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Sleep Deprivation: A Guide To What To Do

sleep deprivation lady

With everything going on these days, a good night of sleep is more important than ever. Sleep deprivation is a common problem that can cause severe mental and physical health issues.

To help you win the bedtime battle, we’ll go over some of the best solutions for treating sleep deprivation. From a new mattress to eating healthier, this guide has everything you need to get a better night’s sleep once and for all.

What is Sleep, Deprivation?

Sleep deprivation occurs when you don’t get enough sleep. If you aren’t getting the rest you need, your body can shut down mentally and physically. While everyone feels tired now and again, sleep deprivation goes much deeper.

At night, your body falls into a circadian rhythm. This 24-hour period helps to regulate when your body is awake and when your body is asleep. It also helps with digestion, your hormones, and controlling your temperature.

We have all skipped a night of sleep or two and have had that feeling of exhaustion the next day. Chronic sleep deprivation can affect your body on another level as you can develop severe health conditions.

Symptoms of Sleep Deprivation

Sleep Deprivation BookSleep deprivation can have a lot of adverse side effects. The most common symptoms are fatigue, mood changes, trouble concentrating, impaired memory, and hallucinations.

When you don’t get the sleep you need, you can find it challenging to stay awake and stay focused. You may have trouble concentrating while at work or in school. You might also find yourself losing focus on everyday tasks that generally come easy.

Sleep deprivation can start to cause problems physically, as well. You may feel achy, out of shape, and drowsy. You’ll feel more run down the longer your sleep deprivation continues.

You could also slip into a microsleep in extreme conditions, which is when you’re sitting awake and then fall asleep. It could happen in a meeting or while driving.

Falling asleep at the wheel is an obvious danger. Or if you operate heavy machinery for a living or care for children, this could cause problems beyond belief.

Sleep deprivation can also become a significant issue with your digestive health as you may experience gastrointestinal problems such as diarrhea or an upset stomach. It can make every day more uncomfortable trying to navigate your life.

Sleep Deprivation and Unhealthy Habits

If you aren’t getting the sleep you need, you might turn to unhealthy comfort food, or worse. When your body needs energy, it’s easy to reach for sugar. You may choose sugary energy drinks, desserts, or coffee to help get you through the day.

While these are all fine in moderation, you can wind up with too much of a good thing. Excess sugar can affect your metabolism, thyroid, and blood sugar levels. Instead of eating healthy, your body will want something sweet for an energy boost.

If you also begin to experience weight gain and become overweight or obese can lead to sleep problems. This is a vicious cycle to be in your day to day life as you can see how less sleep equates to unhealthy eating and poor health. What kind of effect do you think it will have on you emotionally?  Also, it can be harder to do physical activity. When you’re tired, the last thing you’ll want to do is go to the gym or go for a run. Extreme exhaustion can make every day physical activities seem like a challenge.

In extreme cases, people suffering from sleep deprivation may choose nicotine, alcohol, or drugs to cope with energy levels. These unhealthy solutions can exasperate your sleep deprivation destroy your confidence as this can cause much worse symptoms. You can quickly start to see how things can go from bad to worse.

Sleep Deprivation Treatment

Treating sleep deprivation is crucial to your health. Your body needs sleep to function at its best. There are a few essential things you can do to help.

It would be best if you first spoke with your doctor about the root of your sleep problems. There could be an underlying mental or physical problem that is causing your lack of sleep.

Getting a good night of sleep is the most important way to treat sleep deprivation. Your bedding could be the problem, so this is a great time to shop for new bedding or get a mattress deal

A new mattress will make a world of difference; it helps put you in a better sleep position. Reduce your snoring, boost circulation, increase airflow, and regulate your body temperature.

Some of these issues could be what’s causing you to toss and turn at night. Your pillow also makes a big difference in the quality of your sleep. You want to make sure your pillow is supportive and puts your neck and spine in the correct alignment.

A new pillow could help you catch a much better night’s rest. It will help keep your head cooler and more relaxed. You could see improved breathing, less snoring, and fewer turnovers throughout the night.

Help Your Body Relax

Consider going to bed earlier and limiting your screen use at night as well. Too much screen time can stop you from falling asleep. Your circadian rhythm gets out of whack by overstimulation.

