A good night’s rest can do wonders for the mental and physical health of a person. Those who have had the misfortune of experiencing sleepless nights know how this can greatly affect their mental state and their physical capabilities. This is because sleep recharges the brain and body.
Sleeping also allows the body to regrow damaged cells, which is necessary for maintaining your health and well-being. Sadly, today more than half of the entire population is sleep deprived, which drastically limits and reduces a person’s performance.
The Main Causes
With so many people affected by the lack of sleep, it’s important to trace the reason for sleepless nights before we look for sleep deprivation solutions. There have been countless sleep studies made all over the world and here are the most common reasons why a person’s sleep cycle may be affected.
Stress from Psychological Factors
Deadlines, overdue bills, exams, worries at home and at the office, are just some of the biggest psychological stressors that can keep a person up at night. Some may be able to block out these thoughts and get the sleep they need, but for most, nights are spent overthinking which results in lack of sleep and a poor performance the next day. This makes sleep deprivation an unending cycle.
Recreational Drugs and Other Brain Altering Chemicals
The next time you drink that cup of coffee think of the effects the caffeine has on your body. If you drink coffee too late in the day this will result in sleepless nights. Other recreational drugs also alter the brain’s natural chemistry, sometimes preventing it from creating the necessary sleeping hormone, melatonin.
This is one cause that we cannot prevent. Our sleeping pattern changes the older we get; some tend to wake up in the middle of the night and have a hard time getting back to sleep. This then causes a disruption of a person’s sleep cycle, resulting in a never ending sleep deprivation.
Suggested Sleep Deprivation Solutions
Once you’ve traced the cause of your sleep deprivation you can start working on the solutions. Even if your situation does not apply to the causes mentioned above, these solutions may help you sleep easily at night:
Beds should be reserved for sleeping and sex and no other activities.
This conditions the brain and the body that the bed is a space that is merely for sleeping and nothing else making it easier for you to fall asleep as soon as you hit the bed.
Limit your fluid intake.
This is especially important for people who are aging. If you drink fluids late at night you will wake up to urinate which will disrupt your sleep and may even lead you to not going back to bed after relieving your bladder.
No more naps.
Yes, naps are a great way to catch up on sleep and can be great rechargers during a tiring day, but too many naps and naps that last too long will have a negative effect on your sleeping pattern. Mostly likely you will end up wide awake at night while being tired and drowsy during the day. It will become an unending and unhealthy sleep cycle.
Dim the lights and lessen the noise.
Bright lights and loud noises will keep you up at night. Try to create a sleeping area that is quiet and dark; this will encourage your brain to produce the sleep hormone which will help you fall asleep faster and longer.
Quit the caffeine and nicotine.
These two chemicals are stimulants that are closely linked to sleep deprivation. If you do drink coffee or smoke a few cigarettes, make sure to avoid these a few hours before you sleep or you might find it hard to fall asleep.
Cutting the Unhealthy Cycle
The goal of these sleep deprivation solutions is to cut the unhealthy sleep cycle your body is used to. By sticking to unhealthy habits that interfere with your natural sleeping pattern you increase the chances of you being sleep deprived for longer periods of time.
Most causes of the lack of sleep can be avoided easily and it will be up to you to change your lifestyle for the better. These solutions may not work for everyone, but they make good stepping-stones to encourage you to live a healthier lifestyle both when you’re asleep and awake.