Many of us are taking our sleep for granted nowadays. It might sound counterintuitive, but sleep is a busy time for your body as it is constantly working on various processes of healing and repair.
But, the effects of not sleeping well go far deeper and have an effect on your overall health, safety and longevity.
Causes of lack of sleep
Sleep deprivation can be caused due to poor sleep hygiene, lifestyle choices, long working hours and few medical conditions. This can happen when you voluntarily reduce the sleep hours by indulging in different activities. There are a few disorders such as Insomnia, Sleep Apnea, breathing issues, stress, anxiety and other psychological issues that can interfere with your sleep.
What happens to your body when you don’t get enough sleep?
Lack of sleep can directly affect the way you feel the very next day and affects your overall productivity and mood. You can notice these symptoms of lack of sleep-
- Slower thinking than usual
- Reduced alertness, concentration and attention to details
- Poor memory
- Lowered decision-making capabilities
- Lethargy or low energy levels
- Changes in your mood, feeling of irritability, stress or anxious
Don’t ignore your sleep if you are a working professional
Lack of sleep has a negative impact on the work performance, work quality, productivity and relationships of any working individual. If you are a working professional, then you must have observed the effects of sleep deprivation on your productivity the very next day. There can be difficulty concentrating, slower learning, problem in communicating, memory lapses and a decline in problem-solving abilities.
It also has a bearing on the interpersonal relationships of an employee. Sleep-deprived professionals are moodier and less adaptive to other person’s viewpoints. It is also one of the biggest causes of industrial and driving accidents. According to a study, sleepy employees are 70% more likely to be involved in workplace accidents.
How does sleep affect your mental health?
There are many psychological effects of sleep deprivation. Sleep is necessary for the optimum functioning of the central nervous system. When you are asleep, pathways form between nerve cells (neurons) in your brain that help you remember any new information that you’ve learned. So, when you sleep less, your brain might feel exhausted and there is reduced concentration and alertness. It can also affect your decision-making capabilities along with creativity. The long term effects of lack of sleep are-
- Hallucination- seeing or hearing things that aren’t there
- Impulsive behaviour
- The tendency of getting suicidal thoughts
- You become prone to Bipolar Disorders
How does lack of sleep affect your safety?
When sleep-deprived, people can feel drowsy during the day, which can increase the chances of accidents and fatalities.
It has been shown by many studies that sleep loss and poor-quality sleep
enhances the chances of accidents and injuries on the job. Firstly, lack of sleep can impair the attention, alertness, concentration, reasoning, and problem-solving capabilities of a person.
Secondly, your sleep plays a key role in segregating the memories in the brain, So, a good night’s sleep is important for you to remember the things that you have learned and experienced during the day.
How is sleep important for your longevity?
If we talk about the effects of lack of sleep on life expectancy, then here is a research finding. It states that-
“Sleeping for less than 7 hours per night can have negative effects on the immunity, cardiovascular, endocrine and nervous system. Sleep-deprived people are prone to health conditions such as Obesity, Diabetes, Heart diseases, Hypertension, Stress, Anxiety, Depression, Stroke, Alcohol abuse and a few types of cancer”.
In addition to this, such people have higher mortality rates i.e. around 24%.
So, you might see an impact of lack of sleep on your health immediately, but the long term effects are really scary. The overall health and well-being of a person drastically decline over a period of time. Sleep is one of the key pillars of a healthy body and mind and cannot be neglected as its footprints are relevant for your longevity or life expectancy.
Improve your sleep naturally with these tips
Below are a few tips to help you improve your sleep time and quality:
- Maintain a regular sleep
- edule that involves sleeping and waking up at the same time daily, including weekends. This is necessary to maintain a healthy circadian rhythm of the body.
- Calming the mind before bedtime by involving in some relaxing activities such as listening to music, reading a book or getting a warm water bath is also important.
- Your sleep environment also plays an important role in the quality and hours of sleep. The bedroom should be a sleep-conducive place and should be dark, quiet, comfortable, and cool.
- Sleep on a comfortable, back supportive mattress with comfortable pillows. Make sure these are clean are allergen-free.
- Use your bedroom only for sleep and avoid any other entertainment and work-related activities.
- Keep a regular dinner schedule and eat 2-3 hours before bedtime.
- Incorporate a regular exercise regime. Make it a priority to complete your workout in the daytime and avoid them during the nighttime.
- Avoid caffeinated drinks such as coffee, tea, soda, and chocolate close to bedtime.
- Avoid smoking and tobacco consumption in the evening time.
- Avoid drinking alcohol close to your sleep time. There is a misconception amongst people that alcohol is a sedative and will help you sleep, but actually, alcohol disrupts sleep, causing nighttime awakenings and sleep disruptions.
- Use Ayurvedic sleep supplements such as Blissful Sleep. Since these are herbal, contain Vata pacifying herbs that correct the root cause of the sleep issues, calm the mind and reduce the time taken to fall asleep. There are no harmful side effects caused by these supplements and are 100% non-addictive.
To sum up
Sleep deprivation can have many physical and mental repercussions on the mind and body of a person. The effects can be short term as well as long term. These long term consequences of not sleeping well can affect your safety and longevity as well. It is high time when we all need to priorities our sleep schedule and lead a more productive life altogether. Hope the information and tips are useful to maintain a healthy and peaceful life.
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