You may not even know how much sleep deprivation is affecting your life right now. You may wonder why you're having trouble completing a task at work that used to be easy for you. Friends may notice an edge of irritability that is surprising given your normal disposition. Or you may even notice that you're getting sick a lot more often, catching a cold or coming down with the flu when you used to be the healthy one.
If you even suspect that you may be suffering the effects of sleep deprivation, you need to take a look at the patterns and quality of your sleep. Improving your rest does not always mean taking sleeping pills. There are several natural alternatives and lifestyle choices available that could make a big difference in the quality of rest you get at night, which directly affects your quality of life during the day.
A recent medical study determined that sleep deprivation even changes the way your brain functions when you try to accomplish various tasks. Your reaction times will slow down, meaning you're at greater risk for auto accidents. Making decisions and solving problems become more difficult, and you can forget about being creative. These impairments can lead to lost production and lower performance at work.
Some people are not getting enough sleep simply because there is not enough time in the day. Our life and work have become so demanding that they start nibbling away at our time for rest. Over time, as we try to keep pace with our busy schedule, our sleep deficit grows until it starts to affect all of our waking moments. If your work shifts are constantly changing, or if your business travel schedule keeps you in jet lag all the time, you can pretty much count on trudging through your day in a sleep-driven fog.
In addition to a limited time budget for sleep, anyone struggling with a sleep disorder of some kind could find themselves in a sleep-deprived state. Insomnia caused by depression, constant waking due to sleep apnea, even difficulty breathing due to asthma are just a few examples of medical conditions that can deprive you of quality sleep.
There is no reason for you to accept a life of sleep deprivation. If you suspect a medical condition, then discuss possible treatments with your doctor. Lack of sleep due to stress and anxiety can be remedied with herbal solutions or relaxation techniques. Changes in your sleep environment, alterations to your work schedule, and establishing a regular sleep routine could also help. Do you remember when you used to wake up refreshed and ready for the day? You can recapture that feeling again if you take action now.