If the title of this article surprises you, you’re not alone. It only takes 72 hours of no sleep to start experiencing things like paranoia and hallucinations. One in every three adults doesn’t get enough sleep. Many people think nothing of it if they fall short – or entirely miss – their healthy allotment of Z’s. The truth is, driving while drowsy actually has strikingly similar effects to drunk driving, and that should give you an idea of the severity. Sleep is where people often cut corners in an effort to get ahead or keep up in other areas of their lives, all without knowing how important it truly is to their well being. This is particularly true for long-term sleep deprivation. Fortunately, there are a number of things you can do to increase your amount of shut-eye, as well as the quality of it.
Learn to Say Goodnight
Staying up late, whether studying, working on a presentation for work, or even just to go out with friends, is often the culprit when it comes to your sleep shortage. Sure, you have a lot to do; places to go, people to see. But what good will those things do if you’re not participating at your highest potential because you’re sleepy? Sleep deprivation doesn’t just make you feel tired and grumpy. It actually significantly impacts your cognitive function, making everyday tasks more difficult, and making your participation and presence mediocre at best. It impairs your attention, decision-making skills, and even memory. You’ll do much better with everything that needs your attention if you’re properly rested. Stay away from electronic devices, so that you avoid the blue light that can keep you awake. Make your sleeping space a safe, quiet place – an oasis. Take some time for yourself to get off to a good night’s sleep.
Unwind and Relax
If you find that restlessness is your problem, you might need to spend just a bit more time unwinding. Many people find that they can’t get to sleep because their mind is racing, thinking about the events of the day, feeling regret, or worrying about the things to come. Meditation and yoga are excellent ways to help calm your mind and relax your body to prepare for sleep. Learning to quiet the mind and relax your muscles is invaluable to quality rest for individuals that can’t seem to “shut off” at night.
Goodnight, Sleep Tight
Climb into your comfy bed, meditate, and even do some in-bed yoga stretches to loosen up. Do what you need to do for yourself to get a peaceful, well-deserved sleep session. Let go of all of your worries from the day, as well as worries about tomorrow. Think of these stresses as objects, and lock them away in a box for the night. Don’t worry – they’ll be there when you wake. It might be difficult, but with some practice and the proper routine, winding down for bed will start to come more easily. Getting enough quality sleep will set the tone for your day. If you’re missing out on sleep, you’re just plain missing out on life.
Author: Jane Sandwood