3 Ways a Lack of Sleep Impacts Your Life – Bellabeat

3 Ways a Lack of Sleep Impacts Your Life

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We all know not getting enough sleep is not good for our body. Not only does it make us more susceptible to sickness, it weakens our immunity and is responsible for an array of other health issues. But when talking about the lack of sleep most of us have, we forget the emotional and mental impact it has on our lives.  


In a nutshell, you can consider yourself to be sleep deprived if you’re constantly sleeping less than 7 hours per night or if your sleep quality is severely disturbed.  If you’ve found yourself in this statement, you should start working on managing your sleep schedules. 

 

Irritability


Lack of sleep can influence your mood completely. From being irritated, angry to downright rude, it can all be caused by the fact you didn’t get enough z’s last night. 


According to a research conducted by Iowa State University, individuals who lose only a few hours of sleep at night are angrier and have a harder time controlling their temper than those who got enough sleep.  As a result, we’re not only more irritated, but our stress levels are significantly higher which can, again, cause sleep issues and insomnia. 


As mentioned by professor Krizan who conducted the experiment: “Despite typical tendencies to get somewhat used to irritating conditions – an uncomfortable shirt or a barking dog – sleep-restricted individuals actually showed a trend toward increased anger and distress, essentially reversing their ability to adapt to frustrating conditions over time. “



Issues Concentrating


When we’re tired, it’s not unusual to have a hard time getting a hang of something. This is especially prominent among students, those who work in a creative field or some whose jobs have a higher level of responsibility. 


Although we may not think about it as a major issue, long-term it can cause us memory issues as well as lower our college/work performance, but there are some tips that can help us survive those days and get stuff done. 


  • Take a short walk every once in a while
  • It will wake you up, stimulate your circulation and blood flow

  • Take a few deep breaths
  • When concentrating so hard on finishing something, we sometimes forget about proper breathing and take shallow breaths. Take a deep breath and supply your brain with more oxygen. 


  • Manage the distractions
  • You’re already distracted by the fact you’re tired, you don’t need everything else around you beeping and vibrating. Make sure to turn on your ‘Do Not Disturb’ feature and get on to work!


  • Drink water 
  • Besides being tired, dehydration is one of the main reasons we’re having trouble concentrating. Drink at least a glass of water every hour and use that time to walk a bit around your office/library etc.

     

    Higher Risk of Accidents


    It’s not only your concentration that’s reduced, but also your perception and motor skills. Driving a car/bike or any other vehicle when sleep deprived is a real danger.  According to a study published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, individuals who drove after being awake for 17 hours or more performed equally or worse than those with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.05 percent. 

    Their response speed was 50% slower and their accuracy was significantly poorer than those who got adequate amounts of sleep. For individuals who were awake for more than 19 hours, performance was similar to those with a BAC od 0.1%. 


    When taking these findings into account, you can see how sleep deprivation is not only feeling tired and yawning. It impacts all aspects of our lives and can cause great harm if we don’t manage it on time!



    How to manage being tired?


    Although it may seem easy to just say ‘Get more sleep’, sometimes it’s just too complicated to do so. If you found yourself in these symptoms, try some of these steps and manage your tiredness. 


  • Drink coffee in moderation
  • Drinking too much coffee is not only bad for your heart, but can raise your blood pressure which can be dangerous if you have a condition called hypertension- high blood pressure. 


  • Hydrate
  • Water will not only wake you up, but will hydrate your body and help you reduce brain fog.

  • Eat well
  • If you already didn’t get enough sleep, try fueling your body with nutritionally rich foods. Focus on quality fats, vitamins and protein which will keep you full for longer and keep your blood sugar levels stable. 


  • Don’t forget to exercise
  • No, we’re not talking about the whole HIIT gym workout (although, if you can, do it!), but having moderate activity during the day. Take a short walk during your break or take the stairs when going to the office. It has so many benefits, some of them will surely help!


  • Try to manage your sleep
  • Yes, we know it’s sometimes just hard to have enough time for a proper night sleep, but we should focus on eliminating the habits that make us lose it in the first place. Avoid using your phone for more than 10 minutes when already in bed, try preparing your clothes and food in advance so, even if you oversleep in the morning, you’ll at least have delicious and healthy food ready!




    Do you have any tips and tricks to keep you awake when you’re tired? Make sure to let us know in the comments below! 




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