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Coping with Sleep Deprivation: 7 Key Tips

Sleep is just as important as food and water. It’s the foundation of healing. But why do some of us struggle to sleep, despite knowing how essential it is? We spend a third of our lives asleep, so we should be making the most of it. Sleep deprivation is very common, as many as 16 MILLION UK adults are suffering from sleepless nights across the UK.

Working long hours or trying to tick all the boxes with family and life commitments, can certainly take its toll and we understand. However, the cost of all of those sleepless nights is more than just bad moods and a lack of focus – it can be detrimental to your mental and physical health.

Fear not, you’re not alone and we’ll explain why in this post. We’ll also share our top tips and practices for coping with sleep deprivation too. 

What is Sleep Deprivation?

Sleep deprivation is a general term used to describe a state caused by inadequate quantity or quality of sleep. Basically, if you’re functioning on autopilot or you’re finding it hard to focus, it might be time to give yourself some extra support.

Two-thirds (67 percent) of UK adults suffer from disrupted sleep and nearly a quarter (23 percent) manage no more than five hours a night. On average, most of us need around eight hours of good-quality sleep a night to function properly. 

Only having five hours (or zero) hours of sleep per night could be putting your job, your family life and your physical and mental health at risk. 

Something worth considering is the cause of sleep deprivation. Before implementing key tips into your routine, it’s useful to look at the potential triggers of sleep deprivation and see if they can be prevented. 

  • Personal choice – instead of prioritising a regular or reasonable sleeping hour, people prefer to stay up late to socialise, drink alcohol or drink coffee close to bedtime – all of these things can trigger the nervous system and keep you awake. 
  • Illness – if you’re sick, you’ll struggle with your sleep. Colds, tonsillitis or other illnesses can cause snoring and frequent waking. All have a direct effect on sleep by fragmenting it.
  • Work – people who do shift work are likely to disrupt their sleep-wake cycles regularly. If you’re overworking or travelling a lot, you’ll also be more likely to suffer from sleep deprivation.
  • Your sleeping environment – sleep may be disrupted by a range of environmental reasons; for example, because the bedroom is too hot or cold or you’re trying to sleep in a cluttered environment. As the saying goes, a cluttered space = a cluttered mind
  • Little ones – got some new members of the family? Sleep deprivation is so common when you’re waking up in the middle of the night for young children. We salute you for this! 

The amount of sleep needed to feel refreshed and functioning depends on the individual and varies across all ages. One in three of us suffer from poor sleep – you’re definitely not alone if you’re struggling right now. 

So, if you’re nodding your head whilst reading this, maybe it’s worth considering the effects of sleep deprivation and how it can impact your physical and mental health. 

The Impact of Sleep Deprivation

Ok, so let’s say that a person who should usually get eight hours of sleep only gets four to five or ZERO. What impact will that have on their physical and mental health? Well, they might feel drowsy, they might feel unmotivated and they might be ready to hit the hay by 10 am.

But what if this continues and becomes a regular occurrence? Well, it can severely affect an individual’s mental and physical health. Whether that’s mood swings or increasing your blood pressure. Sleep is a healer and is absolutely essential – here are some of the effects poor sleep can have – these all vary depending on the individual.

  • Shortened attention span.
  • Reduced concentration.
  • Increased likelihood of mentally ‘stalling’ or fixating on one thought.
  • Mood swings – anxiety, depression and ill mental health.
  • Reduced work efficiency.
  • Loss of motivation.
  • Constipation.
  • Increased heart rate.
  • Poor balance.
  • Low sex drive.
  • Weight gain.
  • Risk of diabetes.

We could be here all day listing the negative effects. But rest assured, it isn’t all negative. That’s why we’re here to help you prioritise your health and change your life for the better – sounds ambitious but it’s possible. With the right coping strategies and tools, you’ll be unstoppable.

coping with sleep deprivation

Our Tips for Coping With Sleep Deprivation

If you’ve got ongoing symptoms or problems surrounding insufficient sleep or you’re feeling sleepy throughout the day, it’s important to know that it all comes down to you. Improving sleep is the biggest health ambition for a quarter of UK adults and we understand why.

You can take steps forward to improve your overall wellbeing and you’re in complete control. It’s time to address sleep deprivation, rather than patching it up. Are you ready? Let’s get to it.

