doctors have been recommending 7-9 hours of sleep as a must to be deemed as sufficient for you to lead a healthy and productive life. Any amount of fewer than 7 hours is considered as insufficient zizz. By following the above-discussed tips, you should be able to get rid of sleep deprivation and have a good quality slumber daily for an adequate amount of time.