How much sleep did you get last night? If you got less than the recommended eight hours, take a look at the preceding nights. If you are consistently coming up short in the sleep department, you may be setting yourself up for several big problems.
As parents, we know that chronic sleep deprivation can lead to difficulty getting through the day—difficulty concentrating, droopy eyelids, weird food cravings, and feeling all-around terrible. These feelings can be very challenging to deal with in addition to all of your other responsibilities of working, parenting, and housework.
Lurking Health Concerns
Chronic sleep deprivation can also be a drag in the long-term. Adults who get less than the recommended amount of sleep per night are more at risk for heart attacks, high blood pressure strokes, obesity and depression. People who don’t sleep enough are also at greater risk for infections because their immune system may be compromised.
What happens is that your body gradually accumulates a “sleep debt,” which places your body under stress while you try to function at a less-than-optimal state. The longer you go without enough sleep, the more stress you experience, which increases your risk for health problems.
Problems on the Job
Sleep deprivation has also been linked to accidents at work, particularly for those whose jobs require the use of heavy machinery. If you are sleep-deprived and are the victim of a work-related accident, you can look into Work Accident Compensation or other legal assistance through Irwin Mitchell.
What you can do
With our 24-hour culture, people are being forced to work longer hours and at odd times. We also have extra responsibilities to our children and other family members. Therefore, it can be difficult to get the full amount of sleep needed to function properly.
If you are having trouble getting enough sleep, you should examine whether you have a sleep disorder such as sleep apnoea or insomnia. Sleep problems can also be tied to stress or emotional problems. Treating these underlying conditions may alleviate sleep problems, but some small ways you can start to try to get enough sleep include:
- Maintaining a sleep routine. Go to bed at the same time each night and wake up at the same time each morning, even on weekends.
- Practice yoga, meditation, or other stress-relieving activity.
- If you can’t sleep during the night, get out of bed and find something to do for a few minutes to occupy your mind and keep you from worrying. Eventually, the sleepy feeling will return.
Though it may be difficult at times to get enough sleep, it is vitally important for your health and well-being. So make that nightly eight hours a priority for you and your family!
Tags: sleep deprivation