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From Burnout to Bedtime: How Exhaustion Causes Your Sleep Problems and What You Can Do

Do you aspire to achieve maximum results in whatever you do? Do you get a feeling to be at the top of your productive level each day? Are your sleep problems affecting your daily routine?

Chances are many among you think the more they work, the more they can achieve. And to do this, they prefer to sacrifice some basic things in life, such as diet, exercise, and sleep. All of this join hand together to create sleep problems affecting your productivity at large.

You’d think a burnt-out brain would be ready to turn off and get a decent night’s sleep given tiredness is linked with ongoing working stress. You had it all wrong! According to a 2018 study, exhausted people had “significantly higher problems with insomnia, sleep fragmentation, and non-restorative sleep.” But why?

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Burnout frequently results in higher levels of anxiety and despair, which can lead to various sleep issues. Your body’s “fight or flight response” is triggered when you’re tense and anxious, which makes it difficult for your brain to relax. Not the most peaceful environment for a restful night’s sleep, this raises your heart rate and body temperature and stimulates the creation of cortisol in your body (your stress hormone!).

Burnout may hurt your sleep if you have trouble falling asleep, wake up in the middle of the night, or feel weary even after a whole night’s rest. Nearly all bodily systems depend on sleep to function effectively. Thus a protracted lack of sleep may result in various sleep problems and different health issues, including diabetes, cardiovascular disease, hormone imbalances, and immunodeficiency. 

Why is Sleep Essential?

For a variety of reasons, sleep is crucial. An excellent night’s sleep

How Much Sleep Do You Need?

Your sleep needs to alter throughout your lifetime. While an older adult can function on as little as 7 hours of sleep per night, an infant may require up to 17 hours of sleep per day.

By offering recommendations for the recommended amount of sleep for optimum health are supported by science, sleep guidelines can provide a starting point for identifying your sleep needs.

  • Birth to 3 months: 14 to 17 hours
  • 4 to 11 months: 12 to 16 hours
  • 1 to 2 years: 11 to 14 hours
  • 3 to 5 years: 10 to 13 hours
  • 6 to 12 years: 9 to 12 hours
  • 13 to 18 years: 8 to 10 hours
  • 18 to 64 years: 7 to 9 hours
  • 65 years and older: 7 to 8 hours

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However, even among people of the same age group, there might be differences in their needs for sleep.

While your partner may naturally awaken after 7 hours of sleep, feeling refreshed and ready for the day, you could require at least 9 hours of sleep per night to feel rested.

The feeling you receive from getting different amounts of sleep is an important thing to consider.

Here are some inquiries to think about while assessing your sleep requirements:

  1.     Are 7 hours of sleep enough to make me feel rested, or do I need at least 8 or 9?
  2.     Do I ever feel sleepy during the day?
  3.     Do I depend on caffeine to give me energy all day long?

Stages Of Sleep

Your body and brain go through several sleep cycles as you drift off to sleep. There are four main stages in each cycle:

  1.     Non-rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep contains the first three stages.
  2.     Rapid eye movement (REM) sleep is the final phase.

Previously, the stages were named as stages 1, 2, 3, 4, and REM. Currently, experts typically classify them as:

  1.   (N1) (formerly stage 1): The transition from being awake to falling asleep is marked by this initial stage of sleep.
  2.   N2 (formerly stage 2): At this point, sleep starts to set in as you begin to lose awareness of your surroundings. Your body temperature decreases, and you start to breathe and beat normally.
  3.  N3 (formerly stages 3 and 4): Breathing slows down, blood pressure falls, muscles relax, hormones are released, healing takes place, and your body becomes re-energized during this deepest and most restorative sleep period.
  4. REM: About 25% of your sleep cycle gets spent in this last stage. Your brain is most active during REM sleep, dreams happen, and your eyes move quickly back and forth under your eyelids. When you wake up, REM sleep improves your mental and physical performance. 

Each cycle takes roughly 90 minutes to complete on average. You would get 7.5 hours of sleep if you finished five cycles each night and roughly, 9 hours if you finished six cycles.

Because you’ll feel more rested and energized if you wake up at the end of a cycle, it is ideal to awaken at the end of a sleep cycle rather than in the middle. 

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The consequences of sleep deprivation

Many people are concerned about sleep deprivation, especially those who deal with ongoing job and life issues that can further interrupt sleep.

Of course, not getting enough sleep can have an impact on a variety of bodily systems and healing processes.

Sleep deprivation can be exacerbated by physical and mental health issues, such as melancholy, anxiety, obstructive sleep apnea, and chronic pain. However, poor sleep can exacerbate these illnesses’ symptoms and feed a distressing cycle of insomnia.

In most cases, having a poor sleep night once in a while won’t seriously harm your health. Nevertheless, specialists have connected persistent sleep deprivation to harmful health effects, such as a higher chance of developing chronic diseases and dying sooner.

Lack of sleep can cause various sleep problems on one’s physical, emotional, and cognitive health, both immediately and over time.

