Sleep debt is when we get less sleep than we actually need. It is the difference between the sleeping hours we should be having and the exact number of hours we actually get. Most adults and adolescents are robbed of their sleep through the obsession of social media, TV viewing or even socialising with friends. Most of us diminish the value of relaxation and we have no qualms stealing from our sleep time when we are overcome by other demands and priorities in our daily life.
Disrupting nighttime sleep
There are many factors that may keep us from getting a good night’s sleep like loud pets or neighbours and car alarms. When we are groggy during the day we usually know we are overtired, yet we fail to realise the correlation between drowsiness and health issues. Lack of sleep can result in body aches, restlessness or stress. When we are deprived of sleep we get groggy, our motivation and productivity are low and it may even affect our memory.
Affecting Our Health
When we are tired, we grab a pick-me-up like coffee, tea, or energy drinks and push through our tiredness. Unfortunately the more sleep we fail to get, the less we recognise it. When we have a good night’s sleep, we improve in our overall health as well as our body recovery from exercise routines. Sometimes lack of sleep has minor effects on your life like being sluggish at meetings or missing a train or bus stop on your way to work. But lack of sleep can also have major effects on your life like making you obese, seeing signs of diabetes, high blood pressure, heart problems, stroke and frequent mental anxiety. Other serious conditions could lead to a car accident when you are exhausted and behind the wheel.
Repaying sleep debt
Can sleep debt ever be repaid? Sleeping is a good way to overcome the loss of sleep. Scheduling a nap the following day can help make up for sleep loss. Sometimes however you may still experience grogginess in spite of napping. Be careful not to drive or even ride your bike whenever you feel sleepy.
Losing Sleep Affects You
Studies have proven that when we snooze we tend to lose weight. When we lack sleep, we find it difficult to keep to a healthy diet. Moreover, we will not have the energy and stamina that you need to have an active lifestyle, whether at work or when you carry out your exercise regime.
Loss of sleeping hours seems to influence your attention span, stress levels, grogginess during the day, and a slight indication of inflammation. Lack of sleeping hours is not just a hindrance but it’s dangerous particularly when you’re driving.
Does catch-up sleep help?
Studies have shown that though your attention span decreased significantly after the lack of sleep days, it did not return to normal levels even after the catch-up period. Sleeping in on Saturday and Sunday does not mean that you will be more alert on Monday morning. Finally, it is better to keep sleep debt to a minimum.
Stress might be a core reason for not being able to sleep. One must find ways to release stress. There are many ways to release stress. For those who are fit, they take part in sporting activities. For those who prefer a natural way to relieve stress, they opt for natural healing therapy.