Sleep is among the most fundamental things that one should have for maintaining good health. There is absolutely not a single rebuttal to this fact. Barring just a few exceptional cases of people with different genetic dispositions for that. And for insomniacs, it is a totally different story.
So, with unanimous acceptance of this, you would wonder that more and more people are having good sleep. But, as per the research around the modern world shows, that this is just not the case.
And sleep deprivation is quite the cause of concern for public health in this fast-paced world. As workload is increasing by the day, people are compromising on their sleep. And that can be a serious hazard, starting from the personal lives of each individual. To the people that live and work around them. That is what I will be getting onto in this article, and give you pragmatic steps, or you can say so-called hacks. These will certainly make things better, in case you’re also among the sleep-deprived population of the world.
Why Sleep Deprivation Warrants our Immediate Attention?
From ever since the very first hominid walked the face of planet Earth, to just about a few centuries ago. Our ancestors woke up with the sun rising and went to sleep with it going below the horizon. And that was how what we know of today as the circadian rhythm of the body came into being.
The bottom line is that we as a species for a long time worked hard throughout the day. And then, slept for long hours after that. And this went on in a loop, keeping us healthy throughout the ages. Only until we started seeing glimpses of modern civilization with its working systems.
No, I’m not suggesting we go back to what was, just for the sake of being healthy. But, we can incorporate certain practices to get the sleep that we need. Both to keep our physical as well as the mental functions going well.
Otherwise, you might just face these things –
- Lower Immunity: Our body has efficient mechanisms to safeguard it against the pathogens in the atmosphere. Sleep deprivation can put our immunity under the severe compromise. And with age, it won’t get any better.
- Abnormal Appetite: Ghrelin is the hormone which is responsible for the hunger that we feel. A lack of sleep can wreak havoc on its secretion, and ultimately you’d end up eating more. Thus, more weight gain.
- Effects on the Brain: During sleep, our brain clears off all the adenosine that accumulates throughout the day. It is actually a metabolic waste product of the brain and with less sleep and more adenosine accumulation. Your cognitive capabilities will bear the full brunt of it.
And on and on there are many bad things that sleep deprivation might bring forth. Unfortunately, there are no magic tricks to adopt which can help you recover lost sleep.
The only cure is the good old ‘sleep it out’. But, there are certain things you can incorporate into your daily life. These can help make up for the lost sleep more easily and effectively. Thus, you’ll be able to regain your ‘abode of peace’, being a lot healthier and productive overall.
The 6 Easy-Do’s for a Restful Night of Sleep
In this section, I present all the hacks that are sure to help recover from the sleep that you couldn’t get. Thus, you’ll get back the vital energy that you always had –
Exercise your Body
This can be an absolute marvel if you know how to do it right, specifically how much you should. Because exercising your body into fatigue will do worse for you along with sleep deprivation. And also, you’ll reach fatigue much quicker in such a condition.
So, my recommendation will be to get a brisk walk in the morning, right after you wake up. Keep the intensity levels relatively lower to do it right. For example, go for a light run around the blocks instead of sprinting. And just stick to the body weight exercises like pushups, pull-ups, and bodyweight squats.
Basically, raise your heart rate and you’re good. It will have an effect on your mood and thus your productivity at work.
A Couple of Espresso Shots
A lot of people bad mouth coffee. They say that it is an easy way out when you couldn’t get enough sleep. And has effects that will get to you, given enough time.
That is true, but just partly. There are really good things that you can get from taking a couple of espresso shots. Or in any which way you like to have your caffeine.
This has positive effects on mood and has medical proof for it, where it helps combat depression to an extent. And as far as sleep deprivation is concerned, you’re less likely to make wrong decisions. And the cognitive benefits are obvious as you’ll see. So, you can try this out as well.
A Chilling Cold Shower
There are few things that can just jolt a person who hasn’t gotten some good sleep in a while. A cold shower is a big one, where it will literally wake you up from the grogginess that sleep deprivation brings.
This might be a bit difficult for most, but it is definitely worth a try. Just don’t think much and get yourself under that shower. Turn it to the cold setting and Boom! Just 5 minutes of it. And it will be good after that.
Let me also mention that cold showers have multiple benefits other than helping counter the effects of sleep deprivation.
Get Some Sunlight
Sunlight has been the main indicator of our bodies with the circadian rhythm that it has. Our bodies have the capability to detect the presence of sunlight. And it isn’t just through the eyes, but through the skin as well.
Basically, when the body detects sunlight, it knows that it is time to wake up and get going.
But the truth is that we get much less sunlight than what our ancestors got back in the days. And it is creating a lot of problems, for the body as well as the mind. So, if you happen to be suffering from a lack of sleep. Just get out there and get some sunlight.
This will help awaken you and also bring your body’s circadian rhythm back on track. And that in and of itself has the potential to effectively improve our health.
One of the big reasons for difficulty in falling asleep at night, other than looking at glowing screens. Is the stress we face throughout the day, which increases our cortisol levels.
And if cortisol is still in your system, and that keeps happening for quite a few days. It will truly be very difficult to fall asleep and get the right amount of sleep. So, the best course of action is to take natural sources of stress busters. You can get that form the different adaptogenic herbs for sleep deprivation, like nutmeg.
And the best thing about these is that there will be no side effects whatsoever. Thus, it can be just the thing that you will need to overcome the effects of sleep deprivation. And there are also other ways to deal with stress that you can try out. Not necessarily supplementation wise, but these can work just as good.
At those times when you couldn’t get proper sleep, and you have to do some important task. We all know how bad that can be. So, like I already mentioned previously that to recover lost sleep, the best thing to do is to sleep. But there’s a catch.
It isn’t possible for us to sleep for hours on end at our classes or at work. That is where power naps come in, and these work like magic. What you’ll have to do is take out say 20 minutes out of your schedule. And then, use it to lie down flat and take a quick nap, a power nap.
Pro tip: Rest your feet somewhere above the level of your heart, to make the sleep even better. It improves blood pressure and also puts a bit less load on your heart.
And as the alarm goes off, you’ll wake up and feel better than you did before the power nap.
To Wrap Up
The best thing that I recommend for you is to get the requisite amount of sleep every night. And also maintain a healthy lifestyle in general. Ideally, 9 hours, but more generally 7 to 9 hours will be good. But if for some reason you can’t get that and you’re feeling sick.
And as a good practice, you can also track your health metrics while sleeping. All you’ll have to have on is a smart watch and hook it up with the app. You can also find out about the best smart watches you can buy.
You can definitely try these hacks to improve your mental and bodily feelings, thus improving your productivity. And for the longer term, your health and well being.