How important sleep really is for our mind and body becomes particularly obvious after a sleepless night or several of them in a row. Sleep deprivation makes a person moody, grumpy, affects their motivation, ability to focus on various daily tasks, work, overall health and wellbeing… the list goes on. There are several causes of it, some of which being much more harmful than others. Here are some of the most frequent causes of sleep deprivation and the ways to get rid of them.
Irregular sleep routine
People often acquire a messy rhythm of living due to numerous responsibilities like working or studying. Getting into that habit of subordinating other important things, as well as health, to such responsibilities and duties is easy to get into, but not so easy to get out of. As a consequence, sleep is (un)willingly deprived the status of a priority and therefore people don’t have a more-or-less stable sleep schedule. You go to bed at a different hour every night, wake up early, and don’t get nearly as much sleep as necessary. The great negative effect of that can be experienced in various aspects of life.
In order to change that, people first need to remind themselves of the importance of sleeping well and long enough and make it a priority. In addition, establishing and following a sleep schedule is required: going to bed at a specific hour every night and getting between seven and nine hours of sleep so as to allow the body and mind to function normally.
Some people who are anxious a lot or are significantly affected by anxiety tend to clench their jaw as well as grind their teeth. That condition is also known as bruxism, and it can cause various problems such as headaches, teeth damage, and jaw tenderness. Moreover, constant jaw clenching can damage your temporomandibular joints, leading to persistent TMJ pain when left untreated. All these issues inevitably interfere with your sleep cycle, impairing the sleep quality.
In order to tackle teeth grinding and neutralize its negative effects, one should try to get to the root of their stress or anxiety and work through that. Additionally, to prevent teeth damage, mouth guards and splints are an option. If you really need to neutralize certain symptoms like pain, consult a doctor about the medication you could take.
This is yet another mistake a lot of people make before they head to bed. However unbelievable it may seem, consuming food before bedtime can have an effect on the quality of sleep we get that night. It can result in bloating, problems in digestion, unpleasantness, or sometimes even stomach ache, which ultimately interfere with sleep and can keep a person awake or make it hard for them to fall asleep. The solution is simple: have dinner at appropriate dinner time, not right before going to sleep, and avoid late night snacks.
We are surrounded by all sorts of electronic devices. Almost in every room of our homes, including the bedroom. Two things which are most likely to be positioned close to your bed are your computer, your phone, and TV. All those screens emit the something called blue light, which is detrimental to sleep. So, whenever you go to bed, do your best to keep such devices off or as far away from you as possible. In addition, instead of leaving your cell phone on, if you need something to wake you up in the morning, try using an alarm clock instead. Cell phones can often distract, so you can end up going to sleep at a later hour than planned.
Sleep deprivation is a priority issue which can have serious consequences and it should be tackled as early as possible.