7 Things To Do To Counter Sleep Deprivation


7 Things To Do To Counter Sleep Deprivation

Sleep deprivation can make you grumpy, foggy and forgetful. Not getting enough sleep can affect your sex life, memory, health, looks, and even ability to lose weight.

Sleep deprivation was a factor in some of the biggest disasters in recent history, like the 1979 nuclear accident at Three Mile Island, the massive Exxon Valdez oil spill, the 1986 nuclear meltdown at Chernobyl, and others.

Feel fine on just six hours of sleep? The problem is not how you feel right now, but the long-term effects. Countless studies have found that sleep plays a critical role in our immunity, metabolism, memory, learning, and other essential functions.

Studies show that sleep loss and poor-quality sleep also lead to accidents and injuries on the job. In one study, workers who complained about excessive daytime sleepiness had significantly more work accidents, particularly repeated work accidents and mistakes.

If you become sleep deprived, you can eventually make up for lost sleep, but you can’t do it in one night. You can catch up gradually over a few nights.

Here are 7 things to do to help counter sleep deprivation:

  1. Go to bed when you are tired. There is no substitute for a good night’s sleep.
  2. Follow a routine for both bed and wake-up times, making sure to keep it consistent every day of the week.
  3. Keep the bedroom quiet, dark and a comfortably cool temperature.
  4. Keeping a consistent schedule is critical to your sleep, especially when it comes to waking up. When you have a regular wake-up time, your brain responds to it by gradually increasing your hormone levels, body temperature, and blood pressure roughly an hour before you rise.
  5. If unable to fall asleep after 20 minutes of trying, going to another room and trying to read until feeling sleepy, then returning to bed.
  6. Engage in regular exercise during the day. Some moderate aerobic exercise can give you a temporary boost but don’t overdo the exercise or you will make your fatigue worse.
  7. Turn off electronic devices two hours before going to bed. The soft, blue glow that mobile devices like your laptop, tablet, and mobile phone emit a short-wavelength blue light, which halts production of the sleep-inducing hormone melatonin and, in turn, makes you feel more alert.

The good news is that most of the negative effects of sleep deprivation reverse when sufficient sleep is obtained. The treatment for sleep deprivation is to satisfy the biological sleep need, prevent deprivation and “payback” the accumulated sleep debt.  

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