I have spent the last 6 years in a sleep deprived haze! (Thanks Bob & Bow!) I know it will get better over time and I am getting more sleep than I was so I feel like I am seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. 

For many people, sleep deprivation is a problem that won’t go away once their children start sleeping. If this is you, I feel for you! Not getting enough sleep is awful and it can take it’s toll! 

I have a guest post from Kate that can hopefully help in easing sleep deprivation. I really hope it can help some of you! 

How Does a Lack of Sleep Affect Your Mind and Health

We all know that sleep is vitally important for our bodies and brains to function, but a lot of us don’t know exactly why. Since we’ve been raised and taught to get a healthy amount of rest every night, a lot of us don’t have a ton of experience with sleep deprivation.

That’s a good thing, for the most part. For those who are curious, though, it doesn’t hurt to know what a lack of sleep does to your mind and health. Sleep deprivation doesn’t just lead to cognitive impairments – it can have a very serious impact on your physical health, as well.If you’re having a hard time getting quality sleep, you can skip right to the end of this article because you’re probably already well-acquainted with the symptoms of sleep deprivation on your mental and physical health.

The latter part of this article is dedicated to tips on improving the quality of your sleep and beating insomnia.

So what can sleep deprivation do to my brain and body?

It’s recommended that the average person gets around eight hours of sleep every night for them to function at their best. Older people will need slightly less, younger people need a bit more.

Regardless, the consensus is that sleep is vital for our bodies and brains to recuperate, rejuvenate, and repair themselves after the day.

Since sleep is required for our bodies to repair themselves, you can imagine what sort of things might happen if you don’t get the required amount of sleep. Your body won’t get a chance to ‘restock’ its enzymes and hormones, neurotransmitter systems will begin to fall out of balance, and your metabolism will not function properly.

That all sounds very unpleasant, but how do these things manifest as actual symptoms?

1. Sleep deprivation can make you go crazy

Serious sleep deprivation can cause some fairly serious distortions of reality to occur. While these sort of symptoms don’t usually emerge until you’ve gone at least a few days without getting any sleep, they can also be some of the most dangerous – visual and auditory hallucinations, paranoid delusions, anxiety, and other signs of psychosis.

Many drugs that are associated with causing hallucinations and delusions with excessive use, like amphetamines and cocaine, also tend to cause sleep deprivation.

Knowing that a lot of these psychotic symptoms are largely caused by sleep deprivation can help you understand how serious sleep deprivation can be.

2. Sleep deprivation leaches nutrition from your body

It might not be healthy to eat a massive meal right before you go to bed, but it’s going to be even worse for you if you don’t get any sleep at all.

Your body uses your sleeping time for many things, and among these things are processing and metabolizing the nutrients that you need to function optimally for the next day.

3. Sleep deprivation robs you of making clear choices

In other words, you might make some bad choices if you don’t get enough sleep. It’s not just the psychosis and delusions that can cause you to act erratically – it’s also the fact that your emotions become increasingly unstable as you deprive yourself of sleep for longer and longer periods.

Emotional instability, delusions, and nutritional deficiencies are a pretty nasty combination of deficits that can lead to some seriously irrational behaviour.

4. Sleep deprivation is bad for your cognitive ability

Sleep deprivation is well-known to be linked to cognitive decline. Since your brain energizes itself when you’re sleeping and fuels itself up for the following day, if you don’t get your rest, you’re not going to have the necessary energy to think and compute.

Preventing Sleep Deprivation

The best way to avoid the detrimental effects of sleep deprivation is to simply avoid getting sleep-deprived in the first place. Unfortunately, that’s not easy for people suffering from insomnia or other sleep problems.

These tips and tricks can help you ensure that you get a good night’s sleep every night.

1. Get a good mattress

A lot of people spend months or years sleeping on mattresses that impede the quality of their sleep without being aware that they’re doing so.

If you get accustomed to sleeping on a mattress that causes you discomfort in the night, you’re going to seriously impede the quality of your sleep.

Unfortunately, for a lot of people, this is the norm. They’re just not aware of it. People who spend a lot of time rolling around in their sleep due to an uncomfortable mattress might be plagued with chronic fatigue or brain fog without knowing why.

Researching to find out what is the best mattress for 2018 and beyond just might solve your problem!

2. Take some supplements

There are a ton of natural health supplements that you can take to improve the quality of your sleep. These are non-addictive substances that are found in nature and can be used therapeutically to restore balance to your sleep schedule.

Melatonin is a hormone produced by our body when the sun goes down that helps us settle into our circadian rhythm (our natural sleep cycle). People who don’t produce enough melatonin can help their bodylearn to produce it by taking supplements.

Valerian root and passionflower are two herbals that can provide powerful relaxant effects. They aren’t strong enough to be dangerous or disorienting but they can certainly help you get rid of insomnia.

3. Yoga and meditation

Yoga and meditation are two great ways to help you achieve a state of full-body relaxation. Both of these practices rely on controlled breathing which helps to regulate the communication between your mind and body.

A balance of mind and body helps you manage your energy levels and prevent an overactive mind from keeping you awake at night when your body is tired. A good yoga routine before bed can loosen you up and help prepare you for slumber.

In conclusion

There are a lot of unpleasant things that can happen if you don’t get enough sleep. There are also a lot of things that you can do to help ensure that you get a good night’s sleep.

Taking care of your sleeping habits is vitally important for making sure that you can function at your best possible level.

By Kate Corr, The Founder of Best Mattress Expert, a blog dedicated to helping people choose the best mattress brand. Check out www.bestmattressexpert.com to learn more about Kate.

 Posted by Charlotte on December 13, 2017 Uncategorized  Add comments

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