Anyone who has suffered from sleep deprivation knows just how detrimental it can be. Sleep affects all areas of our life and when it is disrupted, it can be difficult to reestablish a good nighttime routine.
Many techniques over the years have been introduced to deal with sleep deprivation, from lifestyle changes to sedative drugs.
How to Mitigate the Effects of Sleep Loss
In this article, we offer 4 useful tips for the sleep deprived among us, focusing on how certain lifestyle changes can help resolve many sleep deprivation symptoms.
Learning to sleep well can be a challenge for some, but it’s a worthwhile one. We hope this blog will help.
Turn Off all the Electronics Long Before Bed
The key to dealing with the effects of sleep deprivation is to establish a consistent routine that you follow every night.
For this routine to be effective, it should be significantly different than the routine you follow during the day. Consequently, every time you initiate it, the body will be notified that it’s time for sleep.
Many people use electronics throughout the day in various capacities, so it makes sense to store these away at night once it starts getting dark. Many of these devices emit a short wavelength blue light that can interfere with our release of melatonin.medi
In addition, these devices are highly stimulating, which prevents us from winding down before we sleep.
Try reading a book before you go to bed. No, not a book on your iPad. A paper book that opens and closes. Over time, you’ll find the act of closing the book will be another reminder to rest – sending you into a deep slumber.
Interact with Others to Get Out of Your Own Head
Many of us suffer from sleep deprivation because we are too consumed with our own anxieties. Many people feel stuck in their heads and cannot disconnect from their daily problems and worries.
One way to exit this personal space is to simply make a new friend.
It might seem simple, but it will give you something new to be preoccupied with. Make sure this friend is someone who likes you back, as insecurity can lead to difficulty sleeping.
Social interaction more generally can link our circadian rhythms with those of peers. Thus, if you know someone who is a healthy sleeper, try hanging out with them more often. Sleep health is contagious.
Or, if you can’t find a friend, perhaps try reconnecting with a family member. The selflessness that a relationship entails will give you a warm fuzzy feeling, making it easier to drift into unconsciousness.
Change your Meal Schedule for Optimal Sleep
One of the most common causes of sleep deprivation is eating too late in the day. Digestion is a taxing process that takes a considerable amount of energy. Yet, sleep also requires a lot of energy, as the body is cleansing as well as consolidating the day’s experiences.
If you put too much strain on your digestive system while you sleep, then your sleep quality will suffer. Thus, even if you get your 8 hours in per night, you might still wake up feeling tired and dulled.
One solution is to shift your dinner to lunch, and your lunch to breakfast.
Then, if you do eat late in the day, make it a light snack. Alternatively, if you must eat a large dinner, try doing so before 6pm. This will give your body plenty of time to prepare for its nightly slumber.
Meditate Regularly for Better Sleep
Meditation has often been connected to enlightenment and self-awareness.
On its own, this could help with sleep deprivation, as you will realize how detrimental your lack of sleep is for your overall health.
On the other hand, it’s understandable that some people experience sleep deprivation and no amount of care, attention, and technique can help them fall asleep.
In these cases, instead of spending all night worrying about your lack of sleep or using your lack of sleep as an opportunity to worry about other areas of your life, it might be best to just bite the bullet and meditate.
Try dimming the lights, lighting some incense, playing some ambient music, crossing your legs, sitting up straight, closing your eyes, and focusing on your breathing. Breathe in and breathe out. Do this over and over.
If it doesn’t help you fall asleep, at the very least, it will help relax you, which will make the night pass even easier.
Our Final Thoughts on Sleep Deprivation
Sleep deprivation is one of the hardest ailments to overcome, especially because so many vicious cycles can result. The less you sleep, the more you worry about your lack of sleep, which only makes it harder to sleep.
Not to mention, our modern lifestyles are often insidiously unhealthy, and we don’t realize the consequences until we finally sit down and try to prepare for sleep. Yet, at this point, it’s usually too late, and our days seep into our nights.
We hope that the tips here will help you mitigate many of the negative effects of sleep deprivation, returning you quickly to a state of balance and health.
Feature image via Alternative Medicine Magazine