We all know that sleep is important to us. And sleep scientists believe that early to bed and early to rise, in the long run, is great for our health. With the rapid developments and progress of modern society and science, people’s rhythm of life unceasingly speeds up and everyone sleeps less and less. Finally, sleep deprivation becomes a common problem in our daily life. Chronic sleep loss will substantially lower our overall quality of life. So, getting adequate sleep is just around the corner.
What is sleep deprivation?
People of different ages have different sleep periods. The normal sleep time of adults is 7 to 8 hours, the elderly are 5 to 6 hours, the teenagers need 8 to 10 hours, and the children need about 10 hours, but there are also special people, such as the world sleep. The shortest recorded person can keep one hour and one hour of sleep time, but as the pace of social life is getting faster and faster, people's pressure is getting bigger and bigger, and with various bad habits, some people's normal sleep time can't be met. Affecting daytime social activities, resulting in sleep deprivation, can lead to insomnia, decreased attention and other problems.
What causes sleep deprivation?
Sleep deprivation occurs when someone could not get a healthy amount of sleep. But what causes one to become sleep deprived?
- Staying up too late: People always stay up late for irresistible reasons, such as shift work, family obligations or demanding jobs. Staying up late long-term will disorder one’s life and rest, causing mental chaos and disorders.
- Excessive sleep: Everyone’s normal sleeping time is about 7-8 hours. Sleeping too much will make people feel shaky, but will be lazy and in a state of lethargy.
- Chronic illnesses: Some special diseases will lead to sleepiness, such as diabetes. These kinds of diseases will make people feel anxious, unable to sleep or waking up frequently.
- Psychological effects: All of us will encounter a variety of difficulties in our daily work or study. These will cause either heavy or light psychological pressure. In the end, we will suffer from sleep problems, including sleep deprivation.
How Sleep Deprivation Affects Your Life
Sleep deprivation does no good for us and negatively affects our body and health. Studies have shown that insufficient sleep can cause the following impacts:
- Decreased memory and intelligence: Sleep deprivation will impair your attention, alertness, concentration, reasoning and problem-solving abilities and lower your working efficiency. Also, lack of sleep will affect people’s rational judgment of events.
- Cause serious health problems: Sleep disorders and chronic sleep loss have an increased risk of these diseases: heart disease, hypertension, stroke, diabetes. Also, sleep loss will double the risk of death from cardiovascular disease.
- Be more prone to accidents: Lack of sleep has become one of the most important causes of traffic accidents nowadays. Research has shown that people with insufficient sleep or poor-quality of sleep are also prone to work-related injuries and accidents.
- Accelerated skin aging: Not getting enough sleep will easily lead to aging. Long-term sleep loss will result in dull skin, wrinkles, dark circles, and swollen eyes.
- Put on weight: Insufficient sleep not only appears to stimulate appetite and increase hunger, but also triggers the desire for high fat and carbohydrates, thus leading to weight gain and even obesity.
How to Get Adequate Sleep
Since sleep deprivation has profound impacts on our physical and mental health, developing healthy sleeping habits is the best thing to try.
- Establishing a regulated sleep schedule: Try to sleep at the same time every night and get at least 7 hours every night. Do not stay in bed until noon on weekends, or even sleep all day. Some ‘Bedtime’ apps on the phone may help.
- Creating a comfortable environment: Choosing the perfect cool memory foam mattress or pillow or hanging blackout curtains to block the light tends to help you sleep quickly and soundly.
- Don’t eat stimulating food before going to bed: Foods with exciting and stimulating effects, such as spicy food, coffee, strong tea and so on, should be avoided hours before bed. Remember to not drink alcoholic drinks after dinner and don’t smoke.
- Do some relaxing activities before bedtime: Walking, listening to music and drinking a small warm glass of milk will help you sleep better. Taking a hot bath or soaking your feet in hot water also contributes to getting a good night’s sleep.