Early to bed and early to rise, we grew up by chanting these lines.
Believe me, it had importance then also, and now too. Especially during tough times. While sacrificing our sleeps over unnecessary thoughts, conversations, worry and stress, we do not realize of long-term effects of sleep deprivation on the brain.
Due to technology, you may be at home after office but never stay disconnected from work. Those emails, calls, and work pressure follows you everywhere.
Sleep deprivation, however, is not limited to technology and work stress. Old aged people worrying about their lives, parents stressed about their kids, teenagers having tough times, also face sleeping issues.
For that purpose, this article is specially curated. To help you know long-term effects of sleep deprivation on the brain and natural ways to get rid of it.
8 Long-term Effects of Sleep Deprivation On The Brain
The brain is responsible for the mental, chemical, and physical activities of our body. As most parts of our body working all the time, they equally need rest.
Here are the 8 long-term effects of sleep deprivation on the brain that you need to aware yourself of. This will help you stay alert and remind you to not sacrifice your sleep in any situation.
Lack of sleep can amplify stress hormones.
It can be resulted in high blood pressure and increased heart rate. Hypertension can lead to depression. And depression is not an easy state to come out of. Additionally, your physical health will have an impact too.
2. Stroke and heart attack
Sleeping disorders can lead to stroke and heart attack. It creates blood cloth in the brain. Sleep for 7 to 9 hours is mandatory. If you are sleeping less than 6 hours, you may develop stroke or may die from it. Similarly, goes with heart attack. (1)
If you are in early age group, sleeping disorders changing into stroke may cause you early death. It’s important to get it treated, either visit a professional on reaching the limit or look for natural ways to heal it.
Irritability is a common reaction of sleep deprivation. A lot of people do not have the tolerance to take even daily stresses. They will become numb, will have anxiety, negative thoughts and get irritated over smaller things.
Due to the heaviness in the mind, unnecessary thoughts and irritability, sleep cycle gets affected. You wouldn’t be able to sleep until your mind is at peace.
4. Short Temper And Lack Of Focus
When the brain is unable to rest for a longer period, you will see your moods fluctuating. You won’t be able to take small things and may make issues out of it.
The body and the brain needs to be at peace to get sleep. And lack of sleep distracts you from focusing on important things in your priority list.
If not treated on time, you may even experience temperamental issues in your personal and professional life to an extent that you may get deeper into depression, having serious issues.
5. Memory Loss
According to researches, it was found that the brain transfers memory from hippocampus to the prefrontal cortex. They are the parts of the brain. Due to lack of sleep, memory stuck in one of the parts called hippocampus and makes it difficult to reach it to prefrontal cortex. (2)
That is why you become forgetful and experience difficulty in remembering things.
6. Weakening Of Immune System
Body and mind repairs themselves during sleep. When you are sleep deprived, you may more prone to host some dangerous diseases. Lack of sleep affects immunity so badly that you can catch common cold and flu frequently.
7. Decreased Fertility
Getting less than seven hours of sleep may affect the reproductive hormones which trigger ovulation. It can be a disaster for anyone who is trying to conceive.
8. Psychiatric Disorders
Sleep deprived people can experience psychiatric disorder like paranoia and hallucination. You may see figures and find yourself unable to make decisions.
Natural Ways To Deal With Sleep Deprivation
Normal limit of good sleep is 7 to 8 hours. Some people take sleeping pills for good sleep. But it leads to long-term effects of sleep deprivation on the brain.
Let’s snuggle some natural ways to get enough sleep and become safe from long term effects of sleep deprivation
1. Prepare yourself to sleep
Yes it sounds witty, but it is true. Now, the question is how anyone can prepare themselves to sleep? So here is some simple suggestion to overcome long-term effects of sleep deprivation by implementing some simple ideas in your routine.
Firstly, you can take a mild water bath. It works like a therapy as it rejuvenate mind and body, both.
Then you can have a warm milk. Comfortable clothes, cozy bed and a dark room with a dim light will be like a cherry on the cake. You can perform yoga or meditation as well. They will work the best.
2. Avoid Screens
As screens are always having bad effects on eyes, during the time of sleep it can trigger new thoughts in mind. It will increase your brain activities.
Lights of gadgets affect the brain. You will be sleepy, yet you will use screens thinking movies, videos, posts or other things may help you sleep. But no, they affect your sleep.
3. Say No To Stimulants
Stimulants must be avoided at the time of sleeping or may be before at least two hour of your bed time. Again it can increase some hormones in the brain and brain will become active.
Even some research suggest that you must avoid some stimulants like tea, coffee or any energy drink in the evening also.
If you want to drink something then treat yourself with mild turmeric milk. That would be a better option.
3. Fix Your Bedtime
Definitely, sleeping on time is a difficult task. You would want to engage yourself in so many things that you wouldn’t want to sleep early. But, health is important.
If you start once and keep doing it for atleast 4 weeks, you would surely get into habit. 7-8 hours sleep is essential and needs implementation.
4. Stay Active During Daytime
Last but not the least; schedule your daytime more actively. Invest all your day in some tiresome activities like, household, shopping, studying, exercising, and gossiping and so on.
Now at night, let your mind and body relax.
Working all day will exhaust you and all you will do is fall asleep. Physical activities are that is why do important so you can sleep peacefully.
Thus, these were the 8 long-term effects of sleep deprivation on the brain and some natural ways to heal. If you keep doing working on your schedule, thoughts and work, definitely you will improve.
And if you are seeing your condition getting worst, you must visit a professional and take advice. You will heal, sooner or later.