Do you feel that despite spending 8 to 9 hours in bed, you still do not feel fresh? Do you feel sluggish and slow all the time? Does mid-afternoon make you feel tired, and it becomes impossible to continue your focus on anything? If the answer to any of these questions is ‘Yes’, it is time to accept the truth. You are not getting enough quality sleep. Rest at night is vital for the body to reboot both mind and body. If you are not having any underlying medical condition, you will have to take the necessary steps to get out of the situation.
Effects of lack of sleep
Lack of sleep leads to diminishing executive functions. The ability to complete the task at hand and remain focused becomes impossible. Brain fog starts to appear and one starts to forget things. Irritability increases and decision-making ability reduces drastically. Besides these, physiological reproving starts. One can have higher stress levels, high blood pressure, and heart rate. If corrective actions are not taken these acute episodes can turn chronic.
Higher sleep hygiene – It is important to have healthy sleep habits like brushing teeth twice a day. Sleep hygiene is the maintenance of your mental and physical self. It sets you up for a restful sleep and a fresh day making the tired feeling disappear. There are many ways in which one can achieve sleep hygiene.
- Stick to a schedule – Try going to bed and waking up at the same time. Let body get attuned to the clock.
- Comfortable sleep support – A comfortable mattress or a support can do wonders. Ensure you have adequate support in various sleep postures.
- Sleep space – If you share a bed with a partner, ensure you have enough space to accommodate two. This will ensure the sleep movements do not disturb you when you partner moves.
- Light and temperature – Dark room and cool temperature are always preferred. You may add darker curtains or add another layer of curtains to obstruct light. Temperature not too cold and not too warm is what body wants. If you have to take a light cover, it is the best temperature for you.
- Noise – prevent noise. However, all sounds are not noise. You may try sleeping with some sleep music or nature’s sounds. Many find the white snow sound soothing.
- Warm bath – consider a warm bath before you hit the bed. It brings up your skin temperature to the levels most suitable for a good night sleep.
- Reading – Avoid heavy reading, watching TV or working on laptop or mobile just before going to bed. A light reading though may help.
- Pre-sleep exercises – There are a few exercises which you may like to do just before lying on the bed. These stretches unlock muscle fatigue and stiffness that you may have accumulated from your day’s work.
- Meditation and breathing – you may like to do a short meditation session in which you bring breath under control and de-stress your mind. Stress realeases certain hormones which also make your sleep restless and hence reduce the quality.
- Sleep and depression – depression leads to lack of energy and can lead to insomnia and other complications in mental and physical health. If depression is what may be causing sleep deprivation, a medical intervention should not be delayed. Answer a few questions and find out if you are really depressed.
Acknowledge the problem
If you feel tired and feel you might be suffering from chronic fatigue, accepting it as a possibility is the most important first step. There are various ways in which one can treat such issues if one accepts the presence of an issue.