Are you finding it difficult to remember things that you know? Or is it becoming hard for you to concentrate at work or in class? If you so chances are you are deprived of enough sleep. Yes, lack of sleep can hinder you from properly carrying out your daily activities as expected of you.
Sleep is not a luxury; your body needs it more than anything. It is not easy to catch up on your sleep as you may think. If for instance one is getting less than 6 hours of sleep each day in a week, they will have a whole lot of sleep debt that they might not be able to recover.
Stages of sleep
Past studies show that sleep is essential to your physical health as well as the mental aspect of health too. Having enough sleep leads one to recalling particulars in their memory. Rest is divided into four stages.
Stage one experiences light sleep, stage 2 one experiences rapid brain activity. In stage 3, the prolonged brain waves merge with small faster waves and before production of delta waves one enters stage 4 of sleep whereby they become temporarily paralyzed.
During stage 1-3 (Non-Rapid Eye Movement), the body repairs its tissues and strengthens its immune system together with building muscles and associated bones. These stages are vital when it comes to preventing diseases and improving one’s overall health.
The fourth stage of sleep which is linked to Rapid Eye Movement (REM) is involved with learning and intelligence; for one to thoroughly go through all these stages of sleep, they need to have at least 7 hours of uninterrupted sleep each night.
Effects of sleep deprivation on the emotions
The results of sleep deprivation on the thought process such as the inability to focus appropriately usually leads to impaired judgment and lack of ability to deal with issues affecting one’s emotions. As a result, research has shown that people who do not have enough often present with irritability and anger.
1. Slow thought process
Scientists have found that sleeplessness causes low alertness and concentration. It is almost impossible for one to pay close attention to matters if they are easily confused. Making decisions requires one to have logical ability.
2. Memory impairment
Sleep enhances and strengthens memory. The four different stages of sleep play unique roles in consolidating new learning into memory. If for instance, your sleep is interrupted, the cycles are but short.
3. Depression and anxiety
Lack of enough sleep puts you at a higher risk of depression. Sleep and mood is related. One affects the other significantly. When one continuously lacks sleep, it becomes one hell of a vicious cycle and may lead to mania, a severe mental problem.
4. Micro sleeps
When one has a sleep debt, micro sleeps automatically sets in. The brain automatically shuts down and goes into the delta state for about 50 seconds. One falls to sleep, no matter what they were engaged in. The individuals experiencing micro sleeps are rarely aware of what is happening.
5. Emotional impairments
When one has an emotional impairment, they tend to overreact to every situation all around. Additionally may see things or hear voices that are not occurring in the real sense. These thoughts may lead to delusional thinking which could further complicate into more delusions.
6. Weight gain and loss
Sleep loss disrupts the normal functioning of the hormonal system. When the normal homeostasis (energy regulation) is tampered with, obesity and weight gain are bound to occur as a result of the slow fat burning process.
Ways of preventing sleep deprivation
Sleep deprivation can be avoided by practicing good lifestyle and sleeping habits. Here are some tips to help you get a good night sleep:
- Avoid eating heavy meals especially 2-3 hours to bed.
- Get a regular exercising routine. However do not exercise during bedtime; this stimulates your body thus increasing chances of insomnia.
- Make your bedroom as comfortable as you can. Make it quiet and dark at night do not keep it at extreme temperatures, either too cold or too warm.
- Do not use your phone when in bed, similarly avoid having a television in your bedroom
- Avoid caffeine before going to bed. Coffee and alcohol contain caffeine which stimulates one’s nerves hence increasing your chances of not falling sleep fast.
- In case you wake up in the middle of the night, read something that will make you drift slowly into slumber land.
- Always have a to-do list with you to reduce chances of you worrying about things that you haven’t done.
SOURCES AND REFERENCES
1What lack of sleep does to your mind (June 2015)
- Seasonal sleep disorder (May 2014)
- Why lack of sleep is bad for you(January 2017)