Sleep Deprivation and how to cure it by making changes to your bedroom

Sleep disorders refer to a collection of conditions that frequently affect your ability to get a good night’s sleep. Regardless of whether they are caused by anxiety, too much stress, or a health problem, sleep disorders have become a major problem in the United Kingdom. While an occasional interruption of your sleeping pattern is normal, an ongoing lack of sleep can lead to poor job performance, emotional difficulties, and daytime sleepiness.

There is no questioning about the significance of getting enough restorative sleep. With the right attention, it is possible to prevent and manage sleep deprivation. This article looks at the consequences of lacking sleep including what you can do to prevent it and treat it.

 

Fast Facts on Sleep Deprivation

  • Lack of sleep disrupts your ability to focus and also alters your normal functioning, especially where full alertness is required.
  • Failure to get enough sleep forces the body to start accumulating a sleep debt, which like all debts must be repaid at some point.
  • Sleep deprivation is a leading cause of tragic accidents involving nuclear power plants, airplanes, automobiles, trains, and ships.
  • Lack of sleep could be a symptom of a medical problem or an undiagnosed sleep disorder
  • Young adults and children tend to be the most vulnerable to the negative effects associated with sleep deprivation.

 

Symptoms Associated with Sleep Disorders and Sleep Deprivation

Signs and symptoms associated with sleep deprivation will tend to vary depending on the type and severity of your sleeping disorder. The symptoms will also tend to vary when the disorder has been brought about by another underlying condition. But there are general symptoms that you can be on the lookout for to know whether you have a sleeping problem or not.

They include:

  • Depression [1]
  • Daytime fatigue
  • Anxiety or irritability
  • A strong urge to take a daytime nap

 

What Are the Leading Causes of Sleep Disorders?

Today, there are many disorders, diseases, and conditions that can contribute to uninterrupted sleeping patterns. However, you will find that the most common causes of this condition revolve around underlying health conditions.

Respiratory Problems and Allergies

Upper respiratory infections, colds, and allergies make it more difficult for a person to breathe properly at night. An inability to breathe using the nose can lead to the development of sleeping problems.

Nocturia

Frequent urination, also known as nocturia can disrupt your sleeping patterns, especially if you have to wake up multiple times at night. Diseases and hormonal imbalances in the body can contribute to the emergence of this condition. If frequent urination is accompanied by pain or bleeding, ensure you call your doctor immediately.

Chronic Pain

Constant or chronic pain is likely to make it difficult for you to fall asleep. The pain may even cause you to wake up a few minutes after getting into bed. Common chronic pain causes include; inflammatory bowel disease [2], continuous lower back pain, arthritis, and persistent headaches.

Sleep disorders can in some cases exacerbate the pain being experienced in different areas of the body. For instance, experts in the medical industry believe that the emergence of fibromyalgia can be due to sleep deprivation or the presence of a sleeping disorder.

Anxiety and Stress

Your sleep quality will easily be affected when you are stressed or anxious. They are two factors that easily makes it harder for you to stay asleep or to even fall asleep. Sleepwalking, sleep talking, and nightmares can also act as a disruption to your normal sleeping patterns.

 

Different Kinds of Sleeping Disorders

You will find that there are different kinds of sleeping disorders in existence today. Some are due to the presence of an underlying health condition.

Insomnia

The inability to remain asleep or fall asleep is referred to as insomnia [3]. Insomnia can be brought about by digestive problems, jet lag, anxiety, stress, or even hormones. It could also be a symptom of another underlying condition.

It is a condition that can pose additional problems for your quality of life as well as your general wellbeing. When this happens, it could contribute to the impaired school or work performance, depression, weight gain, irritability, and concentration difficulties.

Unfortunately, the condition is very common in the United Kingdom and in the United States. Statistics indicate that close to 50 percent [4] of all adults in America are likely to experience it at one point in their lives. It is a disorder that is most prevalent in women and older adults.

Sleep Apnea

It is a serious medical condition characterized by breathing pauses. Bodies of individuals with this condition will normally take in less oxygen causing them to have to wake up at night to try and inhale more oxygen.

Parasomnias

The term refers to a collection of sleeping disorders associated with abnormal behaviours and movements while a person is asleep. Some of these movements and behaviours include; bedwetting, sleepwalking, nightmares, sleep talking, and groaning.

Restless Leg Syndrome

RLS is characterised by an overwhelming need to keep moving your legs. The urge to move the legs is in some cases accompanied by a tingling sensation in one or both legs. Although it is possible for the symptoms to manifest during the day, they are mainly seen when one is sleeping. Restless leg syndrome is associated with medical conditions like Parkinson’s disease and ADHD. However, its exact cause is yet to be established.

 

Diagnosis of Sleep Deprivation

When diagnosing sleep deprivation, it is essential to start by first identifying a continued cycle of lack of sleep. The very first step to take when diagnosing a sleeping problem is to maintain a detailed journal highlighting your sleeping patterns.

