The Basics of Sleep Deprivation and What you Can do about it!
Waking up feeling unrested is more than just a temporary feeling. The pressures of modern life tend to have us up too late, and up too early — not a good equation for healthy sleep. You may choose to power through the morning unrested, but have you ever pondered any of its long-term impacts on your health and wellness?
What We Know about the Importance of Sleep
While a strong work ethic is important, long-term sleep deprivation should not be taken lightly. That feeling you shake off in the morning has cumulative effects, which if left unresolved can start to affect your overall health and wellness. Reason being, sleep is critical to normal body maintenance — it encodes our long-term memories, generates necessary hormones and neurotransmitters, and more importantly, it is the foundation of all restorative healing processes. The body makes excellent use of the sleep that it's provided — but when deprived, our immune system is weakened and health-issues more easily get the upper hand.
What to ask yourself
Many are unaware that sleep-quality is more than just time spent in bed. Daily routines largely play into sleep health — items not limited to exercise, caffeine, alcohol use, stress levels, and a balanced diet. Research can help us feel confident about asking ourselves: How might we improve in these areas?
Clinical data directly connects poor sleep quality with increased odds for depression, substance use, and obesity. Researchers have also connected sleep deprivation as a risk factor in cardiovascular events, dementia, and osteoporosis. More is still being uncovered.
Changes You Can Start Making Today.
Improving our sleep need is not be a difficult task to accomplish. Take it step-by-step, while ensuring at least seven, if not eight hours of sleep nightly. The complexities of sleep health will continue to unravel, but in the meantime, be reasonable when looking at other factors. Changes in exercise or diet, for example, can lead to gradual improvements in restfulness and good quality sleep.
Also, consider matcha green tea if you are looking to offset the negative effects of sleep deprivation. Studies demonstrate matcha as offering protection against those same sleep-related health issues. Additionally, an amino acid (L-Theanine) found abundantly in matcha is under study as promoting sleep, increasing total sleep time during rest by helping the body relax.
Try starting your mornings with more sleep and a bowl of matcha tea to find a new sense of refreshment and energized mental alertness.
Foley, Daniel, et al. "Sleep disturbances and chronic disease in older adults." Journal of Psychosomatic Research 56.5 (2004): 497-502.
Vitiello, Michael. "The interrelationship of sleep and depression: new answers but many questions remain.” Sleep Medicine (2018)
Rao, Theertham, et al. "In Search of a Safe Natural Sleep Aid." Journal of the American College of Nutrition 34.5 (2015): 436-447