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Physical Impacts:

Most people can have bodily symptoms from a night of insufficient sleep, including:

  • sleepiness 
  • headache
  • pale skin behind the eyes
  •  black circles

Your physical health can suffer more severely from long-term sleep loss, which can result in sleep problems such as:

  •     decreased immunity, which might make it more difficult for your body to fight infections
  •     elevated cortisol levels, which can exacerbate hypertension and other health issues
  •     increased appetite and carbohydrate and sugar cravings

Cognitive Impact

Lack of sleep makes it harder for your brain to function appropriately. As a result, you’ll probably find it challenging to focus and recall information the next day.

According to research, sleep deprivation adversely impacts several frontal lobe-related brain activities, including:

  • attention, vigilance, 
  • decision-making,
  •  judgment, and memory reaction

These impacts may contribute to:

  • declines in judgment
  • impulse control 
  • changes in performance at job or school accidents.

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Effects on Emotional and mental health

Undoubtedly, a restless night can impact how you feel the following day.

Not getting enough sleep increases your risk of:

  •     feeling grumpy and agitated
  •     observe sudden mood swings and difficulties controlling your emotions
  •     having trouble managing stress

Sleep deprivation may make mental health symptoms like despair, anxiety, paranoia, and hallucinations worse, according to research from a reliable source.

Sleep deprivation has also been linked to symptoms of some mental health conditions, including:

Causes Of Sleep Deprivation:

Stress: Your mind may remain active at night due to worries about your family, job, health, finances, or other factors, making it difficult to fall asleep. Insomnia can also be brought on by traumatic or stressful life events like divorce, losing your job, or losing a loved one to death or disease.

Travel or professional commitments: Your circadian rhythms work like an internal clock, regulating your body’s temperature, metabolism, and sleep-wake cycle. Insomnia can result from a disruption of your body’s circadian rhythms. Jet lag from crossing time zones, working a late or early job, or often switching shifts are some causes.

Poor Sleep Schedule: An erratic bedtime schedule, naps, stimulating activities right before bed, an uncomfortable sleeping environment, and using your bed for work, eating, or watching TV are all examples of poor sleep habits. Your sleep cycle gets disrupted by using computers, TVs, video games, smartphones, or other devices right before bed.

Late-night overeating: Having a small snack before bed is fine, but eating much could make it uncomfortable to lie down. Heartburn, or the reflux of acid and food into the esophagus after eating, is another common condition that might keep you awake.

Enough talking about the problems, let’s focus on the solution and improving our health.

Reduce blue light exposure in the evening:

 Daytime light exposure is advantageous, however nighttime light exposure has the reverse impact.

Once more, this is a result of how it alters your circadian cycle and deceives your brain into believing that it is still sunlight. This lowers levels of chemicals including melatonin, which promote relaxation and sound sleep.

The deadliest kind of light in this regard is blue light, which is produced in enormous quantities by electronic gadgets like computers and cell phones.

There are several well-liked techniques you can take to lessen your exposure to blue light at night. These consist of:

  •  Put on blue-light-blocking eyewear.
  •  On your smartphone, install a blue light filtering app. Both iPhone and Android models can use these.
  •  Two hours before going to bed, stop watching TV and dim all the lights.

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Avoid eating late at night:

Eating late at night may have a detrimental impact on both the quality of your sleep and the release of melatonin and HGH.
However, the type and quality of your late-night snack may also be important.

A high-carb dinner consumed four hours before bedtime aided people in one research in falling asleep more quickly.

It’s interesting to note that one study found that a low-carb diet also enhanced sleep, proving that not all the time, especially if you’re acclimated to a low-carb diet, carbs aren’t always necessary.

Take a soothing shower or bath:

Another well-liked method to get more rest is to take a soothing bath or shower.

According to studies, they can assist people, especially older ones, to fall asleep more quickly and improve overall sleep quality.

In one study, having a hot bath 90 minutes before bedtime increased the depth and quality of sleep for participants.

If you prefer not to take a full bath at night, you can still relax and get a better night’s sleep by merely immersing your feet in hot water.

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Daily exercise, but not right before bed:

One of the best, most scientifically supported strategies to enhance your health and sleep is exercise.
It has been used to lessen the signs of insomnia and can improve every element of sleep.

According to research on senior citizens, exercise cut the time it took to fall asleep in half and increased sleep duration by 41 minutes at night.

The exercise was more beneficial than the majority of medicines for persons with severe insomnia. Exercise increased total sleep time by 18% while decreasing time to fall asleep by 55%, increasing total night wakefulness by 30%, and decreasing anxiety by 15%.
Even though regular exercise is essential for getting a good night’s sleep, exercising too late in the day can interfere with sleep.

Avoid drinking anything before sleeping:

The medical name for nighttime peeing that is profuse is nocturia. Both the quantity and quality of sleep are impacted. Similar feelings can result from consuming a lot of drinks right before bed, however, some people are more susceptible than others.
Even while staying hydrated is important for your health, you should limit your fluid intake in the late evening.

Try to avoid drinking anything for a couple of hours before bed.
Additionally, you should use the loo just before turning in, since this may lessen the likelihood that you may wake up during the night.

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