Friday, 5 January 2018

Sleep Deprivation Effects

What to do when you can’t sleep? To begin with, let’s understand the effects of sleep deprivation and afterwards continue with pieces of advice on how to catch up with your normal sleeping routine.

Everything is fine until you put your head on the pillow, with the lights off, and realize that no matter how long you keep your eyes close, you really cannot fall asleep. Or take another example; as you have a lot of work to do, you do not manage to squeeze in more than 5 hours of sleep per night, and you try to keep yourself awake by drinking coffee. Do not worry if this is happening to you only from time to time, but when it happens often enough, you might start to feel some known sleep deprivation effects.

Are these things something you do regularly? Or do you simply have a tough time while trying to fall asleep? Either way, sleep deprivation can cause a lot of side effects, and your energy levels are decreasing by the extent of time you allow this to happen to you. So what does sleep deprivation really cause?

Energy levels

We all feel like ghosts trying to stay awake in the middle of the day when we only had five or less hours of sleep. Our energy levels are harder to keep up when your body is not rested well enough.

Your lack of attention and concentration are visible and your body is trying to find another way to stay awake and in focus.

Food cravings

Your body is not getting the energy it needs to perform all of the daily tasks, therefore, it searches for other source of energy, such as food intake. It will make you feel hungry all the time and it will make you even more out of line with your responsibilities. On the long term, this effect will lead to serious physical problems.

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Studies have shown that people who sleep less than seven hours a day, have a prominent level of ghrelin, a hormone which makes the body feel hungry all the time until it rests enough.

Mood swings

A person who is sleep deprived, along with the already mentioned effects, will for sure have often mood swings, as sleep deprivation often leads to irritability and anger. You will have a hard time to pace yourself and be calm in needed situations.

The mind does not have the patience to solve the problems as it would normally do.

Hard time to decide

When the mind and body is not receiving what they ask for in order to function properly, the mind will take the lead and will make the effects visible first. In a situation to decide in a work or social environment, the mind will have a hard time to decide how is it better to act.

Sleep deprivation interferes with your good judgement and your problem solving abilities.

Immunity is compromised

As the body will start to have lower energy levels, it will not be active enough in combating the viruses and germs it comes in contact with. Therefore, immunity levels are compromised, and it is likely you will get sick often. Sleep allows your heart to rest after a long day, and fight the stress levels. Inflammation is reduced, thus fighting diseases.

Physical changes

As it was already mentioned, food cravings will for sure appear, thus weight gain might be possible, as people tend to eat more than they actually need when sleep deprived. Other physical changes that tend to appear are having a hard time seeing, skin problems and others.

Diseases

It has been shown that sleep can help the body to reduce the risks of getting heart disease, diabetes, and many others. Sleep deprivation may tightly be linked to type 2 diabetes. While the heart is resting, the muscles and hormones are recovering as well, along with sore muscle recovering or closing up cuts and so.

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Hard time to remember

You forgot where you put your keys? Or when you have that appointment? These might be signs that you should rest more. It is well known that after an extensive study, you must rest in order in remember the things you have just learned. Your mind will know how to sort the information for you while sleeping.

If you observe one, or two or many of these effects into your behaviour, you should know by now that your body needs sleep. Therefore, add in one hour every time you get the chance to your sleeping habits. For example, during weekends try to sleep more and turn the alarms off.

Another way to balance your sleeping habits is by working out and feeling physically tired at the end of the day. As Dr. Michael J. Breus mentioned in an article,

Try to schedule exercise in the morning hours as opposed to late day..

Keep a clear mind and try not to overthink while trying to fall asleep. Keep distractions far from your bed and allow your mind to get rid of unnecessary thinking.

I've always envied people who sleep easily. Their brains must be cleaner, the floorboards of the skull well swept, all the little monsters closed up in a steamer trunk at the foot of the bed.

David Benioff, City of Thieves

Sleep Deprivation Effects

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