What Happens If You Don’t Get Enough Sleep?

Sleep deprivation can be problematic, particularly for adults who want to maximize their day-to-day productivity and efficiency.

What Causes You to Not Get Enough Sleep?

According to Sleep Foundation, poor sleep hygiene, lifestyle choices, work obligations, sleep disorders and other medical conditions can contribute to not getting enough sleep. But, more often, sleep deprivation is driven by voluntary choices such as staying up late to binge-watching a new program on Netflix or staying out late for a night on the town with friends.

What Are the Signs & Symptoms of Not Getting Enough Sleep?

It’s possible you think you’re sleeping enough but could actually use more for optimal performance. So, what are the signs of not getting enough sleep? According to WebMD, some of the signs of sleep deprivation are things that might surprise you. For instance, if you’re not getting enough sleep, you may battle skin breakouts, or begin gaining weight. You may crave junk food or feel depressed. Paying attention to these changes in your body and mind will help you identify potential sleep deprivation.

And of course, there are symptoms you can’t ignore as well. Medical News Now points out there are many short-term symptoms associated with sleep deprivation. Symptoms of not getting enough sleep include:

  • Drowsiness
  • Irritability
  • Concentration and memory difficulties
  • Impaired judgement
  • Short-term memory problems

But what is more alarming is that sleep deprivation has been associated with many long-term health issues as well. Long-term consequences of not getting enough sleep include:

  • Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD)
  • Heart attacks
  • High blood pressure
  • Obesity
  • Stroke

What You Can Do to Prevent Not Getting Enough Sleep

The physical signs of not getting enough sleep are alarming, and when you’re sleep deprived, you can feel at a loss for how to remedy your situation. Fortunately, there are several ways to put this problem in the past, including:

  1. Developing a Sleep Routine

Developing the right sleep routine may make a world of difference for those who want to avoid sleep deprivation. To create this routine, try to stick with what works best for you. For example, if you wake up early for work on weekdays, try to wake up around the same time on weekends. By doing so, you’ll be able to get into a regular sleep pattern and reduce the risk of restless nights.

  1. Avoiding the Late-Day Caffeine Fix

Emotional intelligence expert Dr. Travis Bradberry tells Inc. Magazine that caffeine possesses a six-hour shelf life and requires about 24 hours to work its way through the body. Thus, your afternoon cup of Joe or early-evening energy drink will put additional caffeine into your bloodstream, making it tougher to fall asleep.

Resist the urge for a late-day caffeine fix. Instead, you can take advantage of many viable caffeine alternatives to maintain your energy throughout the day.

Ice water and vitamin B12 offers a great alternative to coffee. Ice water has been shown to boost the metabolism, while vitamin B12 accelerates melatonin production to help regulate healthy sleep cycles. As a result, substituting coffee with ice water and vitamin B12 may make it easy for you to increase your energy levels and avoid the dangers associated with sleep deprivation.

  1. Putting Your Mobile Devices Away at Night

Smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices keep us connected to the outside world at all times. On the other hand, these devices emit short-wavelength blue light that hinders melatonin production. Turn off your mobile devices before bedtime arrives. This will allow you to avoid distractions and focus on what’s important – getting the sleep you need.

  1. Work with a Sleep Expert to Select Tools

Sleeping on an uncomfortable mattress, lumpy pillows or scratchy sheets can hinder your ability to get to sleep and stay asleep. Visit your local Sit ‘n Sleep and try their BedMatch technology to find the mattress that will work best for you. While you’re there, ask one of the sleep experts to update you on the latest in pillows and sheets. You’ll be surprised what upgrading these items can do for your sleep success!

Make a good night’s sleep a top priority, and you can enjoy restful sleep consistently.

Bonus FAQ:

  1. Does Not Getting Enough Sleep Affect My Driving?
  2. As mentioned earlier, one of the symptoms of not getting enough sleep is drowsiness. Driving drowsy is nothing to take lightly. According to the CDC, drowsy driving is similar to drunk driving. The lack of sleep makes you less alert and affects your coordination, judgement and reaction time when driving. For your safety as well as the safety of others, don’t get behind the wheel if you’re sleep deprived.

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