Sleep Deprivation: Effects And Symptoms + Natural Treatments

Sleep Deprivation: Effects And Symptoms + Natural Treatments

Sleep deprivation affects your body in more ways than you can imagine. Constantly missing out on your sleep fogs your mind and interferes with your ability to think or act clearly. This is one main cause of accidents – be it at home or on the road.
Sleep deprivation also increases your chances of developing other medical conditions and infections. These are reasons enough for you to take a stand against missing out on those precious hours of sleep. Surprisingly enough, a little effort from your end is all that is required. Keep reading to find out more.
Table Of Contents

What Is Sleep Deprivation?

Sleep deprivation is a result of not getting adequate sleep. When an individual doesn’t get enough sleep, they are sleep deprived and feel less active the following day. The amount of sleep required varies from person to person. For example, older adults are much less affected by the effects of sleep deprivation than children and younger adults.
While occasional episodes of sleep deprivation might be a nuisance, they are not of much concern. But lack of adequate sleep for prolonged periods leads to varying symptoms – including excessive sleepiness and other emotional difficulties.
Before moving further, how about checking out some key points on sleep deprivation?
Sleep Deprivation Facts
  • Loss of sleep affects your attentiveness and disrupts your ability to focus on the sensory inputs of the surrounding environment.
  • Sleep deprivation fogs your senses, resulting in fatal accidents (be it a plane crash, train derailment, etc.).
  • Lack of sleep can also be a result of an underlying sleep disorder or medical condition.
  • You will accumulate sleep debt if you fail to get sufficient sleep.
Sleep deprivation may be triggered by common factors that are discussed below.

What Causes Sleep Deprivation?

Various factors could be contributing to this condition:
  • Intentionally depriving oneself of sleep to pursue certain goals (be it study, business, or even entertainment)
  • Changing work shifts
  • Family obligations
  • Demanding jobs
  • Stress
  • Underlying medical conditions like obstructive sleep apnea, depression, and hormone imbalances, etc.
Sleep deprived individuals exhibit the following signs and symptoms.

Signs And Symptoms Of Sleep Deprivation

Symptoms of sleep deprivation include:

  • Being moody
  • Constant yawning
  • Feeling irritated and/or depressed
  • Difficulty learning or paying attention
  • Increased forgetfulness
  • Difficulty concentrating due to a fuzzy feeling in the head
  • Clumsiness and lack of motivation
  • Decreased libido
  • An increased appetite (craving more carbohydrates)

Effects Of Sleep Deprivation

Sleep deprivation can impact your body in the following ways:
  • It disrupts your immunity.
  • It increases the risk of developing respiratory diseases.
  • It leads to obesity (due to increased accumulation of body fat).
  • It increases the risk of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
  • It leads to hormonal imbalances.
Knowing the symptoms and ill effects of sleep deprivation, it is important we take the condition seriously and find ways to reverse it. Listed below are some of them.

Natural Ways To Recover From Sleep Deprivation

1. Take A Warm Shower

A quick warm bath, right before bedtime, can enhance sleep quality (1). The next time you are unable to fall asleep, take a warm shower and see if it helps.

2. Use Essential Oils

Use Essential Oils - Sleep Deprivation
You Will Need
  • 1-2 drops of lavender, chamomile, or orange essential oil
  • A diffuser
  • Water
What You Have To Do
  1. Fill the diffuser with water.
  2. Add a drop or two of the essential oil to it.
  3. Turn the diffuser on and inhale the soothing aroma.
How Often You Should Do This
Once daily, preferably before bedtime.
Why This Works
Aromatherapy helps promote sleep by calming your mind and muscles – thanks to the relaxing properties of the essential oils (2).

3. Exercise

Exercise - Sleep Deprivation
Exercising regularly has more benefits than just weight management. Regular exercise helps to buffer stress, which, in turn, enhances sleep quality (3).

4. Avoid Blue Light

All electronic devices (be it your television, mobile phone, or laptop) emit blue-wavelength light. Exposure to blue light, especially right before bedtime, suppresses melatonin (a sleep-regulating hormone). This leads to neurophysiological arousal and affects one’s sleep. Quit using all electronic devices at least an hour before bedtime to enhance sleep quality (4).

5. Follow The Right Diet

Follow The Right Diet - Sleep Deprivation
Regular consumption of dairy products, fruits, vegetables, and fish has sleep-promoting effects. Avoid eating large meals before bedtime – as it also can reduce sleep quality (5).

6. Maintain A Bedtime Routine

 Maintain A Bedtime Routine - Sleep Deprivation
A bedtime routine helps treat sleep deprivation. This can include a soothing massage, a warm bath, or even a quiet and dark environment to help promote sleep (6). Going to bed at the same time every night also prevents sleep disturbances. With time, you will see yourself falling asleep easily.

7. Increase Exposure To Natural Light During The Day

 Increase Exposure To Natural Light During The Day - Sleep Deprivation
Not exposing yourself to natural light during the day also affects your sleep patterns. According to the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, sufficient exposure to daylight is necessary for an individual’s overall well-being – including improved sleep quality (7).
These tips should help restore your normal sleep patterns. But if they don’t, please consult a doctor and discuss your treatment options. Keep medications as your last resort, though.
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