We’ve all heard the saying, ‘I need my beauty sleep’. I’ve been thinking a lot about sleep and how important it is. I decided to pick up my shovel and get digging. What I found scared me. The phrase ‘I need my beauty sleep’ has never been more real to me. I have had many people in my life that either have or have had insomnia. One particular individual struggled with this for weeks and weeks to the point where I became frightened for his life. This condition can lead to health issues if not treated effectively. This is what it is called “chronic sleep deprivation”.
So, what is chronic sleep deprivation?
Simply put, it is experiencing a lack of sleep over a long period of time. Well, how do I treat this dangerous condition? There are various habits you can form.
Habits such as exercising in which you engage your whole being, avoiding naps, sticking to a sleep schedule can all aid you in getting some decent shuteye. Avoiding caffeine, alcohol and nicotine are also healthy habits that can improve your sleep. You will also need to ensure you stick to the medication your healthcare professional prescribes for you as this can also severely affect your sleep condition.
What happens if I don’t treat chronic sleep deprivation?
We all know how important our sleep is. You immediately feel it in your body if you so much as miss one night’s sleep. You find yourself unable to concentrate and you can’t stay awake without some or other stimulant. There may be rare occasions where you will stay up all night, but this is not what chronic sleep deprivation is as this occurs rarely.
There are however far more severe affects to your body if you go without sleep for long periods of time. These health conditions include heart failure, stroke, high blood pressure, diabetes and potentially a heart attack. Other conditions as a result of chronic sleep deprivation are difficulty concentrating, weight gain (eventually leading to obesity), depression, impairment in your immunity and a lower sex drive.
There are also short-term problems caused by lack of sleep such as lack of alertness, excessive daytime sleepiness, impaired memory and relationship stress. Lack of sleep severely affects your quality of life and statistics from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety show that 328,000 car accidents a year are caused by falling asleep behind the wheel. Lack of sleep can also change your physical appearance as well as cause cancer or an increase in stress. It can also cause poor balance which can shorten your life expectancy. Sleep deprivation can even cause a condition called ‘microsleep’. Microsleep is very dangerous as you can fall asleep in an instant and can be asleep anywhere from a few to several seconds.
Statistics say that 62% of adults don’t get the amount of sleep they want and 67% reported sleep disturbances.
People with bipolar especially need their shuteye. If they don’t get it, it can cause impulsive behaviour (mania), anxiety, depression, paranoia and suicidal thoughts.
The phrase ‘you can sleep when your dead’ has never been truer than in South Korea, Saudi Arabia and Japan. Of these three countries, Japan suffers the most with an average of 6 hours and 35 minutes of sleep a night. The Japanese actually have a term for this called ‘karoshi’ meaning to die from overworking or exhaustion. On the other side of the coin come countries such as New Zealand, Australia, Finland and the Netherlands experiencing the best sleeping hours worldwide.
With all the rush in this day and age we live in, it can sometimes feel like you have no time to rest or take a break. I’m telling you that the most important hours of your life are spent sleeping. You’ve seen above what happens when you don’t sleep as you are supposed to. Adults are required 7 – 9 hours of sleep a night and oftentimes we don’t even get that. Taking a break to do something active, maybe going for a snack or even spending time with your family and friends can create a calmer mindset and will put you in the right frame of mind to hit the grindstone the next day. We’ve all experienced the negative effects of sleep loss and know how important it is for us to make up for those lost hours. My conclusion is very simple: You need to sleep. Without it you will die. It may not be now, but if you miss too much sleep it will definitely eventually kill you.
God bless you all my darling avidReaders