Sleep at Regular Times

Regular sleeping hours are essential for programming our internal body clock. Routines give us a sense of purpose, they allow us to structure our day effectively and they can improve our sleep quality. Going to bed every night at the same time and waking at the same time every morning will give your body the sigh of relief it deserves.

As a heads up, you should be aiming for between six and nine hours of sleep per night.

Get Outside

When you’re sleepy, getting outside can seem impossible. We know how appealing the sofa looks but trust us. Just five to ten minutes outside can massively boost your mood and your concentration. Not to forget, Vitamin D from the sun is essential and low levels of this nutrient can be associated with fatigue.

Wind Down

Preparation before bed is key. Step away and switch off your tech one hour before bed. Brain dump your thoughts and to-do’s down on a piece of paper to declutter your mind. A warm bath can work wonders or a shower – it will help your body reach a temperature that’s ideal for rest. 

Also, meditate or practise deep breathing using an app, read a relaxing book or even implement the addition of a CBD oil into your routine.

Create a Sleepy Environment

Is your sleeping environment cluttered? For optimal sleep you should be in a space you feel comfortable and relaxed in. Your bedroom ideally needs to be dark, quiet, tidy and be kept at a temperature of between 18C and 24C.

It should be free of unnecessary clutter and distractions. Invest in good quality bedding, try using a silk eye mask and create a space that’s your safe haven.

Stay Hydrated

If you’re struggling to stay awake, you’ll probably be tempted to overlook a glass of water. You’ll be more inclined to reach for the caffeinated cup of tea or coffee. However, this won’t do wonders for your fatigue. If you are caffeinating, double this up with two glasses of water too. Refreshing, mood-boosting and essential hydration for your brain. 

Exercise Regularly

Although exercising while you’re tired isn’t always the best idea, being active every day will certainly help with your overall attitude towards sleep. Not only that, it will improve your concentration and it’ll release those happy hormones and endorphins that will keep you going. 

Exercise is one of the best science-backed ways to improve your sleep and health – walking or running outside, a gym session or a yoga flow. Don’t perform exercise too late in the day, but get your body moving – it’s a no-brainer for sleep.

How long do sleepless nights last with a newborn?

Sleepless nights are a normal and expected part of having a newborn baby. Most parents will experience at least a few sleepless nights during the first few months after their baby is born.

However, some parents may find that they are still struggling to get a full night’s sleep even after their baby is several months old. If you’re one of those parents, you may be wondering how long sleepless nights can last with a newborn.

The answer is that there is no set amount of time that sleepless nights will last with a newborn. Every baby is different and every family’s sleep situation is unique.

How to deal with sleep deprivation as a parent?

There is no easy answer when it comes to sleep deprivation as a parent. It’s one of the most challenging and tiring things you will ever go through, but it’s also completely worth it.

As with anything else in life, finding a good routine and sticking to it is key. Here are a few tips that may help:

1) Get as much rest as possible during the day. Nap when your baby naps, and try to get a good night’s sleep whenever possible.
2) Accept that you won’t be able to do everything. There will be times when you have to miss out on something because you’re just too tired. That’s okay!
3) Ask for help from family and friends.

Try CBD Purpose Built Products

CBD Oil and supplements can be carried on the go. Whether that’s a massage balm for your achy muscles or a CBD Relax Oil to help you unwind and ease anxiety. There’s so much to choose from. All bespoke and designed for the needs of every individual. If you haven’t considered a CBD supplement, now is the time to start.

Take Control of Your WellBeing

With all of these tips, we hope you’ll be one step closer to regaining your sleep and powering through your day. We know you’re more than capable of doing this, it just takes that one step forward. The bottom line is – sleep is absolutely essential for your overall wellbeing. It shouldn’t be overlooked and you don’t have to settle for poor sleep.

See where you might be going wrong, understand the consequences of your actions and start to implement our tips for coping with sleep deprivation. You can get through this and you will. Want to know more about how you can improve your sleep and your overall wellness and wellbeing? Look no further.

With our FREE downloadable Ebook, you’ll be equipped with all of the best self-care tips to help reduce your stress levels and enhance your life for all the right reasons. At Heed Life, we want to help support great people to live their best lives. 

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