Sleep is a sweet escape from the daily struggles – it lets us recharge our body and brain. When we sleep, our body regulates hormones, metabolism, and the immune system. Our brain converts short-term memories into long-term memories, our muscles rest, and our body restores energy levels. This is why we feel fresh when we wake up.
Unsurprisingly, it is necessary to get the optimum amount of sleep every day. However, we know it is not easy, and we feel you. Then again, there are people who feel proud about the fact that they can function well even on five to six hours of sleep. But, in reality, they are sleep deprived without realizing it.
At times, the effects of insufficient sleep might be immediate. Other times, they appear gradually, causing many health issues. In this article, we will discuss signs of sleep deprivation. We will also show you how you can get a smooth sleep pattern to drive your day.
Are You Sleep Deprived If You are Not Aware?
If you are not sleeping regularly and for at least seven to eight hours, then you are sleep deprived. Even if you are not showing apparent signs. And while the signs of sleep deprivation might not be apparent, there are subtle signs that you are missing. If you are not sleeping enough, you may be experiencing the following signs. And yes, these signs go beyond yawning and nodding off at your desk:
- Mood Disorders: If you have anxiety and depression,you are likely to be sleep-deprived. Even a single sleepless night is enough to affect your mood and make you cranky, irritable, and stressed. It can make you super-sensitive to everyday life pressures.
- Low Productivity and Performance: Chances are, it’s not the morning meetings that seem to go on forever. It could be that you are just sleep-deprived. Because the less you sleep, the less you can concentrate. It can decrease your creativity, productivity, and performance at work.
- Insatiable Appetite and Overweight: Did you know that lack of sleep can increase the levels of hunger-stimulating and appetite-suppressing hormones? That is why you crave food when you have trouble sleeping. It gives you instant gratification. Regular midnight snacking can increase your weight and put you at risk of developing obesity.
- Dull Skin: Irregular sleep patterns affect skin quality and appearance. Do we need to remind you how red and puffy your eyes get when you don’t get enough sleep? And let’s not even get started with the dark circles.
- Drowsiness: Lack of sleep makes you feel tired and exhausted all day. You can nod off anywhere, which can be pretty risky when driving or at work.
- Low Libido: When you don’t feel energetic due to poor sleep, it affects your mood for sex.
7 Ways To Sleep Like A Baby
You don’t have to be a baby to sleep like one. You can be a fully-grown adult and yet fall asleep the moment you hit the hay. Don’t remember when that happened the last time? Don’t worry; here are some tips and tricks to combat sleeplessness and help you sleep faster:
- Good Bedtime Habits: Your mind is active all day, so it’s time to relax. Do what works for you, be it music, reading, or journaling. Also, turn off your TV, mobile, or laptop at least an hour before going to bed. You can choose to read until you can’t stay awake.
- Meditation: You can meditate for 10 to 15 minutes before going to bed. It will relax your brain. It stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system that controls the body’s ability to relax by lowering heart rate and encouraging slow breathing. All these will promote and improve the quality of sleep. You can also listen to meditative stories with soothing voices.
- Breathing Method: One of the most effective methods to induce sleep is the 4-7-8 breathing method. Follow these steps:
- Close your mouth and inhale air through your nose for four seconds
- Hold your breath for seven seconds
- Exhale completely for eight seconds
- Repeat the cycle till you fall asleep
- Dark Bedroom: It is easier to fall asleep in a dark room. Light cues the brain to remain active, and turning off lights will give the brain cues that it is time for sleep. Also, exposure to lights can suppress the secretion of the melatonin hormone that controls the sleep-wake cycle.
- Turn Down Room Temperature: The National Sleep Foundation suggests that a cool room helps to fall asleep faster. So turn down the temperature and get cozy into the bed to have a sound sleep.
- Use of Psychology: If you have trouble sleeping, it is best not to try too hard to sleep. Instead, distract yourself until your body feels sleepy again.
- Snoring Aid: If you have trouble sleeping because of a snoring roommate or partner, choose a snoring aid. Not your run-of-the-mill, off-the-shelf products that are intrusive and uncomfortable. Try something backed by science, tech, and data like Smart Nora. Its patented technology detects snoring sounds and moves the pillow of the snorer to stop it. It will help you get uninterrupted sleep.
Sleep On It
Poor sleep can affect your ability to focus, productivity, and work efficiency. So, a sound sleep of seven to nine hours is mandatory. So if you are having trouble sleeping, these proven tactics should not only help you fall asleep quicker but also stay asleep all night uninterrupted. Follow them and enjoy a sound sleep every night!