catch up on lost sleep

Photo by christels, CC0 1.0

Everyone loves sleep. In the scientific community, sleep isn’t completely understood, but the world knows that it’s important for everyone’s health and wellness. Those eight hours are essential if you want to live a happy and healthy life.

However, sometimes we can’t get enough sleep. That sleep deprivation can have major implications on our mental and physical health, so it’s important to understand what the root cause of that deprivation is before trying to learn how to catch up on sleep.

Keep reading to explore some of the top factors that lead to sleep deprivation.

1. Voluntary Behavior

The first cause of sleep deprivation is one that you probably know all too well. Staying up late to watch that last episode of the Netflix series you’ve been binging or staying out late with friends are all examples of voluntary behavior that can lead to sleep deprivation. When you take on these activities before bedtime, you’re not getting your body’s needed amount of sleep to function well.

Another example of voluntary behavior that can lead to sleep deprivation is by consuming alcohol or caffeine too close to bedtime. These stimulants will ruin your sleep pattern and cause you to wake up too often during the night or not get to sleep at all.

2. Working or Studying

Along the same lines as voluntary behavior, your work or study schedule can have serious implications on the quality of your sleep. When you have to work late into the night or study for that big final you have tomorrow, you won’t be getting enough sleep to be healthy.

These schedules are horrible for your sleep patterns, as they often continue for long periods of time and cause you not to get enough sleep for days or weeks at a time.

3. Your Immediate Environment

When you’re sleeping, what’s your immediate environment like? Are there a lot of cars outside of your window rushing by? Or maybe the temperature in your room fluctuates from really hot to really cold at different times during the night? Or do you have one of those partners that snores as loud as an elephant?

Whatever it is, your immediate environment can have serious implications on the quality of your sleep. Try to pinpoint these issues and solve them as soon as possible to see if your sleep deprivation improves.

4. Insomnia

Insomnia is a condition that affects almost one third of the adults out there in the world. It’s one of the least understood conditions in the sleep world, but it is generally characterized with daytime sleepiness, decreasing memory, and a lack of concentration on important tasks.

There isn’t one cause of insomnia, but some of the causes include anxiety, stimulant medications, and environmental factors. Be sure to ask your doctor what treatment is available for your specific condition.

5. Sleep Apnea

Another medical condition that can affect the quality of your night’s sleep is sleep apnea. This condition is characterized by a collapse of the upper airway while you sleep, leading to less airflow going into your lungs. Because of this, you’re going to be waking up at frequent times at night, leading to sleep deprivation during the day.

If you think you’re experiencing sleep apnea, be sure to consult with your doctor about how you can go about being treated.

6. Short-term Illnesses

If you’ve been experiencing a bad cold or the flu, that can have big implications on your sleep patterns, as well. Waking up in the middle of the night to blow your nose or sneeze are examples of how your sleep pattern can be disrupted by a short-term illness.

Make sure to take plenty of medication and eat healthy meals in order to get that illness out of your body as soon as possible.

7. Stress or Anxiety

One of the last factors that could lead up to sleep deprivation is general stress and anxiety. Maybe you have a huge test coming up in school or a big project at work that takes a lot out of you. This added stress and anxiety will make it more difficult for your brain to shut off at night and cause you to not get enough sleep. In turn, you will find yourself much more tired during the day and find it harder to concentrate on the task’s in front of you.

If you’re experiencing sleep deprivation, ensure that you are taking care of yourself and that you are fixing any of the aforementioned problems leading to that deprivation. If you can’t seem to figure out your sleep problems, head to your doctor and see what he or she recommends.

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