Sleeping Less?? Some Easy Tactics to Help You Deal with Insomnia
Ananya was in the constant habit of giving her work more priority over sleep. Her parents always used to make her understand the importance of sleeping properly, but she never paid much attention. For her, work always came first and then everything else. You could always see Ananya on her smartphone or laptop working or giving orders no matter at what place she is. Her 24/7 work schedule made her avoid social gatherings, and gradually she lost her best friends too.
Nothing, but her sudden mental health disorder came as a massive roadblock in her successful career. The news came as a massive shock to everyone, especially her parents & they spent thousands on her medical treatment. After one complete year, she got stable and returned with a new self-being. She understood her parents were right, thus started sleeping properly and the work shifted to #2 position on her priority list.
Do the character of Ananya and her story scare you? Are you able to put yourself in her shoe and wonder — What if I was at her place? Are you also giving more importance to your work rather than sleeping properly? If yes, take a little break and look at the other side of the coin. Don’t get too engrossed in your work, that you forget the real meaning of work-life balance.
If you regularly sleep less under the pretext of working, it can generate insomnia in you. Needless, to say, Insomnia is a disease which comes with its own share of aftereffects. Head over to the next segment and understand how Insomnia impacts your Health and Life?
Less Sleeping Aggravates Insomnia: Why You Must be Cautious?
Usually, the number of sleeping hours vary from person to person, but on average a normal person requires at least seven to eight hours of sleep. But the question is, Are you actually Sleeping for Seven to Eight hours a day? I prefer not to comment and rather leave it to you to ponder upon. You must know that your uncanny habit of ignoring sleep is taking a big toll on your body. You might disagree, but it’s a FACT you can’t deny. Some notable downfalls of not sleeping properly include:
- It makes you Forgetful and Dumb
- Less Sleeping Affects your Decision-Making Power
- Less Sleep can Make you Gain some Weight
- Your Skin Starts Ageing and you Look Older
The right amount of sleep improves your mind power and help you think rationally. So, if you aren’t sleeping, there are chances that you are losing on your concentration levels, ability to reason and problem-solving skills. Lack of sleep also affects your memory-retention powers and you start forgetting what you learn and experience throughout the day. You start losing focus, your attention-to-detail ability reduces drastically and you start converting into a dumb and a forgetful person.
Irregular sleep can impair your decision-making powers. As the world is progressing, you are becoming habitual of working round-the-clock without paying much heed to your sleeping patterns. Sleep specialists condemn this practice and suggest individuals take regular sleep if they do not wish to affect their judgment ability. Even medical researches suggest people who sleep less tend to make it a practice and start believing it as their usual sleep tenure which isn’t completely true. Prolonged practice takes them downhill and their performance levels degrade much faster.
I am sure you must have read and heard the saying “A Healthy Eating Habit leads to a Happy Lifestyle”. But, are we really following this principle in our daily lives? Believe it or not, but less sleep increases your hunger and appetite, sometimes leading to obesity issues. If you go by recent studies, you must sleep at least six hours a day to avoid your chances of becoming obese. Reduced sleeping patterns make you crave for high-fat and high-carbohydrate foods, further adding up to your body weight.
Medical practitioners confirm that there is a direct correlation between our sleep and the peptides that regulate our appetite. As per there, “Ghrelin stimulates hunger and Leptin signals satiety to the brain and suppresses appetite.” What it means is that sleeping for a short duration can decrease your Leptin levels while elevating the level of your Ghrelin hormone. To counter the effects doctors suggest making adequate sleep an integral part of every weight loss program in the world.
Don’t your eyes turn puffy red whenever you are unable to sleep properly for a few days in succession? Do you know why your eyes get puffy red in the mornings? Its because our body releases Cortisol (a stress hormone). So, whenever you avoid sleeping for late hours or don’t sleep at all, your Cortisol levels increase which breaks down your skin collagen, and the protein which keeps your skin smooth and elastic. Additionally, you also get fine lines on the face and dark circles under the eyes which makes you look old and of age.
Sleeping expert Phil Gerrman theory states that during sleep loss, our body releases fewer amounts of growth hormones. In our early years of development, growth hormone promotes development, but as we age, it also helps to build muscle mass, thickens skin and in strengthening the bones. As per Phil, “It’s during deep sleep (what experts usually call slow-wave sleep) that growth hormone is released. It seems to be part of normal tissue repair patching the wear and tear of the day.”
Reduced Sleeping — Why Does Insomnia Occur At All?
