Nowadays, it’s worthwhile to periodically ask oneself, “Am I sleeping enough?” We spend around one-third of our lives sleeping, and getting enough of it helps us make the most of our waking time. And when we don’t get enough sleep, we don’t always feel or operate well.
If you believe you are sleep-deprived, you are not alone: one in every three Indian adults does not get enough sleep.
However, by making a few modifications to your routines, you may increase your sleep duration and quality, giving you more energy and desire to enjoy the things you care about.
Let’s define sleep deprivation, look at red flag symptoms that you could be sleep-deprived, and discuss measures to improve your sleep health.
- What Exactly Is Sleep Deprivation?
- 10 signs that Could Mean You’re Sleep Deprived
- You are easily overwhelmed
- You’re getting ill more frequently
- You get more tired than usual
- You’re irritable most of the time
- It gets difficult to stay awake during the day
- Your production levels have dropped
- Your craving has increased, frequently choosing junk food
- You are more receptive to bodily ailments
- You’re putting on weight
- Lower Immunity
- How to Get Adequate Sleep?
What Exactly Is Sleep Deprivation?
Sleep deprivation is a syndrome that develops when you do not receive enough sleep. When you don’t get enough sleep, you don’t satisfy your sleep demands, which can have an impact on your health, alertness, and performance.
Everyone’s sleep requirements differ depending on their age, genes, health state, living situation, environment, and so on. You may be able to operate on seven hours of sleep, whilst others may require up to nine hours of sleep to feel rested and ready for the day. Regardless, sleep experts recommend that most individuals get at least seven hours of sleep every day.
You may not be getting enough sleep for a variety of reasons. Perhaps you’ve been studying late for exams, your work has been demanding, you’re a new parent, you’ve recently relocated, or you’ve simply been putting off bedtime for pleasure.
Furthermore, sleep problems such as sleep apnea, and insomnia may limit the amount of sleep you can obtain on a daily basis. Other medical issues that might impair your ability to sleep include:
- Substance use disorders
- Anxiety and depression
- Respiratory problems
- Heart diseases
- Chronic pain
- Sleep deprivation might impair your performance during the day. Obesity, sleeplessness, heart disease, diabetes, depression, and other health problems can all be exacerbated by it.
10 signs that Could Mean You’re Sleep Deprived
You are easily overwhelmed
Are even the simplest challenges driving you to cry? Are you experiencing emotional outbursts? Do you feel as though you require a vacation from everything? If you answered yes, how well have you slept?
When you don’t get enough sleep for your requirements, even minor inconveniences might set off your emotions. You could find it difficult to digest them or grasp how you’re feeling. When faced with mental stress, you may feel unable to deal with it.
According to a study, sleep deprivation might impair how you perceive emotions and cause you to react badly to pleasurable or neutral events. Similarly, according to another study, not getting enough sleep might have a significant impact on how you absorb negative emotions.
You’re getting ill more frequently
When you don’t get enough sleep, your body doesn’t get enough repair, healing, and recuperation to get through the day and defend itself against illnesses.
Numerous studies indicate that lack of sleep might impair immune function and make you more susceptible to infections and chronic inflammatory illnesses. According to research, individuals who slept for fewer than seven hours were nearly three times more likely to acquire a cold than those who slept for eight or more hours.
A more recent study discovered that individuals who slept for less than six hours were 4.2 times more likely to acquire a cold than those who slept for seven or more hours. Worse, people who slept for fewer than five hours were shown to be 4.5 times more likely to acquire a cold.
You get more tired than usual
You’re wondering where all your energy has gone. Poor sleep may leave you feeling exhausted and unable to enjoy and accomplish your everyday tasks. You may feel exhausted during and after your usual physical activities. Perhaps you can’t take lengthy nighttime walks like you used to, or you struggle to complete your regular 20-minute exercise program.
Sleep deprivation can affect performance and functionality during physical exercise, making you feel weary quicker and as if you’re consuming more energy than you are.
You’re irritable most of the time
If you’ve been having unexplainably gloomy days, it might be due to a lack of sleep. Sleep deprivation can cause you to become grumpy, irritable, prone to rage, more reactive and sensitive to stressful circumstances, and less anchored in your emotions.
