The quality and quantity of sleep that we have plays a huge role in our health and well-being. Getting enough sleep is essential to the way our body functions, it can help us to regulate our emotions, boost our immune system and help us concentrate. But if you struggle to get to sleep each night – you’re not alone. Many of us will suffer from sleep deprivation, but did you know it can have an impact on your health? Read on to find out more about sleep deprivation, what causes it and how you can make a change.
Your environment for sleep could be causing an issue with the amount that you get – finding the best mattress for you is essential, so researching which is best can help improve your quality of rest, whether you’re wondering what is a hybrid mattress, or you’re thinking about introducing memory foam to help.
What causes sleep deprivation?
Sleep deprivation is the term used for those of us that don’t sleep as much as we should. Prolonged periods of no sleep can have a detrimental impact on the way your body, and mind function. 7-8 hours of sleep a night is recommended for adults – so if you’re regularly missing this target, you may be suffering from sleep deprivation. There are a few issues that can cause this problem in many of us, which we will look at in more detail below.
- Lifestyle: If you choose to stay up late to watch TV for example, or you exercise late at night, this can harm your sleep schedule. Both can stimulate your brain so that you don’t feel tired, which can result in prolonged sleep deprivation.
- Sleep disorders: Both disorders and medical issues can cause sleep deprivation to take hold. Conditions like sleep apnoea cause you to wake throughout the night and cause broken sleep – leaving those suffering from it feeling tired.
- Mental health: It can also be difficult to sleep when you’re feeling particularly stressed or anxious. Mental health issues can have an impact on how well you drift off and stay in a deep sleep.
Suffering from sleep deprivation can be frustrating, especially if you’re not sure what’s causing it or what you can do to fix it. We’ll look at ways that you can improve your sleep deprivation below, but first, let’s take a look at what can happen to your body in a prolonged period of sleep deprivation.
Weakens the immune system
Your body needs sleep to function as it should, and your immune system is no exception. Your body needs rest to help it fight any infection or illness that it may be faced. If you suffer from sleep deprivation, you will notice that you’re unwell more often, you might be run down or be more susceptible to colds. It’s important that you do your best to get your sleeping pattern back on track so you can feel healthy and give your immune system a boost.
Can cause weight gain
This is another impact that sleep deprivation can have – it can actually cause you to put on weight. When you’re tired, your body naturally craves food that is full of calories, sugar, and salt. As well as this, when you’re tired, you’re less likely to have the motivation to cook a healthy meal or work out as you normally would, leading to weight gain.
This is one of the biggest issues that comes with not getting as much sleep as your body needs. Sleep deprivation means your body cannot work as it should – it can lead to weight gain, inability to manage stress, and lead you to feel less motivation to live a healthy lifestyle. All these factors can have an impact on the way your heart works. It can lead to high blood pressure, and even heart disease further down the line.
How to correct sleep deprivation
If you’re suffering from sleep deprivation, and you’re worried about your health, there are things that you can do to correct your sleeping pattern. For example, try and go to sleep and wake up at the same time each day – this will help your body get into a natural routine. This one may seem obvious but avoid caffeine, whether that’s in coffee, tea, or fizzy drinks. You should also try not to nap during the day as this will throw off your schedule when it comes to the evening. Make sure you wind down around 30 minutes before bed and create a cosy, dark environment for you to fall asleep in – white noise machines and black-out curtains can be effective.