In the journal, note down the total number of hours that you are able to sleep each night. Jot down the number of times that you wake up, and be sure to note how you wake up feeling each morning. You should also indicate whether you are experiencing any sleepiness feelings during the day.

If you have a sleeping partner, you can ask them to note down any limb-jerking, gasping, or snoring that may have occurred when you were asleep. The information you collect will help the doctor determine what could be happening in your body.

A polysomnogram can also be used by a sleep specialist to identify patterns. A sleep study in a laboratory can also help with the diagnosis.

 

How to Cure Sleep Deprivation

Get a Good Mattress for Your Bedroom

A good mattress is essential for better sleep. Casper’s memory foam mattress is designed and manufactured by Casper UK. With over 30,000 reviews on Google customer reviews, it is easy to see why many consider it the best memory foam mattress. The key to getting quality sleep and wading off sleep deprivation lies in having a comfortable bed. Installing a quality mattress will make sure that you reduce the number of times you get to wake up each night.

But Why Casper?

Casper was founded more than five years ago [5] with the intention of creating the best mattress in the UK that could guarantee a good night’s sleep. The engineering team was led by Jeff Chapin, who is also a co-founder. After founding, the team created a hundred and fifty mattress prototypes, all with the sole aim of ensuring that they would end up with the perfect mattress.

Today, the company has grown to attract endorsements and investments from Hollywood elites like Tobey Maguire and Leonardo DiCaprio. Apart from the fact that the mattress is manufactured following a very precise technique, customers have the option of trying it for a hundred days.

Engage in Lots of Activities During the Day

Another great option for treating sleep deprivation requires you to engage in an activity. Brief activity periods during the day will make it possible for you to remain alert. An activity comes handy when dealing with minor sleep deprivation issues.

Some studies [6] suggest that taking a five-minute walk during the day can help you get rid of daytime sleepiness. However, there is a possibility that the alertness is nothing more but a transient benefit. This means that you will only get to enjoy for a while before it disappears.

People suffering from severe sleep deprivation will, however, not be able to benefit from remaining active. The level of activity you engage in will determine whether you develop increased fatigue or not.

Bright Light

Exposure or presence of bright light in the bedroom tends to have significant effects on the circadian rhythm of the body. The rhythm refers to a pattern of various bodily functions, including wakefulness and sleep. Often, these are timed to match with the night and day cycle.

Some conditions such as circadian rhythm disorders and seasonal affective disorder can be assisted by appropriately timing your body’s exposure to bright light. The presence of bright light in your bedroom is likely to cause you to become even more alert.

Noise Levels

Have you ever found yourself turning up the music in your stereo to help you remain alert? If you have, then there is a possibility that you have wondered whether it has any effect on your sleep patterns or not. There are chances that it could be beneficial, but the reality is that its effectiveness is quite modest.

Whenever you hear a noise, your brain automatically responds by increasing your alertness levels. This can pose a problem when you are dealing with a sleep environment [7] that is quite noisy. It can, however, be helpful to a person who is trying to remain alert.

Temperature

If you have ever found yourself rolling down the car windows to help you remain alert, then you are likely going to be disheartened once you start learning of the role it plays in treating sleep deprivation.

Scientists have not been able to uncover much evidence to suggest that changing the temperature can decrease sleepiness or improve your alertness. So far, the studies conducted on extreme temperatures have only managed to have an effect that lasts for a few minutes.

After this, the body starts to adapt to the prevailing temperature levels. As such, the body no longer sends an alert to your mind to inform it of the new changes. This means that the use of temperature to assist in reducing the effects associated with sleep deprivation is not recommended.

Sleeping Posture

The reality is that it is quite difficult to fall asleep when you are in a standing position. Posture, therefore, seems to have an effect—the positive kind—on sleep deprivation. Additionally, sitting in an upright position is also likely to cause the same effect. Sleep experts believe that this has everything to do with the activation of your sympathetic nervous system.

 

Conclusion

Following good sleep hygiene will make it easier for you to fall asleep at a much faster pace. It also helps you enjoy better sleep. You need to create an environment that will help you sleep and commit to following a regular sleep schedule to help you deal with sleep deprivation. While at it, try to avoid glowing screens while in bed, alcohol, and caffeine intake before your naptime.

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Sources

  1. https://www.healthline.com/health/depression
  2. https://www.healthline.com/health/inflammatory-bowel-disease#Overview1
  3. https://www.healthline.com/health/insomnia
  4. http://www.ucsfhealth.org/conditions/insomnia/index.html
  5. https://casper.com/uk/en/mattresses/
  6. https://www.verywellhealth.com/what-is-sleepiness-and-what-are-the-most-common-causes-3014824
  7. https://www.verywellhealth.com/the-importance-of-your-sleep-environment-3014944