As per sleep experts, getting less sleep is related to a 55% increased risk of having a bad mood. Furthermore, according to a study, sleep loss may result in bad mood or mood instability, melancholy, disorientation, anger, exhaustion, hunger, irritability, and stress. Young individuals, on the other hand, were more sensitive to the effects of sleep loss on mood than older adults.
It gets difficult to stay awake during the day
Do you have trouble keeping your eyes awake during the day? Perhaps you’re falling asleep at strange or even dangerous moments, such as when driving, at a meeting, or on the bus.
Microsleeps, your body’s way of getting a few seconds of sleep during the day, may occur when you are sleep deprived. Microsleeps typically occur after long periods of alertness. This can happen at any time of day for persons who are sleep deprived.
A refreshed day begins with a restful night. If you’re struggling to get enough sleep at night, try a supportive mattress that can help your body to get the required comfort and support for a good night’s sleep. You can easily buy mattresses online to avoid store hassle in the first place.
Your production levels have dropped
How have you been handling your everyday obligations? Do you take longer to accomplish tasks? Is your enthusiasm to work dwindling? Do you have trouble concentrating? Do you have less trust in your abilities and skills?
Yes, lack of sleep might make you feel less in control of your talents, lowering your productivity and performance at work. Sleep deprivation has been demonstrated in studies to make activities look more difficult and lower self-efficacy. Sleep deprivation appears to make you more easily distracted and less able to focus on easy activities and multitask.
Your craving has increased, frequently choosing junk food
When you don’t get enough sleep, you may want more food than normal. This is because sleep deprivation increases levels of hunger hormones (leptin) in the body while decreasing chemicals that help us feel full (ghrelin). In fact, short sleep is connected with a 15% increase in ghrelin levels and a 15% decrease in leptin levels, according to a study. These findings imply that sleep loss might directly lead to weight gain and increased BMI.
Maybe you can’t stop at your normal servings, or you’re eating more frequently while waiting in line, or you can’t stop snacking.
Another study also found that lack of sleep may lead to type 2 diabetes by increasing appetite, food intake, and weight gain.
You are more receptive to bodily ailments
Sleep deprivation might impair your capacity to manage discomfort. If you suffer chronic pain, you may experience more severe symptoms.
Sleep deprivation may reduce your pain threshold and raise your pain sensitivity, according to research. Not to mention that pain may interfere with sleep, which influences how much pain you experience, creating a vicious cycle of acute pain and poor sleep. According to experts, getting enough sleep can help lessen pain symptoms and make you less inclined to require pain medicines.
If you’re having trouble falling asleep on an extremely soft mattress, then you can use a medium firm orthopedic mattress for back pain. Orthopedic mattresses respond quickly to pressure and are less likely to have excessive sinking than a soft mattress.
You’re putting on weight
A lack of sleep can cause an increase in hunger, leading to unhealthy snacking. Sleeping for fewer than 6 hours reduces the hormone leptin, which helps to decrease your hunger. There is also a greater likelihood of getting Type 2 Diabetes.
When you don’t get enough quality sleep, your body’s reaction to illnesses suffers. During sleep, your body creates infection-fighting antibodies. This is harmed when you don’t get enough sleep, resulting in a decrease in your body’s immunity and defensive mechanisms.
How to Get Adequate Sleep?
Do you recognize any of the red flag indications of sleep deprivation listed above? You might be sleep deprived.
However, if you see no improvement in your everyday functioning after making healthy modifications to your sleeping patterns and consult a doctor. Sleep deprivation may be a sign of a more serious medical problem. Addressing the underlying condition may help you sleep better and perform better during the day.
Meanwhile, you may obtain more sleep by adopting good sleep hygiene. Here are a few suggestions to get you started:
- To prepare your body for a good night’s sleep, follow a nighttime wind-down ritual.
- To ensure undisturbed sleep, rest in a cold, dark, quiet, and tidy bedroom.
- Limit your intake of alcohol, caffeine, heavy and spicy foods, and smoke in the evening, since they might increase alertness and disrupt sleep.
- Avoid using electronic gadgets at least two hours before going to bed.
- Maintain physical activity throughout the day.
- Try to go to bed at the same time every night and get up at the same time every morning.
These signs are your body’s way of warning you that it needs more sleep. Don’t disregard these signs by not giving your body the rest it requires. Contrary to common belief, your body does not adapt to a lack of sleep.