When was the last time you got a good 8 hours of uninterrupted shuteye? Chances are, you’re under so much pressure to do it all that you skimp on sleep. This is a bad idea. Sleep is an important part of your life, and a lack of it can cause your physical and mental health to suffer.
You need to catch more Zs
Most people do not get enough sleep. This is alarming because sleep is the body’s restorative function. When you’re sick, injured, overtired … your body uses sleep to regenerate and make up for any deficits. If you’re not sleeping, you’re at higher risk for some serious conditions like obesity, heart attack, immune deficiency and diabetes. But the more common effects of sleep deprivation might be happening right under your nose and affecting your everyday life without you even realizing it.
3 signs that you need more time between the sheets
You’re moody and not yourself.
Sleep and your mental health are deeply connected. The less sleep you get, the more likely you are to feel depressed, anxious, irritable, or downright cranky. (You might not even notice it, but I bet those closest to you will!) The worst part is that depression and anxiety can cause insomnia … which can cause more depression and anxiety. Planning on upping your sleep yet?
You can’t figure out where all your energy went.
Here’s where things get sneaky. Your body starts to overcompensate and steals your energy while you’re awake. Things you’ve always had the energy to do suddenly seem exhausting. Playing with your kids wears you out. Your work performance suffers. Even staying alert while driving becomes challenging. Your focus is out the window! You become so used to feeling this way that you start to accept it as your new normal. But now you’ll know to take a look at your sleep patterns.
You can’t remember simple things.
Do you constantly forget where you left your keys or stop mid-sentence because you can’t find the right word? I see it all the time. Patients come in because they’ve become forgetful and they’re worried that it might be an early indicator of Alzheimer’s. But if you’re frequently forgetting things, you might just be sleep deprived. This is why your doctor will always ask … “Are you sleeping well?”
A lack of sleep can keep you from enjoying your daily activities and being present in all areas of your life. Follow my advice below, and be on your way to more restful nights.
My Prescriptions for Getting a Good Night’s Sleep
- Power Down. That blue light emitted from TVs, smart phones and computers triggers a suppression of melatonin and keeps you alert. Give yourself – and your devices – a break and power down.
- Exercise. This really works for me! Burn off calories and lingering energy about 6 hours before you turn in. This calms your nervous system and helps you fall and stay asleep.
- Be an Early Bird. Exposure to natural morning light helps stabilize your body clock and sleep cycle.
- Enjoy a Hot Drink. It’s a great way to relax and prepare for sleep! Chamomile tea is a great choice. Stay away from alcohol and caffeine several hours before bed time.
- Journal. Keep a notebook by your bed and write down anything that’s on your mind before you go to sleep. You’ll clear your head and be able to relax knowing that you’ve captured anything important.
The light in me honors the light in you. Namaste.