Signs of Sleep Deprivation
How do you know when you’re sleep deprived?
Work, chores, cooking, cleaning, kids, date night, caring for elderly parents, social events, tending animals, running your own business – these days, it’s not uncommon for a person to do all of these things. There aren’t enough hours in the day, and in order to fit it all in, many of us are cutting into our valuable sleep time. How do you know if you’re sleep deprived?
If you’re sleep deprived, even if you get a few hours of good, restful sleep, you’ll always feel tired. You never seem to feel energised or bouncy, no matter what you eat or drink. You may find yourself drinking more and more caffeine or eating more sugary foods.
Sleep deprived people have more accidents. Not enough sleep affects your cognitive abilities, meaning you’re more likely to have a car accident, drop something or injure yourself at work.
If you’re sleep deprived, you also have more trouble remembering details, even normal parts of your daily routine. Most sleep deprived people find their ability to think laterally and creatively decreases the less they sleep.
Sleep deprived people have trouble distinguishing important and irrelevant information, meaning even the simplest decision suddenly becomes overwhelming.
Another problem sleep deprived people face is disruptions in blood sugar levels. Sleep deprived people look for foods with a fast-acting “pick-me-up”, like simple carbohydrates and sugary foods. These foods don’t curb hunger and mean sleep deprived people tend to overeat and choose unhealthy foods, which further inhibit their ability to sleep.
If you suffer from any of these symptoms, you’re probably sleep deprived. Don’t panic – there is plenty you can do to ensure a good night sleep:
- Make sleep a priority – decide on a bedtime that will give you at least eight hours sleep every night, and stick to it.
- Walk to work – a walk in the morning not only gives you an energy boost for the day, but it gets you out in the sun for some Vitamin D – essential to stay energised all day and keep your body clock in sync.
- Remove distractions – your bedroom should be for sleeping only, so remove TVs, desks, ironing boards and other distractions into a different room.
- Avoid Caffeine – drinking coffee or soda in the evenings could be stopping you from sleeping.
With a few simple lifestyle adjustments, you can reprogram your sleep deprived body and once again enjoy a full night’s restful sleep.
Naturopathic Tip: We recommend avoiding caffeine after 2pm in the afternoon as it takes a long time to be fully metabolised, and can affect the body for up to 9 hours after consumption.