How Sleep Deprivation Is Ruining Your Life and How to Fix It
Sleep deprivation is an ever growing problem, especially in the face of high stress and lack of natural sunlight. It seems that the most valuable asset to most people is time, and it is more valuable than ever.
Through new technologies like the smartphone and computer, people are forever connected and it is difficult to get a break because so. Everyone is just a phone call or e-mail away which makes getting away from technology all the more impossible.
The day of the average person is pretty much full to the brim as far as scheduling is concerned, between work, kids, and your spouse, it can be hard to devote the adequate time needed to each person or activity. More often than not our time to sleep is reduced to make up the difference, and we suffer as a result.
On average, it is recommended that an adult get in between 7-9 hours of sleep a night, which isn’t the case for most people. Some people do require less hours than others, but as a whole society is lacking sleep.
It is estimated that up to 20% of the adult population in the United States is sleep deprived, or not regularly getting enough sleep daily. On top of those numbers there are many other people who experience occasional disruptions in their sleeping patterns making sleep deprivation a problem that many people regularly face.
Not getting enough sleep doesn’t only make you tired and fatigued, but can lead to other health problems as well. This includes brain fog, fatigue, moodiness, irritability and other emotional issues. A lack of sleep can even lead to an earlier death, so make sure to adjust your sleeping habits to better improve your quality of life.
What Can I Do to Correct Sleep Deprivation?
1-Learn to Manage Your Stress Levels
Stress can come from a number of sources, so the method you choose to resolve the issue may vary depending on the issue itself. Generally speaking however there are some techniques that will work to reduce stress for almost anyone.
One of the easiest things you can do is to exercise. Exercising is especially helpful for people who have problems falling asleep at night due to high levels or energy.
Another technique is to practice some form of meditation or some other relaxing techniques. You can take a yoga class, you can go to church or you can meditate. Many people find that taking a hike or walking through nature has a very calming and soothing effect which can reduce stress levels.
2- Turn off Devices at Night to Get Better Sleep
Turning off your computer or phone a few hours before you plan on sleeping doesn’t sound like it will do much, but it will make a huge difference in your sleeping patterns.
Another issue that blue light causes in relation to sleep is headaches. Getting a headache prior to bed isn’t going to help you fall asleep either, so avoid when possible.
Many of these devices emit a specific wavelength of light, called blue light. The blue light in particular causes problems with sleep because of its association with our internal clock. Blue light is a signal that our brain uses to wake ourselves up, so put away the electronic devices 2-3 hours before bed.
3- Make Sure That You Are Getting Enough Exposure to Light During the Day
This goes back to our internal clock, or circadian rhythm. Exposure to light from the sun is what allows us to maintain that balance between being alert and awake versus resting.
Exposure to this light plays a role in many processes that go on in the body, one of them being the regulation of the hormone melatonin, which regulates sleep and wakefulness.
The best way to get exposure is to actually get outside, and spend at least 30 minutes exposed to the sun to get the most benefit. Exercising during daylight hours gives you both the benefit of sun exposure and the benefit of exercise simultaneously. Both sun exposure and exercise can help with sleep deprivation so kill two birds with one stone by doing both at the same time.
At night, make sure you are doing the opposite. If you need to blackout your windows to reduce light exposure if you live in the city for example, do so. Reduce your exposure to light at night as much as possible to help you fall asleep more quickly.