Tips for Preventing Sleep Deprivation

Do you feel that you get enough sleep every night?

Or, do you feel fatigued throughout the day, always turning to caffeine to keep you going?

If you aren’t getting at least seven hours of sleep each night, then you might be sleep deprived. This means that you aren’t getting adequate sleep and your body is suffering the consequences as a result.

Sleep deprivation is dangerous because it affects your cognition and performance, which is problematic in a situation like driving. Unfortunately, of all U.S. workers, a third sleep for less than seven hours each night.

With so many sleep-deprived workers, public roads and working environments are unsafe. The answer to this is combating sleep deprivation, which begins with getting more sleep of higher quality.

We’ll go over a few good techniques for staving off sleep deprivation below.

Develop a Sleep Routine

One of the most effective things you can do is to develop a sleep routine.

This means going to bed at roughly the same time each night and having a sequence of actions you take before sleeping.

For example, you might choose to sleep at 10 PM each night. At 9 PM, you have a cup of sleepy tea.

30 minutes later, you brush your teeth and wash your face. Before falling asleep, you read a chapter from a good book.

If this is something that you do each night, then it becomes a sleep routine. This is beneficial because your body will become familiar with this routine and expect it.

After making it a habit, your sleep routine will adjust your body’s internal clock to be tired when you typically go to bed. This will make it easier for you to get adequate rest when you do go to sleep.

Another advantage of a sleep routine is that going to bed will feel natural. If you’re someone who doesn’t feel tired and struggles to force yourself to sleep, then sleeping can be difficult.

On the other hand, making it habitual requires less thought and mental effort. You’ll go through your routine without questioning it, becoming naturally sleepy by the end of it.

Avoid Naps

You should also make a point to avoid naps during the day.

This may seem counterintuitive as you may use naps to compensate for lost sleep. While naps can be useful, they often do more harm than good.

When you take a nap, it’s usually in the middle of the day. This means that you get a burst of energy midday, which will make you less tired come night time.

As a result, you’ll have a tougher time falling asleep at night. This will lead to you staying up later, which will perpetuate the cycle of getting poor sleep and feeling like you need a nap to get through the day.

The other dangers of napping include oversleeping and feeling groggy afterward. You might not hear your alarm and sleep longer than you should.

If you do wake up, it might not align with your sleep cycle. Instead, you may wake during the middle of one and feel tired. 

Napping is more of a bandaid fix and it does not address the core issue. Continuing to nap will push you further away from getting a genuinely good night of rest.

No Alcohol and Caffeine at Night

Another important tip is to refrain from alcohol and caffeine at night.

Caffeine is excellent for keeping you awake, but this is problematic when it lingers into the night. You need to be conscious of when you’re consuming it so that it doesn’t affect you at night.

One of the most tempting times for caffeine is the early afternoon. This is when you might want a nap or a cup of coffee most, but caving in can affect your sleep at bedtime.

Try to stay away from caffeine for a minimum of four hours before sleeping, preferably closer to eight just to be safe.

Then there’s the issue of alcohol. As you may be aware, drinking alcohol can affect your quality of sleep. It often leads to poor and disrupted sleep, leaving you feeling unrested when you awake.

You aren’t likely to drink during the day, but it’s important to not drink too close to the time that you sleep. You should stop drinking at least three hours before sleeping to not impact your sleep quality.

As tempting as it may be, stick to non-carbonated, non-caffeinated, and non-alcoholic beverages like water and juice later in the day to help you fall asleep.

Regular Exercise

Regular exercise is another good cure for sleep deprivation.

Exercise is often linked to better energy levels, but it’s also useful for tiring yourself out. The timing of your workout is important here because you want to be in bed when you start to run out of energy.

Your best option is to work out earlier in the day to get an early burst of endorphins. These are hormones that are useful for several things, relaxation being one of them. Working out will inevitably cause you to feel exhausted later in the day.

You want to avoid exercising close to bedtime because this can have the same effect as drinking caffeine before bed. You don’t want to feel energized late at night, which working out will do.

Exercising has countless benefits and better sleep is one that you’ll appreciate.

Prioritize Sleep

As a final consideration, you should be prioritizing sleep.

You can hear that something matters repeatedly, but it won’t sink in until you understand the gravity of the situation. In other words, you need to understand why sleep matters.

When you understand why you need to sleep, you’ll realize how important it is. Sleeping is essential for healing your body, keeping you healthy, optimizing performance, and countless other benefits.

This is important because understanding why something matters makes you know why you need to do it. As a result, you’ll feel more incentive to get enough sleep each night.

Make your bedroom a perfect and comfortable space for sleeping. With a cozy and inviting sleeping environment, you’ll feel excited about getting your nightly rest instead of dreading it.

Closing Thoughts

Sleep deprivation plagues millions of people across the globe and it can be a difficult issue to address. It’s easy to become sleep deprived as sleep gets neglected in favor of tending to obligations that you have.

Despite this, you need to focus on getting as much sleep as possible. A few tactics for fighting off sleep deprivation include developing a sleep routine, avoiding naps, refraining from caffeine and alcohol at night, regular exercise, and prioritizing sleep.

While you may have a busy schedule, fitting in a minimum of seven hours of sleep each night will do you a world of wonders. It’ll make you feel much better and you’ll be far more effective at tackling everything on your agenda.