You probably have heard million times that you will suffer the consequences if you don’t get good sleep on a daily basis.
It’s a crappy feeling when you wake up tired, it affects your cognitive function, your mood, and health. Definitely with a lack of sleep we can’t function on a high level. And, as much as we enjoy our coffee or any source of caffeine, the solution is in your ability to change your habits.
The good news is that everything depends on you. We will show you a few strategies you can implement to get a proper night’s sleep.
The lack of sleep affects a number of areas in your life like your career, mental state, physical state, and personal life.
Brain fog, wrinkles, dark eye circles, a lack of focus and forgetting things are few examples of far-reaching effects low sleep has in your life.
How lack of sleep affects your brain performance
In today’s overly-stimulating and fast-paced society, it’s a full-time job in itself trying to stay on track and keep your focus on the task at hand. It’s not always a good thing that we’re the masters of multi-tasking.
When you’re tired, it affects your personal visual perception and your memory. This is because your cognitive function reduces as a result of neurons (the basic building block cells of the brain) having trouble communicating properly.
Simply said, you become more forgetful. You lose focus and get distracted more easily. It’s a brain fog, you just can’t think straight. The question is how long does it take for all this to happen? Unfortunately, just one bad night of sleep.
How lack of sleep affects your health
If you can’t manage enough sleep you are also at risk of affecting your overall health. These are some of the effects:
- Heart disease – The chance of heart disease is increased by 48%, including the risk of a heart attack.
- High blood pressure – The lack of sleep can build up your blood pressure.
- Stroke – The chances of stroke increase when your brain constantly is not able to repair itself overnight.
- Diabetes – The risk for Type II diabetes is nearly three times more.
- Lower love drive – You won’t be a fan of this, but your love drive falls down when you’re groggy because you just don’t have the energy.
- Higher chance of depression – The first sign of mental health issues is getting too much or too little sleep. And, the lack of sleep causes your energy levels to go down.
- Weight gain – Another side effect of lack of sleep is weight gain.
Decreased immune function – When you don’t have a good night’s rest, your immune system takes a big hit. According to John Hopkins Medicine, you’re three times more likely to catch a cold.
How to get sufficient sleep (The essential tips)
Unfortunately, we struggle when we are tired because all the things that can potentially go wrong with a lack of sleep. On the other hand, we can change all of that using these time-tested methods, hacks, and tips:
Establish a (short) nightly routine
Our brain loves routines and habits. But, that’s a good and a bad thing. Our brain doesn’t know the difference between what’s a waste of time and what’s considered productive, so it’s up to you to make the difference between the bad and the good.
The nighttime routine is one excellent habit that effectively tricks the brain into bedtime mode. It will start a process of chemical reactions that signal you’re about to lay down soon. In this routine you can include many options like reading for 15-30 minutes, meditating for a few minutes, sitting down and thinking about how the day went, getting involved in a relaxing hobby, thinking about some things you’re grateful for, writing or journaling etc.
You probably noticed that none of the above habits involve technology. That’s because the studies show that your sleep cycle can be disrupted by the blue light emitted from our screens.
If you use the computer in the evenings, help yourself with installing a program called Flux. This program eliminates the blue light and that way helps you avoid the sleep-blocking blue light.
Don’t go to bed hungry (And do eat carbs)
Many sources will agree that you will have trouble falling asleep when you eat late at night. You will have pressing feeling on your stomach because your body is allocating resources trying to digest a heavy meal.
Almost everywhere you read that you should stay away from food few hours before going to sleep, but studies have shown that eating carbs at night (especially starchy carbs) can actually help you fall asleep faster. Eating carbs naturally boost the two brain chemicals involved in sleep ( Serotonin and Tryptophan).
So, the solution is not to swear off carbs after 3 PM. But, that doesn’t mean you should eat a pepperoni pizza two hours before going to bed. Be reasonable and make sure you don’t go to bed hungry.
Reserve bed for sleeping and making love only
You should only use your bed for sleeping. It’s a disaster for your sleep cycle when you try to read or study in bed. You should learn your brain that it’s sleep time when you put your head on a pillow, not reading, studying or social media time.
Your brain may fail to make the right association if you do other activities in your bed. Using your bed only for sleeping is a habit that will get your brain to believe that sleep is right around the corner once you lay in your bed.
Listen to a podcast or audiobook
If you are not a fan of reading actual books, listening to an audiobook of your choice before bed can potentially close your eyes and relax you.
There are also thousands of podcasts available for free, so you don’t need to pay for the audio version of a book.
Keep your schedule consistent
Just keep consistency, whatever you do. It’s not enough only a week to implement a good routine or habit. You need to focus on your execution when you’re confused why something isn’t working.
If you’ve already tricked your brain into association with a bad habit that you’re trying to undo than you can’t expect a 180 turnaround after a week or two
The ability for the brain cells to form connections based on repetition is called neuroplasticity. If you’ve implemented great habits, neuroplasticity is an amazing thing. But, it’s a bad thing when you’ve implemented bad habits.
But, it’s completely possible to form good connections instead of bad ones, you just need to have a little bit of patience.
Don’t wait to start
It’s time to start making changes today to help you get better sleep. You need to implement some of these great habits into your lifestyle to get enough sleep. Don’t wait to get the sleep you deserve.