You can suffer from Insomnia anytime, anywhere. It might seem difficult to notice the actual root cause which led to sleeping issues. But, with careful observations, you can easily understand if you are suffering from a sleeping disorder or not. In this segment, I list down few prominent factors which I believe play an important role in building up a sleeping disorder. Check out the pointers below:
- Stress: The most common cause which leads to insomnia in human-beings. Work-related stress, personal health, financials, etc. can easily keep your mind occupied even when you are trying to sleep. At times, some negative life events can also trigger sleeping issues in you. So, keep a check on your stress levels and try to stay cheerful and happy.
- Traveling: If you are a frequent traveler, then even jet lag can lead to sleeping issues. Traveling into different time-zones, working in night-shifts can ruin your sleep-wake cycle badly.
- Lack of a Proper Routine: Are you habitual of sleeping late on the pretext of working? If yes, take a break and set a proper routine for yourself. Avoid eating dinner, watching TV or using your smartphones just before sleeping as all these stimulating activities disturb your sleep cycle. Your mind stays active and it then becomes difficult for you to bring it to rest when you are on the bed.
- No Fix Dinner Time: Ensure you are having your dinner much before you plan to sleep. Ideally, as per doctors the best time to have your dinner is 08:00 PM (IST). It gives your digestive system enough time to process the food and you also avoid the chances of experiencing heatburn (a medical condition wherein acid and food backflows from the stomach into the esophagus)
- Excessive Intake of Caffeinated Drinks: Caffeinated drinks are another factor responsible to cause insomnia in people. So, if you love drinking coffee, cold-drinks or any other caffeine drink, STOP. It is not only harming you physically but is also affecting your mental peace. Check out this article by Jon Johnson to understand how a single cup of coffee can keep you awake for long hours. What you must understand is that all these drinks are stimulants and drinking them in the evenings or late night can keep you from falling asleep. Alcohol or Nicotine products must also be avoided at all costs. Alcohol does make you sleep, but it doesn’t allow you to fall into a deep sleep and you often find yourself awake in the middle of the night with no possible reasons to do so.
How Can You Fight Insomnia? 4 Simple Yet Proven Hacks
In the previous two segments, I made you understand the major causes of why insomnia occurs and how can you stay cautious? But, its always better to be sure than to be sorry later. So, in this last segment, I give you 4 tried-and-tested hacks using which you can easily fight against your sleeping disorder. Check out the hack list right here:
- Make your Sleeping Environment Comfortable
- Include Moderate Exercise in your Daily Routine
- Discard Caffeinated Drinks, Alcohol, and Nicotine From your Life
- Pen Down your Worries
Do you feel relaxed while you are in your bedroom? Does it make you feel alive and full of positive energy? One major factor why people fail to sleep properly is because they lack the understanding of making their sleeping environment as comfortable as they could. Your bedroom should be your place wherein you can feel alive, just be yourself, relax and sleep in peace with no worries. It should have proper lighting with a comfortable bed so that you do not suffer from chronic back-pain issues. Keep your bed and the mattress of the right proportion else you will always have a disturbed sleep which will indirectly affect your mood, and also your productivity at both personal and professional fronts.
Fitness should be always on a top priority. But, we often tend to ignore our physical well-being in the name of being occupied at work. However, if you really wish to have a healthy lifestyle, you must find time to exercise daily. Give yourself 15–30minutes of ME time, and focus on your personal development. Regular exercise will not only improve your body stamina but will also keep you fresh and active throughout the day.
When I say exercise, I do not ask you to get involved in a vigorous workout like running or the gym as they will backfire. Rather, I encourage you to involve some easy to moderate exercises like swimming, cycling or even walking in your daily routine. These exercises will not only keep you physically fit, but you will also be relieved from the tension built up during the day.
Regular intake of alcohol, nicotine products or even caffeinated drinks like cola, coffee, etc. can harm your body. While caffeine interferes with your sleep and you feel restless at night, alcohol or nicotine products too give you disturbed sleep. Instead of caffeine, you can start taking herbal tea (or any other milky drink) during your bed-time. Unlike caffeine or alcohol, herbal tea has a wide range of benefits. Check out this article to understand how regular intake of herbal tea benefits your body.
If you are one of those individuals, who are constantly worried about — What will happen tomorrow? the best remedy for you is to write down your thoughts on a blank sheet of paper. It might sound weird to you, but penning down your tasks for the next day will calm down your mind in a good way. Your mind will be at peace and you will be able to sleep in peace. You can follow this writing practice for anything and everything that you need to do. Studies claim that people who write their thoughts down not only sleep properly but also stay productive throughout the day. Initially, you might not notice any major changes happening, but with consistent practice, you will observe that your mind feels more relaxed and you are now able to sleep with zero distractions.
Clearly, sleeping is as important as any other task. However, we human beings have a peculiar tendency to often avoid it despite knowing its repercussions. However, having studied the topic for a few weeks, I would advise you to never avoid your sleep. Take proper rest, then only will you be able to maintain your productivity be it on the home front or in terms of professional commitments.
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