“We have not been able to discover a single psychiatric condition in which sleep is normal”
Said Matt Walker, a Neuroscientist specializing in sleep studies, during an interview I watched recently. He went on to say
“And I think sleep has a profound story to tell in our understanding in our treatment, maybe even ultimately at some point, prevention of grave mental illness, and I don’t say that flippantly. Firstly, we’ve done some work, where you can take healthy individuals and you can deprive them of sleep for a single night, then you place them inside an MRI scanner and you look at how their brain has changed and what we find is that these deep emotional brain centres erupt when you are sleep deprived, you become a lot more emotionally reactive, impulsive. There’s s deep brain centre called the amygdala, which of the centerpiece regions of the generations of strong emotions, that part of the brain is up to 60% more reactive when you are sleep deprived relative to when you’ve had a good solid night of sleep.”
As someone who has 3 small children who don't sleep during the night, this caught my attention, sleep deprivation is real in my house. This is a topic that is beginning to gain more and more attention, how our sleep affects our health, emotional, mental and physical state.
What Is Sleep Deprivation?
Sleep deprivation is a general term used for someone who is getting an inadequate amount of quality or quantity sleep. According Healthline to Scientists have linked a number of issues arising for people not getting enough sleep, from immune problems, weight gain and emotional regulation issues. Chronic sleep deprivation can lead to anxiety and depression which can then escalate. Sleep deprivation can lead to short term and long term memory problems, lack of creativity, problem solving and lack of motivation and concentration. Sleep deprivation can not only impact your brain but can put you at risk of accidents, putting yourself and others at risk. Sleep deprivation may lead to serious health complications such as heart disease, due to the increase of blood pressure and chemicals linked to heart disease, and put you at risk of diabetes as sleep deprivation affects the body’s ability to release insulin. If this isn’t enough to get you to start thinking more about the seriousness of sleep deprivation, it can also affect your sex drive, in men this is due to the drop in testosterone levels.
So, What Causes Sleep Deprivation?
There are many causes of sleep deprivation, examples may include:
Caring for another person
An environment that is noisy
Substance abuse or misuse
Bruxism (Grinding of the teeth)
Other medical conditions.
Benefits Of Solving Sleep Deprivation
Stronger immune system.
Glowing, radiant skin.
Achieve and maintain a healthy weight.
Reduced risk for serious health problems, like diabetes and heart disease.
Reduced stress and improved mood.
Think more clearly and increase performance at work or school.
Make good decisions and avoid injuries — for example, drowsy drivers cause thousands of car accidents every year
Treatments For Sleep Deprivation
While there are many treatments available, we encourage you to make habit of a nighttime routine. Do what you can to relax, this might look like some of the following:
1. Meditation, there are great guided mediations for sleep on Youtube.
2. A hot/warm shower or bath with Epsom Salts
3. Drinking a relaxing chamomile tea
4. Reduce screen time, no phone/tablet/TV 1.5 hours prior to going to bed
6. A Silk Sleep Mask, this will block out the light as well as keep away wrinkles that are caused by creasing your face against the pillow
How Much Sleep Do I Need?
According to Medical News Today, the recommended amount of sleep is:
Hours of sleep
12–16, including naps
11–14, including naps
10–13, including naps
7 or more
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