How can I avoid suffering from a chronic lack of sleep?
How can I avoid the consequences of chronic lack of sleep?
It may be helpful to consider the effects of insufficient sleep on the body’s natural sleep rhythms, which may lead to a cycle of chronically insufficient sleep, as well as the effects of chronic lack of sleep on the brain.
The body’s circadian rhythm
The SCN and the other parts of the brain control how the body responds to the 24-hour light-dark cycle. When the body is exposed to the light in the evening, it produces the hormone melatonin, which helps to regulate the sleep-wake cycle.
Avoid caffeine before bedtime.
A recent study has shown that caffeine may actually disrupt the circadian rhythm, and may be responsible for worsening insomnia.
How the brain responds to lack of sleep
Lack of sleep causes the brain to produce stress hormones, and this may make it harder to fall asleep, and to stay asleep.
The brain constantly monitors the amount of sleep you have had. If you are chronically sleep deprived, the brain tends to continue to monitor your sleep quality and to produce stress hormones. This may lead you to feel tired and stressed all the time.
How the body responds to lack of sleep
Insufficient sleep leads to weight gain because it causes the body to use more calories.
Insufficient sleep causes the hormone cortisol to rise, which causes the body to secrete more of the stress hormone adrenaline, which can make it harder to fall asleep.
Insufficient sleep causes blood glucose levels to drop, which makes it harder to fall asleep.
Treatment: Sleep deprivation can be alleviated in a variety of ways, including:
- Set a sleep and wake schedule and stick to it, especially on weekends.
- Remove any sources of distraction, such as gadgets, from the bedroom.
- Sleep apnea, restless leg syndrome, anxiety, and chronic pain are among problems that can make it difficult to get a good night’s sleep
- Caffeine and energy drinks should be avoided.
- Before going to bed, unwind with yoga, meditation, a warm bath, or a good book.
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