Scenario: Its 11pm already. You are lying on your bed with your phone attached to the charger which is 3m long because you find using your cellphone on bed comforting. You are surging through Instagram videos and Twitter, swiping right to everyone on Tinder, shuffling through subreddits hot section and then you read something about new series on Netflix and when you check the clock again, it is 2:30am.
You wake up at 7:30am because you have to commute for an hour to reach your workplace or college. You are charged up because you just had a cup of strong black coffee. As time passes, by 11am, you are feeling lazy. You need another cup of tea or coffee (or maybe smoke in some cases). Again by 6pm, you feel like having one more cup of stimulant to keep yourself in working condition. Your mood is totally crashed compared to your morning mood. You reach home by 8:30-9 and again phone or Netflix.
This goes for weeks and months. Your health is now deteriorating. People can spot dark circles under your eyes. You are not able to focus on things. Your creative mind is dead and you just want to take a break from this life.
If your case is somewhat related to this. Please read ahead.
In the above case, the person is not even sleeping for 5 hours daily. Your case could be different. Maybe you are a student or a filmmaker whose job is hectic or your partner is in overseas and night is the only time you get to chat with him or her. Maybe your case is totally weird and unique, but if you are constantly sleeping for less than 7- 8 hours daily – then you need to understand the importance of sleep. At the end of this article, I will also add – how to get proper sleep.
- Less Sleep is directly related to your anxiety levels: If you are sleeping less, you will be noticing anxiety attacks and issues more often. This can lead to depression as well. In short, your mental health takes a toll when you are sleeping less on daily basis.
- You tend to eat more: Less sleep affects your leptin and ghrelin (hunger hormone) levels majorly. It doesn’t rise as high as it should after your meal. You tend to eat 200-300 calories more and more of starchy carbs. (This is when you are not counting your calorie intake), hence obesity.
- It affects your memory: This point is important for students, especially who are into the medical field. They tend to avoid sleep and are famously into “all nighter”. Dr Matthew Walker conducted a study with his team which shows if you are sleep deprived during your learning process, you will be around 40% less deficient in your learning process compared to people who are taking adequate amount of sleep before and after learning something.
- It makes you an anti-social and lonely: Another study which shows that sleep deprivation makes you more anti-social. People are less likely to engage/interact with you when you are sleep deprived. And loneliness is riskier than obesity.
- It Lowers Testosterone in Males.
- It increases the risk of Alzheimer’s.
- It increases risk of several types of Cancers, Cardiovascular Disease, Diabetes and Suicide in your Body.
Now – How to get better sleep every day?
- Try to be in dark environments during the night (like an hour before your bed). This helps in release of melatonin in your body (which induces sleep).
- Use F.flux or night mode on your computer and mobile phones.
- Avoid caffeine after 3-4 p.m. – That’s because the half-life of caffeine is 5-6 hours.
- Try to sleep at the same time every day. Make this your permanent routine.
- If you are sleeping late, not an issue until you are getting 7-9 hours of proper sleep.
- Try to keep room temperature around 17-20 degree Celcius.
- To fix your circadian rhythm get lots of brightness (sunlight) during the day time and darkness in the night.
- Avoid night shift work if you can.
- Avoid processed high carb food. It will delay your sleep.
- Avoid Alcohol or Marijuana to sedate yourself into sleep. It may look like you are sleeping but that sleep is not beneficial at all.
- Not able to fall asleep? – Use Headspace app (sleep pack) or supplement yourself with Melatonin (no need to take 5-10mg, your body will start getting adapt to it).
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