Lack of sleep, the challenge of finding your personal way - Part 2

If you suffer from lack of sleep, you wake up cranky, stiff and slow.

The idea of waking up feeling refreshed and alert is a faint dream that doesn’t even show up in your dreams – because you don’t have any, because you didn’t sleep(!)

Frustrating... I totally understand

According to the National Sleep Foundation, 45% of Americans say that poor or insufficient sleep affected their daily lives (at least once in the past week).

67% of those also reported they deemed their health “poor” or “only fair”. Lack of sleep is linked not only to poor health but also to mood disorders and low productivity.

If you’re also struggling with weight, sleep is highly correlated to more cravings for sweet and salty foods. Also, there is increased chance of your hunger hormone, ghrelin, to be at high levels while your appetite-control hormone, leptin, can be lower all due to poor sleep.

Woman taking a nap in bed.The idea is to recognize patterns of thoughts and repetitive issues.

Many of the tips about lack of sleep attribute this problem to:

  • The light and distraction from your mobile devices and TV
  • Eating right before bed or “mid-night snacking”
  • Sleeping with too much light, noise and hot temperatures

Ironically, lack of sleep impairs judgement, particularly about sleep!

Lack of sleep impacts our interpretation of events, so we do not assess situations correctly and thus make unwise decisions about them. As I mentioned before, in our fast-paced culture, being able to function on less sleep is considered a badge of honor.

You might be used to less sleep and think that you’re doing just fine but what’s most probably happening is that you’re not even aware of how impaired you are due to adaptation. It’s like a catch 22.

If you have any of the following symptoms, you might be suffering from lack of sleep:

  • Yawning and fatigue
  • Moodiness and irritability
  • Difficulty learning and concentrating
  • Forgetfulness and lack of motivation
  • Clumsiness and apathy
  • Increased appetite and loss of libido

Easy and doable strategies that might help

According to Medical News Today, there are 3 strategies that might aid you in fighting your lack of sleep without medication: learn some relaxation techniques (like tensing and untensing muscles), controlling pre-bedtime stimulus (like entertainment and drinks), and behavioral therapy (to understand thought patterns associated to sleep).

Man resting at the table after heavy drinking.The best strategy is to drink plenty of water as you consume alcohol in moderation to lessen its effects.

Sleep is an important part of our daily routines and an essential part of our lives and health

Although it is a natural process and should come to us “naturally”, sleep is a delicate function that sometimes needs some TLC.

In the next part of this series we’ll explore the fascinating cycles of sleep, the relationship between sleep and our environment and how we can better sync them to achieve a good night’s sleep.

Part 3 - The science of sleep

Back to Sleep

Back to Home Page

National Sleep Foundation, Lack of sleep is affecting Americans,
Johns Hopkins Medicine, Healthy sleep,
Medical News Today, What’s to know about sleep deprivation,
National Institutes of Health, How is the body affected by sleep deprivation?,

Subscribe to Your Health Secrets Monthly Newsletter

* indicates required