WESTERN CIVILIZATION IS SLEEP DEPRIVED
Michael Rosbash, a Nobel Prize winner who studies Circadian rhythms (your individual sleep cycle), states that western civilization is chronically sleep deprived. Michael Rosbash is also a revered neuroscientist who believes that the study of sleep patterns has been skipped over in recent years as a health promotion focus. Staying up late and missing sleep for a night on the town, to finish a work project, or to stay up late and binge watch a season of your favourite TV show will only result in fatigue the next day. When you do this on a regular basis, it can become a real problem and lead to prolonged sleep deprivation. Here are 7 signs that you might be sleep deprived:
1 – YOU’RE FEELING MORE IMPULSIVE
Making decisions like saying “no” to a candy bar at the convenience store, or agreeing to work the late shift can become troubling. When you’re tired, your subconscious mind wants to sleep and when a problem arises, your conscious mind is being told to make it go away. This can leave you feeling overtired and even lead to insomnia.
2 – YOUR MOTOR SKILLS ARE OFF
Do you think about all the muscles it takes to lift your leg up, or put the key in a lock and turn it? No, you just do it and it kind of happens like magic. Tripping over a step or dropping your keys can make you a klutz but do it a few times in a day, that might make you sleep deprived. Doctors say the way your body balances and the muscles it takes to make movements is done subconsciously when your brain is focused on when you’re gonna lay down on your comfy Dozy mattress rather than walk up a flight of stairs, well you might find yourself sleep deprived.
3 – YOUR EMOTIONS ARE ALL OVER THE PLACE
When you’re sleep deprived, you can be increasingly reactive to emotional stimuli. For example, watching a sad movie might bring about some tears. Even things that may make you laugh a little bit, might suddenly cause you to laugh hysterically. Overall, you will have less control over your emotions as your brain tries to adapt to your lack of sleep routine.
4 – YOU GET SICK OFTEN
Of course, sleep and your immune system are deeply interdependent. Sleep deprivation runs your body down and makes it more susceptible to infection and becoming ill.
5 – THEY DON’T CALL IT “BEAUTY SLEEP” FOR NOTHING!
Just like #4, not only will your body be run down on the inside, but it can also show on the outside. With a lack of sleep, you may be more susceptible to a breakout due to hormones such as estrogen, which balances itself during sleep.
6 – AMNESIA?
When asked to remember something or trying to remember something, you are accessing your subconscious mind. When you are tired and sleep deprived, your brain often has better things to do. Rather than trying to remember what the differential ratio for conversions versus statistics from last quarter, your brain is busy keeping up with the workload from your lack of sleep.
7 – YOU THINK YOU’VE FALLEN ASLEEP AT THE WHEEL!
Ever driven to work in the morning and had a bad case of heavy eyelids? That’s your brain telling you that it really wants to go to sleep. When deprived of sleep, even driving a car can become dangerous. If you have to pinch yourself or shake your head to keep yourself from closing your eyes, that is a big sign that you should take your sleep a bit more seriously.
There are a couple ways that you can both get a better sleep with the allotted time you have given yourself and make sleep more attractive than watching that last episode on Netflix.
You can start by going to sleep on time. A quick note to make sleep more effective (if you absolutely cannot get to sleep on time) is to stop looking at a screen before bed. The blue light from your phone tricks your brain into thinking it’s not the time for sleep yet, which keeps you from getting into deep REM sleep for even longer.
Making sleep more attractive than Netflix is a tough one. But if you live in Toronto, you could always get yourself a Dozy mattress. Just like everything that’s new, you have about 2 weeks after the purchase where you’re totally involved in the culture; getting to bed on time, waking up on time, etc. Then just like a New Year’s resolution, you forget and go back to your old habits. But hey! At least for 2 weeks, your body will not be deprived of sleep and for 10 years, you will have an awesome locally manufactured mattress.