Are You Sleep Deprived?
How to Know and What to Do
Everyone experiences sleep problems every once in a while. But, if you're having trouble sleeping on a regular basis, you could be trying to function under chronic sleep deprivation. No matter the cause, you can work to develop good sleep hygiene and stress management skills to help you get the rest you need.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 35% of all adults in the United States are sleep deprived. Those numbers may be even higher considering that most people only report chronic conditions that last a month or more. However, any time you get less than a full seven hours of sleep, you’re in a state of sleep deprivation. In this condition, the mind and body slow down and change the way they function, which can impact your daily life.
When sleep deprived, neurons in the brain slow down, affecting your critical thinking skills, decision-making abilities, and reaction times. Your memory also suffers especially short-term memory and recall abilities.
The list of ways your body changes during sleep deprivation could go on and on. For example, the immune system gets depressed, so you’ll get sick more often. Continued sleep deprivation has been linked to conditions like heart disease, diabetes, stroke, headaches, anxiety, and depression.
Before you start to worry too much, good sleep hygiene and stress management skills can be used to improve the quantity and quality of your sleep. Sleep hygiene includes all the habits and behaviors in your life that affect the quality of your sleep. While many of these behaviors take place close to bedtime, everything you do throughout the day can come back to affect your sleep at night.
A few of the most useful ways to improve your sleep include:
Creating a Comfortable, Relaxing Atmosphere: Your bedroom should be a sleep sanctuary where your mind and body automatically relax. To be sure you're getting the best quality sleep, check that your mattress supports your preferred sleep position and doesn't contain any lumps or valleys. Some people prefer innerspring to memory foam mattresses. Check mattress reviews to see what might work for you. Try to keep the room cool, dark, and quiet at night to support the highest quality sleep.
Eating a Well-Balanced Diet: Heavy high-fat foods can disrupt your digestion and make it difficult to fall asleep, especially if consumed near your bedtime. Early, light dinners create the best chance for getting a good night's rest. If you need it a late night snack, reach for foods like bananas, almonds, and yogurt that promote the production of melatonin, a sleep hormone.
Keeping a Consistent Bedtime and Wake-Up Time: Your body relies on regular biological and physiological cycles that regularly repeat within a 24-hour period. By maintaining a consistent bedtime and wake-up time, you help establish and support your sleep-wake cycle and allow your brain to get accustomed to your schedule and start releasing sleep hormones.
Developing a Bedtime Routine: The body loves a good routine. A bedtime routine triggers the brain to start the release of melatonin. It also gives you a chance to relieve stress or tension before bed. A bedtime routine can include anything that helps you feel calm and relaxed such as reading a book, taking a warm bath, or listening to quiet music.
Learn Stress Management Skills: Stress is a primary cause of sleeplessness. Meditation, yoga, and regular exercise can help reduce and manage stress. Avoid strenuous exercise routines within four hours of bedtime. The rise in body temperature and release of endorphins and adrenaline can interfere with your sleep.
Attending a yoga or wellness retreat is the perfect way to kick start a new sleep hygiene routine. Use the time to start a digital detox especially before bed time. Regular yoga classes throughout the retreat will help to calm the mind and balance your thoughts, teaching you new ways of stress management and body movement. Here at Devarya Wellness we offer free evening meditation classes and therapies to prepare you for sleep and rest.
Check out our range of retreats and start your journey towards rested nights and refreshed mornings.