All of us experience times in our life when we just can’t get a good night’s sleep. We wake up tired and lethargic, unmotivated to do any work or do not feel like talking to anyone.
When this happens occasionally, we feel the above short-term effects, However, constant lack of sleep can have a detrimental effect on your health.
According to sleepassociation,org, nearly 70 million US people suffer from sleep disorders. Another report suggests that 25 million US adults suffer from obstructive sleep apnea. (https://www.sleepassociation.org/about-sleep/sleep-statistics/)
Another study by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that more than a third of adult US population does not get enough sleep. (https://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2016/p0215-enough-sleep.html)
According to sleephealth.org, nearly 70% of American adults’ report of receiving insufficient sleep at least one night a month while 11% reported of not getting sufficient sleep every night.
What causes sleep deprivation?
Multiple factors including lifestyle choices, poor sleep hygiene, work load, stress, medical conditions, age etcetera could lead to sleep deficiency. Let’s study them in detail below:
Lifestyle Choices – Your sleep quality highly depends on your lifestyle choices. Instead of following a proper schedule, people nowadays prefer reading books, watching television, using laptops or mobile phones for longer hours at odd hours. This results in late sleeping and sleep deprivation.
Stressful Schedule – Majority of the population is working nowadays and with the rising completion comes challenges. As an employee or even an employer, you have to meet few deadlines for your tasks. For this, you push yourself to stay awake till late at night and submit the task. This also leads to sleep deprivation.
Medical Conditions – Certain illness like cold, cough, sleep disorder such as sleep apnea, snoring or health problems like asthma can impact your sleeping pattern as you may need to wake up in the middle of your sleep. This can also cause sleep deprivation.
Ageing – People of the older age group face sleep deprivation because of lack of enough physical activity during the day time. Since they are old, they can barely do any physical activity which results in their poor sleep quality.
We all know that adequate sleep is necessary for developing a healthy body but because of our work schedules and deadlines, working and sleeping late have become normal.
What are the effects of poor sleep quality on our health?
Poor sleep quality or sleep deprivation could lead to severe adverse effects as below:
- Issues with the memory
- A higher risk of weight gain
- Prone to heart disease
- Risk of type two diabetes risks
- Anxiety and depression
- Poor immunity
- Low sex drive
Memory issues – When you sleep is the time when your brain forms connections that help you concentrate on work, memorize things and perform better. Sleep deprivation can lead to poor memory and lost productivity.
Weight gain – Short sleep duration is associated with an increased risk of weight gain and obesity in both children and adults. Sleep deprivation interferes with good chemicals in the body and imbalances the working of the biological clock.
A greater risk of heart disease and strokes – Sleeping less than 7-8 hours per night is linked to an increased risk of heart disease and strokes. It can elevate the blood pressure that could lead to poor heart function.
Type two diabetes risks – Sleep deprivation can cause pre-diabetes in healthy adults in as little as six days. Many studies show a strong link between short sleep duration and type 2 diabetes as lack of sleep affects your insulin levels and blood sugar levels.
Depression – Poor sleeping patterns are strongly linked to depression, particularly for those with a sleeping disorder. It can make you moody, and short tempered.
Weakened immunity – Poor sleep quality and sleep deprivation can take a toll on your immunity. Your body can naturally prevent or fight off common infection viruses. With weakened immune system, you get easily exposed to germs and infections.
Low sex drive – Not getting enough sleep can disturb your sex life. You may feel lack of sex drive and especially in men; it could lead to low levels of testosterone.
What are the common signs of sleep deprivation?
As we know sleep deprivation could lead to drastic health situations, it is must that you know about its common signs and symptoms –
- Excessive Sleepiness
- Frequent Yawning
- Daytime Fatigue
It is the feeling of being easily drained out, tired and not able to work properly. According to American Sleep Foundation, 18% of their survey respondents reported of excessive sleepiness. When you are sleep deprived, you may feel lack of interest in your work and feel sleepier throughout the day.
If yawning occurs more than once per minute, it is termed as excessive yawning. Sleep disorders like sleep deprivation, sleep apnea, and narcolepsy could be the prime reasons behind it. Being sleep deprived, you can keep a check on your yawning timings and identify if you need to take a quick nap.
It is the feeling of getting frustrated and short tempered at any situation. When you are sleep deprived, you can notice a change in your behaviour. You may feel easily frustrated and irritated even at the situations that do not require your reaction.
It is the feeling of tiredness that you feel even immediately after waking up in the morning. When you do not get enough sleep, your body gives you signal of feeling tired the whole day and affects your productivity.
What can you do to improve your sleep?
Well, it can take time to improve your sleep but it is not impossible. There are many ways following which you can improve your sleep quality:
- Make a sleep schedule
- Track your sleep
- Make balance in your work and personal life
- Indulge in physical activity
- Avoid usage of electronic devices lately
- Avoid caffeine intake and alcohol consumption
Make a sleep schedule
You should strive to schedule your sleep time that is going to bed and waking up. To improve your sleep deprivation, you must follow a strict sleep regime. Once you find your body has adjusted to it, make sure to not interrupt the schedule.
Track your sleep
Tracking your sleep can help you in identifying whether you get enough sleep or not. To do this, you can track your sleep on Ingeni Digital Smart Watch. This helps you in keeping track of your various sleep patterns including REM, sleep duration and sleep quality.
Make balance in your work and personal life
To ensure you get enough sleep and of good quality, you should maintain balance between your personal and professional life. You should try to work according to your office hours and spend quality time for yourself too.
Indulge in physical activity
You should make a routine of indulging into regular physical exercise. This can help in boosting your mood and keep you focused at your work. This way you can perform your duties effectively and can go to bed on time.
Avoid usage of electronic devices late at night
The light emitted from the technological devices can interfere with your circadian rhythm and disturb your sleep cycle. You should try to avoid using these devices before going to bed.
Avoid caffeine intake and alcohol consumption
Consuming caffeine or alcohol during the night time can disturb your whole sleep cycle. Caffeine makes your brain more conscious and alert and makes it difficult to sleep for you. So, you should avoid consuming such substances.
The Bottom Line
Getting a good quality sleep is mandatory for keeping yourself healthy. If you find that you are suffering from sleep deprivation, seek doctor’s advice and start tracking your sleep from today on our smart sleep tracker.