With our busy lifestyles, a lack of sleep can leave you feeling drained and moody. Here is how to overcome it.
It’s a good feeling when you wake fresh and energised after a good night’s sleep. Both sleep quantity and sleep quality have an impact on how you feel the following day. Quantity is the length of time you sleep and quality refers to the calibre of sleep. A number of issues can affect sleep, including a poor mattress, environmental factors (like feeling too hot or too cold) and changes in your situation, even stress and a hectic job.
Why does a lack of sleep impact on your energy levels? The human body needs around six to ten hours of sleep to allow for growth, rejuvenation and healing. Sleep is needed to restore various functions in the body, from hormones (sleep regulates brain chemicals like serotonin and dopamine), to a building a strong immune system and even your appetite. When you sleep your metabolism slows down and various functions, including heart rate, breathing and blood pressure drop. Scientists don’t yet fully understand why sleep is so critical but studies have revealed that during sleep, waste products, which accumulate in the brain during the day are flushed out. Researchers believe that these ‘housekeeping’ processes help to reorder the brain, both for maintenance and new memory consolidation.
The Effects Of Sleep Deprivation
- Weakened immune system
- Reduced memory (both long and short-term)
- Reduced concentration
- Fatigue – low energy
- Poor judgement
- Decreased libido
- Moody and emotional
- Anxiety and depression
- Binge eating (carb cravings)
- Physical danger (driving etc. when you are tired)
- Possible diabetes and obesity over time
Tips For A Better Night’s Sleep
- Increase your sleep satisfaction
You may not get a good amount of sleep if you have a busy lifestyle, but when you do sleep, make sure it’s a quality sleep. The room should be the right temperature so that you don’t feel too hot or chilled. Choose bedding accordingly. Try to keep the room as dark as possible. Replace an old mattress if necessary.
- Accept offers of help
If family or friends offer to help you manage your responsibilities or offer to buy you groceries to save you time, take up the offer and reduce what’s weighing on your mind. This will help you get a better night’s sleep, which will leave you feeling rejuvenated and energised.
- Ease into sleep time
Make your sleep a priority by easing into it and preparing for it. Wind down at night, avoid screens and eat a few hours before bedtime. Making a ritual out of a bedtime routine will help you relax into it and get used to it.