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How to combat sleep deprivation

How to Combat Sleep Deprivation

Most of us walk around in a constant state of sleep deprivation. We may not realise it, but all our attempts to get up early and cram as much as we can into each day are making us tired, irritable, and unable to concentrate. Sleep deprivation affects most of us every single day, and we don’t even realise it.
Did you know that if you don’t get enough sleep for several nights in a row, you work up “sleep debt”? It’s true. Adults need between 7-9 hours of sleep each night, and when you don’t obtain this, you accumulate sleep debt. This sleep deprivation stacks up over subsequent nights, till you pay it back by making up those lost hours of sleep. If you accumulate too much sleep debt, you may have to “pay it back” over several nights.

It’s important that you monitor your sleep patterns and pay back any sleep debt you “owe” your body. If not, you’ll continue to suffer the effects of sleep deprivation:

  • Impaired performance
  • Decreased productivity
  • Inability to maintain focus
  • Loss of creative thinking
  • Wretched bad mood
  • Low energy
  • Lack of motivation
  • Pain, such as headaches and nausea
  • Loss of motor control
  • Increase in accidents

Long-term sleep deprivation can have a disastrous impact on your life. Not only could you suffer the above symptoms on an ongoing basis, but you also increase your chance of having a serious car or work accident.

Research suggests that over 100,000 car accidents each year are caused by sleep deprivation. It only takes a second for you to close your eyes behind the wheel and cause a major accident. Don’t take the risk. Eliminate sleep deprivation!

How do you say goodbye to sleep deprivation? Simple. You have to pay back your sleep debt, hour for hour. This might mean you need to schedule a couple of weeks where you get up an hour later each morning, or go to bed earlier. Have a sleep-in on the weekend. It can help refresh you for the week ahead.

We’ve spent so much time trying to cram more activities into our day and be as productive as possible, we don’t realise we’re working more than ever and cutting back on the very processes our bodies need to function. Sleep deprivation is our body telling you to slow down and have a snooze.

Naturopathic Tip: Take time out every day for stillness or meditation to calm the mind, reduce stress and to aid sleep.