Fatigue is a problem that most of us have to deal with. With longer working hours, less sleep and busy social lives, it’s easy to become a victim. However, it is important to note that although short periods of fatigue are normal, prolonged periods can lead to other health conditions.
These health conditions can include a weakened immune system, an increase in the risk of getting diabetes, obesity, depression, heart disease, and can even have a major effect on our life span. Thus, it is important to recognise the importance of getting enough rest, and not to look at sleeping as an unnecessary waste of time.
When we are sleeping, our body goes through several processes that enable us to function at an optimal level throughout the day. These processes include, but are not limited to; cell repair, memory consolidation, the processing of thoughts and experiences and recovery. The brain also begins to form links between emotions and experiences in this time and can often provide the answers for situations that have presented themselves in waking hours.
Without this time to rest therefore, the body is unable to go through these processes. This is what is responsible for the “brain fog” type feeling that you get when you haven’t slept for a prolonged period of time, and that causes you to experience things like lack of concentration, slow reaction times and an irritable temper.
Scientists have found that adult humans need around 7-8 hours per night, but how can we help promote healthy sleeping patterns and ensure that our bodies’ aren’t being compromised by poor sleeping habits? Well, the following tips may help!
1. Make sleeping a routine. Much like eating and drinking, our bodies get used to doing the same thing everyday and will expect it. By going to bed around the same time each day, and getting up around the same time each morning, your body clock will get used to this process and function accordingly.
2. Make sure that you’re bed and bedroom are comfortable, warm and dark enough for you to get enough sleep. There’s nothing worse than being woken in the middle of the night because you’re too cold!
3. Finally, try to cut out the caffeine before bed, and instead opt for a relaxing activity (try to make it non-tech related as the light from screens wakes up your brain).
Fatigue is preventable, all you have to do is listen to your body and take action, the rest will fall into place!