You’ve no doubt heard things about sleep deprivation because the statistics are fairly alarming. It’s estimated that 35 percent of Americans don’t get the recommended seven hours of sleep that they should each night, and since 1985, the number of adults who get less than six hours of sleep has increased by about 31 percent. Are you among the many who aren’t getting the right amount of sleep? Here are some signs that you may be sleep-deprived.
- The foremost indicator of sleep deprivation is excessive sleepiness during the day. If you tend to fall asleep when you are forced to sit still, maybe in a meeting or class, you’re probably sleep-deprived. This can be a safety hazard because drowsy driving can cause traffic accidents.
- Sleep deprivation affects your mood. When you’re sleep-deprived, you may feel irritable, anxious, or even depressed. You may also find that you lack motivation.
- Your performance can suffer because of sleep deprivation. You find it hard to concentrate or pay attention, or you may be less vigilant about things you need to do. Your reaction times will probably be slower, you’ll feel fatigued and restless, with a lack of energy. People who are sleep deprived tend to make poor decisions or have increased errors in their work and can be forgetful, with less coordination than they’d normally have.
If you think you’re sleep-deprived, it’s important that you take charge of the situation. Many health issues are tied to sleep deprivation, including high blood pressure, heart attack, obesity, and diabetes. In fact, severe sleep deprivation has been associated with a higher risk of age-specific mortality. In other words, if you don’t get enough sleep you’re more likely to die than other people your age.
What can you do if you are showing the signs of being sleep deprived? The obvious answer is to get more sleep. That’s really the only way to satisfy your body’s need for rest. In the short term, you can often improve your alertness and performance by ingesting caffeine. Be careful about this, though, because too much caffeine too frequently can lead to tolerance, which means it won’t work as well, and you’ll need more to achieve the same results. If you’re a heavy caffeine user, you’ll also experience symptoms of withdrawal when you try to taper off.
Napping can also help. If you know you’re going to have to lose sleep, you can take a nap ahead of time, to decrease the impact of your sleep loss. When you’re in a time of sleep loss, you can also take a brief nap of 30 minutes or less to help you stay alert. The best solution to the problem of sleep deprivation, though, is to take stock of your lifestyle and figure out how to get more sleep.
Getting enough sleep begins with a high-quality mattress, so if you’re looking for a good night’s sleep in Northern California, you owe it to yourself to check out Mancini's Sleepworld. Since 1969, the Mancini family has owned and operated their store in Sunnyvale, CA, selling brand name mattresses at fair prices and treating every customer with respect. Beginning an expansion in 1989, we now have 33 locations across the greater bay area, allowing for same-day mattress delivery in most cases. To learn more about Mancini's Sleepworld, contact us through our website or call 800-647-5337.