Halloween is almost here and things are getting pretty spooky! I figured now is the perfect time to cover one of the scariest topics in health and wellness…SLEEP DEPRIVATION!
Ok, so there are scarier topics, but not getting enough sleep can have some pretty scary consequences.
Sleeping is super critical for a healthy, happy, and long life. The problem is, actually getting enough sleep can be tricky when life gets’s busy, stressful, or we want to go the newest Star Wars premiere at midnight. #Guilty
Here are some things to consider next time you want to skip out on your pillow and my best tips to help you get enough quality sleep!
7 Scary Things That Happen When You Don’t Get Enough Sleep
1. You might fall asleep at work, or worse, driving to work.
You don’t want to be that employee that falls asleep at work. Not only is it embarrassing, it could cost you your job! Plus drowsy driving is just a horrible idea. Don’t do it!
Tip: Try setting an alarm each night reminding you it’s time to get ready for bed. Give yourself 30 minutes to an hour. During this time turn off the TV, resist the pull of social media, and just relax. Brush your teeth, wash your face, read a book, or do some meditation. Give your mind some time to slow down. You’ll fall asleep faster!
2. You could bomb that test you just skipped sleep for.
We’ve all done it. Staying up way too late (or all night) to study for a test. Do you remember how well you did?
Chances are, not well.
We need our sleep to think properly and to have a good memory! So next time you’re tempted to pull an “all nighter” think again!
Tip: Study during the day and review what you studied briefly before you go to bed. Studies show that studying before bed can help you retain information better than if you did it in the morning right before taking a test. Just make sure you go to bed and do your pre-bed relaxing rituals so you’re not up all night obsessing about what you studied.
3. You’ll be grumpy AF.
All of us could probably relate to the phrase, “Forgive me for what I said when I was tired.”
Not getting enough sleep may leave us feeling short-tempered and lashing out at everything in sight. The dog, the cat, your husband, that incompetent driver, that person you don’t know on social media. Get some sleep and you’ll be much more pleasant to be around.
Tip: Find a mattress or sleeping solution that works best for YOU. It might be extra firm, extra soft, or no mattress at all. I personally LOVE my memory foam hybrid mattress from Tomorrow because it’s firm with just the bit of cushion my joints need. It contours to my body perfectly and I never feel achy the next day. I’m convinced it’s for sure the best hybrid mattress.
4. Your blood pressure may increase.
Lack of sleep is linked to higher blood pressure in some studies.
Since sleep helps regulate stress hormones, not getting enough can cause hormonal imbalances and increased blood pressure.
Tip: Keep the temperature cool in the room you sleep in. Studies show that somewhere around 65 degrees is optimal so we don’t overheat or get too cold while sleeping. A cool temperature will help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep.
5. Your head might revolt with headaches.
Headaches are LITERALLY the worst. My heart goes out to poor souls who have to deal with them on a regular basis, or worse get migraines.
Luckily, getting enough sleep can reduce the number of headaches you get. Lack of sleep is linked to increased frequency of headaches and can trigger migraines.
Tip: About 1 hour before bed, have a high carb snack. Nothing too crazy, a piece of whole wheat toast or fruit slices will do. Studies show a small carb-loaded snack before bed boosts serotonin, the hormone responsible for sleep cycles.
6. You could get a nasty bug.
Yep, sleep affects your immune system too.
Getting at least 7-8 hours each night will ensure your immune system is functioning properly and you’ll be able to fight off any bugs before they turn into a nasty cold or flu.
Tip: This can be REALLY difficult, but try to wake up (and stay up) the same time in the morning on the weekends as you do during the week. Staying on a consistent schedule will help your body fall into a rhythm and it will know better when it’s time to sleep.
7. You’ll probably gain weight.
Really? That doesn’t seem fair!
Sorry, but it’s true. Ignoring your sleep could mean a bit of extra fluff around your midsection.
Remember when I was talking about how sleep regulates the stress hormones? Well, lack of sleep may increase the stress hormone, cortisol. Too much cortisol is linked to more belly fat. Ugh.
Lack of energy and sleep also means you might reach for that pint of ice cream and skip your workout. Both of which won’t help you get that six pack.
Tip: Sometimes it really helps to shut out all light and noise. You might want to invest in some comfortable earplugs if you have noisy roommates or neighbors, and a sleep mask to keep all light out.
Wrapping It Up
Are you beginning to see how imprint sleep is?
It’s pretty crazy that it can impact so much of our health! Just do your best to get enough sleep. Hopefully, some of my tips help you get some extra shut-eye!
Do you have any sleep tips? Share them in the comments!
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