Make sure your room is dim or dark as well. Too much light can also affect your ability to fall asleep.

If you need more time to wind down at night, consider reading a book or light physical activity. Some find it helpful to stretch, do yoga, or go for a walk. Fresh air and a good stretch can help make your body more relaxed.

Before bedtime, take a long hot shower or a soothing bath. The warm water and quiet time will relax your mind and body. Play some relaxing music or consider using a sound machine.

Stay away from sugary foods, alcohol, or caffeine too close to bedtime as well. That glass of wine before bed might seem relaxing, but it could be throwing you off balance. Enjoy your nightly treat about an hour before you’d like to be asleep.

Sleep Deprivation and Your Mental Health

Sign With Symptons Of Sleep Deprivation

When it comes to sleep deprivation, your mental health is what most often gets affected. Not only are you tired, but your mind is also exhausted.

At work or school, you may find it harder to focus and concentrate. Find yourself missing meetings, deadlines, or assignments. Co-workers or teammates will notice the change.

If you do finally fall asleep at night, it’s often late. The morning tends to creep up, and you’re exhausted and find yourself late for work, school, or social engagements.

If you have children at home, sleep deprivation can be even more difficult. You can’t ask your baby to watch themselves while you rest. If you’ve been up all night, taking care of children can be dangerous and even more exhausting.

Sleep deprivation also affects your mood. Our hormones regulate when we sleep. If your hormones are off-balance, you’ll notice that shift in your attitude.

You’ll feel more irritable, stressed, anxious, and even angry. It can affect your relationships with others.  It can cause you anxiety, and stress can lead to more significant issues, such as depression.

Sleep Deprivation Complications

Sleep deprivation can cause many health and mental complications. When you’re always tired, your mind can start to play tricks on you like hallucinations or even paranoia.

Severe problems with sleep deprivation are also linked to hormonal imbalances. It can make it challenging to regulate your thyroid and insulin levels.

Hormonal imbalances can lead to diabetes and even infertility. You could see libido changes, mood swings, and fluctuations in your weight as well.

Unfortunately, your immune system is also compromised when you don’t get enough sleep. With everything going on in the world, immune health is more important than ever.

One of the most serious side effects is the problems you’ll see in your heart rate and blood pressure. These can have long-term effects on your heart health as you’ll be more at risk for high blood pressure, heart failure, or a heart attack.

How to Deal with Sleep Deprivation

Hybrid Easy Rest Firm from The Beloit Mattress Company

Hybrid Easy Rest Firm (shown)

Dealing with sleep deprivation is difficult but not impossible. When you’re working on treating your sleep deprivation, you’ll also want to find ways to manage your fatigue.

Getting a better night’s sleep is critical to this. To help your body rest and relax, try upgrading your bedding. Find the perfect mattress for your body type, making you comfortable and a lot more rested at night. 

You may not even realize how your sleep position is affecting your sleep. A new mattress will also help with the quality of your sleep.

If you have a problem snoring or with circulation, this could make it harder for you to get the rest you need. Hybrid mattresses are great for all different types of sleepers. 

To give yourself an energy boost during the day, consider taking some time for a rest. If you work from home or have the ability to take a rest on the weekends, give yourself a quick power nap. Even if you don’t sleep, putting your feet up can help.

Instead of looking for artificial energy in sugary foods and drinks, eat better. Whole foods and fresh ingredients will give your body a natural boost. Fresh fruits and vegetables contain good carbohydrates, fiber, and vitamins.

These essential nutrients help your body rejuvenate. They also help regulate your blood sugar levels, insulin, hormones, and reduce inflammation. These can all counteract the effects of not getting enough sleep.

Combating Sleep Deprivation

Sleep deprivation is a harsh condition to deal with, but it is a battle that you can beat. Speak with a Doctor to prioritize your health. Look into getting a new mattress; a good night of rest will be right around the corner.  Consider our sleep disorders guide to finding helpful information on many sleep disorders.

If you’re ready to get a better night of sleep, start shopping for a new mattress here. You’ll be one step closer to sleeping better and getting the rest you need. 


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