In today’s world, with our days going crazy as usual, not getting enough sleep is a serious problem. And it is more serious than you think. Some people think that depriving yourself of a couple of hours’ sleep for the sake of achieving more is alright. But when it comes to your chores and responsibilities, guess what? It is not.
There are several serious consequences to sleep deprivation; some have a short-term impact, while others have a long-term impact.
Among the short-term effects of not getting sufficient sleep for six to eight hours are:
- Stress, irritability and anxiety
- Memory impairment: despite many people not relating this to their sleeping habits, your ability to remember and process information is greatly affected
- Alertness, performance and concentration span: by just sleeping one hour and half less than you should, your daytime alertness is reduced by 32%
In the long term, lack of sleep is associated with the higher risk of several serious illnesses such as:
- Heart attacks
- Foetal growth retardation
- Traffic accidents
- Attention deficit disorder (ADD)
- Depression and other mood disorders
- Heart failure
- High blood pressure
- Mental impairment
If your bad sleep habits are something that you cannot control, try some of the following:
- Reduce your caffeine intake, especially at least four hours before going to bed
- If you nap, try to nap earlier or stop napping completely
- Exercise regularly, even if just light or moderate exercise
- Eat healthily, especially at dinner—you should stop eating two to three hours before bedtime; if you are hungry at night, choose something light because a heavy meal is a sure-fire way to insomnia and indigestion
- Make your bedroom peaceful and relaxing: darker, quieter, cooler
- Balance your fluid intake—try to drink enough to stay hydrated but not so much that you have to get up to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night
If you still suffer from bad sleep habits after trying the above, then you may want to visit a doctor or a sleep clinic.