● By Aminah Madihah
…is what I would say to you if you have to clock in at work tomorrow at 8am but are still awake at 3am.
Falling asleep at night is like an extreme sport for some people, especially those grappling with insomnia. But I can’t stress this enough - getting a good night’s sleep is so important for your body to function properly throughout the day. What happens if you don’t get enough sleep?
Imagine you're sitting through an important meeting, and you can't stop yawning. Not only does it disrupt your concentration, it also affects those around you. May I remind you that it is contagious? When you yawn, you might trigger yawns in others nearby, creating a ripple effect of fatigue throughout the room. Not to mention it’s rude, especially to the person presenting!
Have you ever experienced that feeling of slowness after a sleepless night? It's as if your mental processes are moving in slow motion. Simple tasks become daunting, and complex decisions are even harder to make.
Eyebags and dark circles
This is probably the first thing people will notice about you when you don’t get enough sleep. Lack of sleep will definitely show on your face and make you appear tired, older, and less vibrant, even if you don't feel that way inside. These physical signs not only affect your appearance but will also have a substantial impact on your self-esteem.
Dozing off at random times
When you’re functioning on zero sleep, you might struggle to stay awake. You’ll find yourself dozing off at inappropriate times, like during an important work presentation, while driving, or even while socialising with colleagues. How are you supposed to get any work done if the only thing on your mind is sleep?
Other health complications
Beyond the immediate and visible consequences, a chronic lack of sleep can lead to a range of serious health complications. These may include an increased risk of heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and a weakened immune system.
How do you ensure you get enough sleep? It depends on the individual as some have more trouble sleeping than others. Regardless of what keeps you up at night, these tips might help you to recharge before a day at work.
Put down all your devices
Enough of the endless scrolling on Instagram Reels or TikTok! Here’s a fun fact: The blue light emitted by screens can disrupt your circadian rhythm by suppressing the production of melatonin, a hormone that regulates sleep. Make it a rule to put down your devices at least an hour before bedtime.
Tire yourself out before bedtime
Try incorporating workouts in your daily routine. Exercising too close to bedtime can have a stimulating effect, so a tip is to aim for early evening workouts. Afterward, a warm shower can help lower your core body temperature, making it easier to fall asleep.
One of the reasons why people have trouble sleeping at night is because of stress or anxiety. A few minutes of meditation such as mindfulness and deep breathing before bed can signal to your body that it's time to relax, making it easier to drift off into restful slumber.
White noise can drown out other disruptive sounds and create a consistent, gentle background sound that's conducive to sleep. Whether it's the hum of a fan or the sound of ocean waves, white noise can help mask disturbances and create a calming ambiance for better rest.
If needed, get prescriptions
If you've tried various strategies and still struggle with sleep, it may be time to consult a healthcare professional. Sleep disorders or chronic insomnia might require medical intervention. Your doctor can evaluate your situation and, if necessary, prescribe medications or other therapies to help you get the rest you need.
Photo by Kate Stone Matheson on Unsplash.
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