Do you struggle to wake up in the morning? Do you constantly feel tired throughout the day? Do you toss and turn for hours before falling asleep—with no amount of counting sheep making any difference?
If any of the above sounds familiar, you may be suffering from sleep deprivation. While many factors could be affecting your sleep, taking the time to prioritize getting more sleep is crucially important—especially if you’ve been suffering from sleep deprivation for a prolonged period of time.
Over time, sleep deprivation can take a serious toll on both your mental and physical health, with dangerous side effects ranging from memory loss and impaired judgment, to increasing your risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
Here are just a few of the signs that not getting enough sleep may be starting to take a toll on your health:
If you haven’t been getting enough sleep and have started to notice any of the above signs, it’s time to make some changes that will allow you to get better rest.
1. Develop a nighttime ritual
With the right bedtime routine, you can train your body for when it’s time to sleep. Find a routine that relaxes you and begins to transition your mind and body to a restful state. While you’ll have to determine what works best for you, some people take a hot shower, do a few minutes of yoga, put on a nice-smelling lotion or read a book in bed. Whatever you do, try to eliminate screens from your bedtime routine—staring at the TV or your phone can actually make it more difficult for you to fall asleep.
2. Don’t snack too late
Close down your kitchen at least an hour before you go to bed—and preferably even earlier. Avoiding heavy eating or big meals close to your bedtime will help ease your body into sleep more easily since your digestive system also will be able to relax.
Learning to quiet your mind can also help put you in the right mindset for restful sleep. Practicing meditation techniques to combat stress and clear your mind is a great way to decompress from your day.
4. Try herbal remedies
Some people swear by a nightly cup of chamomile tea, while others spray their pillow with a lavender scent. You could also try using essential oils or aromatherapy to relax.
If you make a concerted effort to get better rest but still struggle with symptoms of sleep deprivation, it might be time to make an appointment with your doctor to discuss the potential of a sleep disorder. Simply put, getting enough sleep is just that important.
For more tips, download our free guide to getting a better night’s sleep.