As we live with hectic schedules and busy lifestyles, we often find ourselves struggling to fit everything in a day. With all those activities you need to do, sleep gets pushed down on your priority list. Next thing you know, you’re sleep-deprived and running on empty.
The Impact of Sleep Deprivation on Your Nervous System
The central nervous system is your body’s primary information highway. When you’re sleep-deprived, your brain gets exhausted it does not perform as well. Insomnia or sleep deprivation can interfere with how your body reacts and sends information.
Furthermore, sleep deprivation has harmful effects on your emotional health. Sleep deprivation can make you more irritable or prone to mood swings. It can also jeopardize decision-making and creativity.
Sleep deprivation can also cause micro-sleeping during the day. This will cause you to nod off for a few seconds without even realizing it. Because microsleep is uncontrollable, operating machinery is perilous.
Impact of Sleep Deprivation on Your Immune System
You’ve heard it before: a good sleep boosts your immune system. As you sleep, your immune system produces antibodies and cytokines, which then help in fighting foreign invaders such as bacteria and viruses.
What to Do to Avoid Sleep Deprivation
1. Avoid Caffeine and Alcohol
Caffeine is a stimulant, which means it revs up your body. Avoid consuming caffeine after 12PM, as the half-life of caffeine is 4 hours and any consumption in the afternoon will prevent your body from sleeping.
Alcohol can help you fall asleep, but you may wake up multiple times throughout the night. Because alcohol is a depressant, it enables you to fall asleep, but it wreaks havoc with your sleep cycles and will leave you feeling groggy in the morning.
2. Have a Bedtime Ritual
It is essential to establish a routine before bedtime. A bedtime ritual can help you relax and get ready for bed. It signals to your body that it is time to unwind and rest. You can have a warm bath or listen to music, read a book or have a nice cup of tea.
3. Have a Consistent Schedule
Try to go to bed and wake up at the same times each day. By doing so, your body will adjust to that schedule. Something that can disrupt sleep is being out of sync with your natural circadian rhythm. Every individual has a 24-hour “body clock,” which is set by light exposure. Open the curtains as soon as you can in the morning to get some natural daylight and keep the lights low before bedtime to help keep this clock on track.
4. Do Your Meditation
Practice meditation or deep breathing exercises. Meditation is a great way to calm your mind and relax your body. It will help you release unwanted thoughts and feelings. Sleep doctors recommend that you try to meditate for at least 5-10 minutes before bedtime. Journaling before bed is another way to help get your busy thoughts out of your head.
5. No Electronics Before Bed
The blue light from electronics (such as TV, computer, and cell phone) triggers your body to produce melatonin, a sleep hormone. If you want to sleep better, do not expose yourself to electronics right before bed.
6. Don’t Forget Your Exercises
Exercise is a great way to stay healthy. Working out helps relieve stress, which causes insomnia and sleeping problems. It would help if you tried to work out every day, but you can be active in some way every day, too. If you can, try not to work out late at night, as the endorphins released will take a while to settle down and you may struggle to fall asleep.
Sleep is essential to everybody. It is a time for your body to rest, relax your mind, and regain energy. Compromising your sleep has many negative results on your well-being. It affects not just your mood for the next day but other systems in your body necessary for you to function correctly.
If you need help with insomnia and sleep deprivation, Sleep Better Live Better is here to assist you. We are here to help you have a better sleep through our solutions and practices. Get in touch with us today to learn more.