We have all tossed and turned in bed, sometimes for minutes, some other dreadful times for hours, waking up grumpy and sulky the next morning. But what exactly is at stake when you’re sleep deprived? It's YOU!
Not being properly rested is excruciating but there is more to sleep deprivation than meets the eye.
Well, sleep is nothing less than a panacea. Sleeping upkeeps your body and brain every day, strengthens immune system, staves off diseases and aids recovery. Research has demonstrated that 8 hours is indeed a magic number when it comes to sleep. Most of us need 7-9 hours of sleep to stay healthy and ebullient.
Getting a 7-9 hour slumber every day might feel like a huge commitment after long hours of work and daily commute but consistent sleep deprivation has terrible repercussions. Sleep deprivation affects both physical and mental well-being.
There are menacing health outcomes related to a consistent lack of sleep! The list includes cardiovascular diseases like heart attacks, strokes and hypertension, obesity, hormonal imbalance, depression, etc. Sleep also plays a critical role in decision making. Sleep deprivation makes it difficult to learn and remember new things. It also wanes your focus and productivity.
Sleep deprivation is one of the prevalent causes of obesity as the level of two appetite hormones- leptin and ghrelin go awry because of sleep deficit. Leptin is the hormone that tells you to stop eating, it is the hormone that signals your body it is no longer hungry and ghrelin has an antagonistic effect, it tells your body to keep eating and that the hunger hasn’t been satiated. Because of lack of sleep, the level of stop-eating hormone plummets and the level of keep-eating hormone ramps up which makes you eat more than you otherwise would when getting enough sleep.
It also fosters high level of cortisol which leads to impaired immune functions and chronic inflammation. Sleep deprivation also makes you crave junk food, foods high in sugar and refined carbohydrates as the rational control regions of the prefrontal cortex of the brain are affected.
Getting a good night’s sleep consequently improves your overall health, productivity and mood. So here are the dos and don’ts to get a deep sleep-
Try avoiding caffeine 6-10 hours before bedtime. Caffeine has a half-life of 6 hours and a quarter-life of 12 hours which means if you had a cup of coffee at 6 in the evening, half of it would still be present in your body at midnight. Finish your last meal at least 3 hours before bedtime and the most important one for the digital generation; turn off your screens at least an hour before the bed time. Using screens late at night can wreck your sleep. Screens suppress the level of sleep hormone- Melatonin. It can hamper your good night’s sleep, the last thing you should compromise on.
“Sleep is that golden chain that ties health and our bodies together.”
― Thomas Dekker