We tend to forget that a good round of sleep is necessary for the body to operate normally and prevent sleep deprivation. A study conducted in 2016 revealed that 1 in every 3 adults face sleep deprivation on a regular basis.Sleep deprivation is a condition that affects your overall health and it's normally due to stress, anxiety, depression and poor sleeping habits. Click To Tweet
In this article, you’ll find a very simple checklist to combat sleep deprivation, that you can add to your notes, take a screenshot or download, to keep it handy.
Before that, let’s address the main question.
Why do we suffer from sleep deprivation?
Here are some common real-world problems which result in sleep deprivation for most people:
- Thinking about the past: Teens do it. Adults do it. And even your grands! Most people have a really hard time letting go of the past and keep thinking about it which gets them unnecessarily worried and thinking about it through the night, at the cost of getting good sleep.
- Work: If you have a meeting tomorrow and haven’t completed that boring presentation, your mind will be in a constant state of worry and it may result in poor quality sleep. Got meetings every day for the entire week? Enter sleep deprivation!
- Exams: If you’re a student, this dreaded “season” can put you under pressure resulting in long hours spent studying (or procrastinating).
- Social media: Don’t we all have the habit of tuning into social media in the late hours? If you’re addicted, you’ll have a hard time combatting and staying away from it. Social media often leaves the mind wanting for more.
- Health conditions: People with chronic health conditions suffer from sleep deprivation since they’re subjected to pain, aches and irritation. It is mandatory that you seek medical attention and keep your health in check and not delay the consultation.
Sleep deprivation can take a toll on your life if left unattended and people usually have a negligent attitude until the symptoms start pouring in.
How Does Sleep Deprivation Cost You?
- Lower immunity levels: People with sleep disorders tend to have lower immunity levels. They normally report signs of dizziness and fatigue throughout the day limiting their efficiency in doing daily chores.
- Accidents: Not having proper sleep is equal to not having control over your body and mind. The risk of accidents while manoeuvring increases since both the body and mind are tired.
- Mood swings: Not getting proper sleep will cause sudden changes in your mood. People tend to be extremely moody, extremely aggressive, clumsy, inattentive, behave in an irrational manner due to sleep deprivation.
- High blood pressure: Proper sleep ensures a properly functioning circulatory system. If your brain is upset about not having a night of proper sleep, it increases the chances of blood pressure, especially in adults and old age people.
- Weight gain: Yes, you read it right. Not having proper sleep results in weight gain. The lack of sleep increases the level of a hormone that triggers your appetite. The more you eat, the more fat that gets accumulated in the body resulting in overall weight gain over a period of time.
- Risk of diabetes/ heart disease: Sleep disorders often increase the rate of your heartbeats which are uncommon. It affects your heart and causes dysfunctioning of the nervous system resulting in heart diseases. Similarly, your cravings for sugary foods spike up and over-consumption eventually leads to diabetes.
Those are enough reasons for you to take sleep more seriously.
And now, here’s the easy-to-follow checklist!
- Drink loads of water
- Take hot showers
- Don’t overeat
- Meditate/practise yoga
- Avoid alcohol consumption
- Have a healthy balanced diet
- Don’t consume much caffeine
- Avoid social media usage
- Consult a therapist
Let’s get some detailing here.
Drink loads of water: Keep yourself hydrated. Your body must receive enough water that allows it to function and pump blood properly. Drink at least 2 litres of water every day. Carry your water bottles around the house. Sip water every 15 minutes.
Take hot showers: The chance of falling asleep easily increases when your body is cool and relaxed. Bathing in hot water 60-90 minutes leads to expulsion of heat from the internal core to the peripheral sites of your skin.
Don’t overeat: It’s scientifically proven that having a late-night meal and going to sleep shortly induces acid reflux which is a very annoying condition. You don’t want that.
Meditate/practise yoga: You don’t always have to work out at the gym to exercise. Spend a good ten to fifteen minutes shutting down all your senses and try to focus on the pattern of your breathing, right from when air enters the lungs and goes out of your nostrils. For best results, sit in a cool, dark room at night and fade away into the ether realm. You’ll fall asleep before you know.
Avoid alcohol consumption: The problem with the consumption of alcohol is that it inhibits you from attaining REM sleep and even deep sleep, which takes a while to attain. Alcohol creates wakefulness that may cause you to toss and turn all night and that’s a huge cause of subsequent sleep deprivation.
Have a healthy balanced diet: Avoid sugars but have a mix of all vital nutrients. I’m not a dietician but personally, having warm milk with fruits is a great choice. Keep it healthy, always.
Don’t consume much caffeine: This is self-explanatory. Caffeine keeps you up at night. If you want great sleep, cut it out!
Avoid social media at night: Prioritize your time. Keep timers to limit your daily usage and there are apps for that. Moreover, avoid using your phone before you go to sleep as it stimulates brain activities. Instead, read a book or comics, listen to music that could make you fall asleep or pray and sleep.
Consult a therapist: Now if you are facing major chronic sleep disorders, you need professional help at the earliest.
Hope this small checklist will help you in your pursuit to beat sleep deprivation once and for all. If you think this will help a friend who’s ailing, share this to him or her.
Once you master the art of sleeping like a pro, you may even try a hand at landing an exciting sleep internship opportunity which will pit you against the best sleepers out there.
For more sleep tips, you should head to our Instagram account where you’ll find different types of sleep-inducing content!
PS: If you want a bigger checklist, send a DM! Happy sleeping!
This is a post by Durriyah Cal, who studies graphics designing. She passionately works towards writing and certainly believes that readers might find their voice through her words.
Featured image by Glenn Carstens-Peters