With the current society inclined to work and productivity, suffering from sleep is an uncommon phenomenon. Due to several activities that keep you busy during the seemingly short day hours, you might not see any problem extending your work to night hours when you should be sleep. However, sacrificing your essential sleeping hours can affect your productivity and subsequent physical and mental health issues.
Without a doubt, enough sleep is a vital part of overall human wellness. As such, missing sleep to complete your day’s work exposes you to risks of diminished quality of work. Enough rest is essential in bringing the best in you.
Some Facts about Sleeping
For many people, sleep is a daily activity, but they know nothing about it. Despite sleep being an essential component of brain functioning, it is often underutilized. Sufficient sleep results in effective and efficient working, which will make you more productive during the day. A healthy night’s sleep revolves around three components; quality, quantity, and regularity.
Quantity is the amount of sleep that you get. A normal night’s sleep shouldn’t be less than seven hours, but some may sleep more. Sleeping less than 7 hours results in sleep deprivation.
As you ensure that you get enough night’s sleep, the quality of sleep is equally important. Despite falling asleep, your mind and body could be restless, affecting the quality of sleep. Therefore, avoid activities that affect your sleep, such as stress and substances that affect your sleep.
The body’s circadian rhythm controls sleep. The rhythm is a biological clock that determines melatonin production, which is the hormone that induces sleep. External perceptions from the optic nerves guide circadian rhythm. Browsing or watching television alerts the optic nerves, thus disrupts sleep. Therefore, you should maintain a regular sleep schedule to help the body’s biological clock remain regular.
How Sleep Deprivation Affects Productivity
As mentioned, sleep is an essential component of effective work. Without enough sleep, you will easily lose focus and develop serious impairments in your productivity. Besides affecting your work abilities, sleep deprivation increases the risks of getting sick and missing work schedules.
Sleep deprivation directly stresses the brain, which is a vital organ controlling all body functions. A stressed brain has direct effects on general health and well-being. Short-term sleep deprivation can lead to mental, physical, and emotional health effects. This is because it slows the rate of nervous functioning.
The result is that you will take longer to think and react. To be specific, sleep deprivation affects the brain’s central lobe, which handles the brain’s memory and visual perception functions. This is why most early effects of lack of sleep are cognitive. With time, lack of sleep diminishes your mental and emotional functioning. If left, continuous sleep deprivation will lead to serious emotional and mental disorders, and expose you to risks of physical ailments.
Long-term effects of lack of sleep target the body’s immune system, affecting normal hormone production, leading to diabetes, high blood pressure, heart attack, and stroke. It also diminishes sex drive, leads to obesity and depression.
How Many Hours Should “Enough Sleep” Be?
Having mentioned the effects of sleep deprivation, how long should your night’s sleep be to keep your body at peak performance? Different people require varying lengths of sleep, but experts recommend that healthy sleep be between 7 and 9 hours. Based on these figures, approximately a third of Americans don’t get enough sleep. Therefore, extensive awareness and a cultural shift towards healthy sleeping patterns are essential. You should start developing regular habits that promote healthy sleeping patterns.
Tips to Establish Healthy Sleep Patterns
Even with a deep understanding healthy sleep benefits, developing a healthy sleeping pattern is often a challenge for many. While there is no surefire way of sleeping better every night, some factors can help you prepare for a restful sleep. Among them, include;
- Develop and follow a regular sleep schedule – setting your body on a routine, such as sleeping and waking at specific times, can help the body establish healthy sleeping patterns.
- Work on your bedroom – a good night’s rest can be achieved by preparing your bedroom to promote sleep. For this, make your bedroom quiet, cool, and dark to promote healthy and restful sleep. Have comfortable beddings, including quality mattresses and bedsheets. If you need to sleep during the day, use dark curtains that block daylight.
- Avoid caffeine before sleep – caffeine is a well-known stimulant that makes it challenging to fall asleep. As such, avoid caffeinated products at least six hours before sleep for good quality sleep.
- Avoid drugs – cigarettes, alcohol, and a few over-the-counter drugs can significantly affect your sleep quality.
- Regular exercise – developing an exercising routine during the day tires your body enough for a restful night. However, don’t exercise some hours before sleep, as it can interfere with your sleep cycle.
- Refrain from exciting activities before bedtime – you should put away all electronic devices and other stimulating activities before bedtime. Watching TV and playing games elicit excitement reactions and flood the eyes with blue light, disrupting the circadian rhythm.
Sleep is a vital component of productivity. Many people struggle to adjust their nighttime routine for good quality and quantity sleep. Creating a healthy sleeping pattern is overly rewarding. You will realize improved moods in the morning, better energy, focus, and high emotions to tackle your day’s activities.