Many people do not know how important it is to have restful sleep every night. If you are not getting enough sleep, you can start with 11 things you need to know about being sleep deprived. It can provide incentive to improve your sleep habits.
1. A Number of Habits Can Lead to Sleep Deprivation
One habit is not having a regular sleep schedule. If the hours you go to bed and night and the times you arise in the morning vary considerably, it is an unhealthy approach to sleep.
Frequent interruptions of nighttime sleep mean restful sleep is not occurring. Whether you have a health issue that affects your ability to sleep through the night, or there is some other reason you awaken during the night, interrupted sleep is not good for you.
A third habit is believing you can manage on very little sleep. An average, healthy adult needs at least six hours of sleep each night, but eight hours are better. Do not make the mistake of assuming that if you can function during the daytime you have had enough sleep. Sleep deprivation can cause problems you do not even realize.
2. Brain Functioning is Impaired by Sleep Deprivation
Lack of sleep interferes with your judgment, emotions, learning, and motor skills. Your brain cannot function at its optimum capacity when you are deprived of sleep.
3. You May Not Be Aware of the Effects
Many individuals who are sleep deprived do not notice its effects on their moods, judgment, and behavior. You cannot accurately assess the degree of sleep deprivation.
4. Lack of Sleep Affects Your Appetite
The hormones that affect your appetite are affected by sleep deprivation. You may eat more, because you do not realize you have eaten enough. This can be a special problem if you are trying to lose weight.
5. You May Crave Unhealthy Foods
Sleep deprivation can cause you to want more of foods that are not good for you. This includes foods that are high in calories and low in nutrition.
6. Sleep Deprivation Affects Your Metabolism
The foods you eat when you are deprived of sleep are not processed appropriately in your body. You will find you are developing fat instead of lean muscle.
7. Sleep Deprivation Can Result in Weight Gain
From high-calorie foods to the effects on your hormones and metabolism, chronic sleep deprivation can result in becoming overweight.
8. It is Harmful to Your Overall Health
Sleep deprivation can increase your risk of numerous health problems. Depression, obesity, heart disease and heart attacks, stroke, diabetes, and hypertension are some of the health problems you may develop from chronic sleep deprivation.
9. It is Harmful to Your Mental Health
In addition to increasing your risk of depression, you will not have sound mental health if you are chronically sleep-deprived. If you have been experiencing mood swings, agitation, or outbursts of anger, the cause could be as simple as your need for sleep.
10. A Few Changes in Your Daily Habits Can Improve Your Sleep
One example is to prepare for sleep before you go to bed. Avoid caffeine during the hours before bedtime. Remove distractions such as pets and electronics. As sleep is more productive in a dark room with a cool temperature, prepare your bedroom before it is time for bed.
11. Effects From Sleep Deprivation Can Be Permanent
While many of the effects from sleep deprivation can reverse after you develop better sleeping habits, some effects of chronic sleep deprivation can be permanent, even after your habits improve. One of the most serious examples is irreversible brain injury. The impairments to your cognitive functioning may never disappear.
There are many reasons individuals can be sleep deprived. A person who believes socializing or hobbies are more important than sleep may not realize the harm in this practice. A person who is under a great deal of stress due to work, school, or personal issues may lose sleep. Illness, stress, or having a new baby in the home can also result in sleep loss.
Regardless of the reason for your sleep deprivation, your current and long-term health require you to make some changes. You can begin by changing your personal habits and your approach to sleep, and see if your sleep patterns improve.
However, do not hesitate to contact your doctor if you continue to experience problems. He may find an underlying condition that is interfering with your ability to fall asleep and stay asleep. The most important point you need to know is you need restful sleep every night. Your health depends on it.