Who doesn’t love something that requires so little effort but can have massive effects? Getting some quality shut eye will make you way more productive. After a decent night’s sleep you might even surprise yourself with how quickly you can get things done!
Hitting that snooze button and feeling like you could sleep during the day means you’re probably sleep deprived. Ideally, you need 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night to make sure you’re wide awake the following day. Even missing a couple of hours will take its toll on your body. When you’re a teenager you’ll sleep more because body is still growing.
Worrying is often a reason for not being able to sleep. Find yourself tossing and turning for what seems like an eternity? Try taking a few deep breaths to calm your heartbeat back down. If you can’t stop worrying about something, try writing it down. Realistically you’re not going to be able to do anything about it when you’re tired in the middle of the night. In the morning you will be able to deal with the problem. Where do you think the expression ‘sleep on it’ comes from?
If you’re going out you’re probably not going to get an early night. Try having a nap before you leave so you feel more awake later in the night. If you’ve been out drinking, your sleep will be disrupted. When you’re drunk the brain is fighting against being unconscious which will disturb your sleep and you won’t wake up feeling refreshed. Drugs will make your sleep fidgety and you might have nightmares.
If you know you’re going to have a big weekend get a few extra hours in earlier in the week. I’m not saying you won’t feel tired but it might help with the effects of no sleep a little.
You can’t always get the recommended amount of sleep this leads to sleep debt. Don’t worry, you can ‘pay’ this off by having a couple of extra hours when you need them. If you’ve missed a lot of sleep go to bed at your normal time and wake up naturally without an alarm (do it on a day you don’t have much to do).
If you’re sleep deprived you’ll feel lethargic in the middle of the day. Having a power nap will make you feel more alert. The best time for this is the early afternoon. This is usually the time we feel like having a nap and it shouldn’t affect your night’s sleep. The perfect time is about 20 minutes. This is just before your body goes into a deep sleep so you’ll awaken refreshed and not groggy.
If you don’t get enough sleep there will be times when you lose concentration or forget what you’re doing. A microsleep is when you become unaware of your surroundings. It can be for as little as half a second or last up to a couple of minutes. It’s usually when you’re tired but trying to concentrate on a repetitive task.
It’s probably happened to you, like when you’re really sleepy and can’t stop yourself nodding off in a boring lesson or when you’re doing computer work. Like this, parts of your brain can ‘fall asleep’ without you even realising. Standing staring into the fridge not knowing why is probably a sign that you’re not getting enough sleep.
It’s really dangerous when you’re driving. If your head is nodding or you’re hitting the rumble strips find a safe place to stop for a nap. Or stop and stretch your legs to energise your body.
So, if you’re feeling like a zombie all you need is a good old sleep and you will feel like you can take on the world.
This month it’s national bed month, run by the sleep council. Their website has loads of info about everything you could want to know about sleeping. www.sleepcouncil.org.uk