We always hear our doctors ask us a lot about how we are sleeping, that we should sleep and that we should sleep and wake up at the right times. Such is the case because the importance of sleep to our physical and mental well-being has been established a long time ago.
It would be strange not to have a healthcare professional ask you about how you are sleeping when you come in for a check-up. However, even with the consistent and persistent advocacy of medical professionals when it comes to the importance of good sleep, there is still a high number of individuals who experience sleep deprivation.
What causes sleep deprivation?
Sleep deprivation is a condition wherein a person does not get adequate sleep at adequate times. It can also be denoted by an abnormal sleep-wake cycle. However, sleep deprivation is not a disease. But what makes it serious is the fact that it can open your body up to actual diseases.
Lack of sleep can be pointed to varying conditions per individual. Some people do not sleep well because of physical illness, mental illness, aging, and others.
An average adult is recommended to get at least seven to eight hours of sleep every day to maintain optimal health condition. Getting too little and too much sleep can be a pathway to more serious health problems. Here are some of the effects of sleep deprivation:
- Lack of physical strength
- A weakening of the immune system
- Lack of concentration
Can everyone experience sleep deprivation?
In the United States alone, 70 percent of adults say that they experience sleep deprivation at least one night in a month. The alarming 11 percent of Americans reported that they do not get enough sleep every night.
Problems relevant to a person’s sleep cycle is prevalent among Americans of all socioeconomic classes. Anyone can have nights when they just cannot get a shuteye and will be feeling tired and unmotivated when they head out.
Someone can have a terrible night of sleep — or lack thereof — due to various reasons that can range from small to big ones. It could be because they are in the middle of a tug-of-war session with their partner when it comes to who gets the most out of the comforter, or they have something bothering them and keeping them up. Worse, they can be sick with sleep difficulties as one of its symptoms.
How can we avoid sleep deprivation?
The answer is obvious—get enough sleep. But that poses another question for us to provide you an answer to. How do you get healthy sleep?
1. Be in a room that encourages it
One might think that they can sleep anywhere if they are tired enough but that does not work for everyone. It can give people discomfort if they sleep in places not meant for sleeping.
To tell your body that it is time to doze off, make your sleeping quarter one that has a split-type comforter for couples, so you do not have to fight for it in the middle of the night, has comfortable sheets, and are not filled with light disruptions that can keep you up.
Another thing is to keep the room as quiet as possible, if you can sleep comfortably with soft earmuffs, do so.
A room with a temperature that is just right for your body’s preferences would be an excellent place to get a nice shuteye. Sleeping in a room too hot will cause you to wake up in the middle of the night due to the discomfort. The same goes for a room that is too cold for your body to handle.
Having pleasant smells fill your senses while you try to fall asleep will also improve the quality of your rest. You can grab some essential oils with good natural aromas to use in your sleeping area.
2. Sleep and wake up on time
Having a consistent time for sleeping and getting up will make your body used to these times. This will be extremely beneficial if your sleeping schedule is healthy and you manage to teach your body to respond to it.
If you can, avoid naps. A quick nap could easily turn into a long one that will make it difficult for you to sleep during the night.
3. Remove distractions
As with everything that requires our full attention, you should remove all distractions when you are trying to get a good night’s sleep. Have a cool down before lying in bed to sleep. You can read a book or meditate until you feel like your body is ready to sleep.
It should also be a no-brainer that you should turn the lights lower and put your phone away. The amount of time we mindlessly spend scrolling through our phones before we sleep can easily turn into wasted hours.