There are some surprising and shocking effects from sleep deprivation that will make you think twice about cutting corners on your sleep.
1… doctors and medical professions working very long shifts without proper rest and sleep are more likely and do make some terrible mistakes that sometimes cost lives. This is through no fault of their own but nevertheless it happens. Not enough young people coming through education want to embark on the long arduous training to become a medical professional and the further up the scale they are the more serious consequences their mistakes can have.
2…. you are far more likely to be involved or worse cause a serious Road traffic collision if you have had less than 6 or 7 hours sleep. If you suffer from insomnia, then it is a good idea to reconsider your position with driving as being totally aware and alert to your surroundings is essential for your own safety and the safety of others on the roads. Driving whilst too tired can be as dangerous and have similar detrimental effects as driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Anything that hampers your senses and perception of danger are potentially lethal.. ask yourself, would you use a gun if you were not 100% firing on all cylinders? no? why drive a car like it then ? what’s the difference?
3: …. a regular lack of sleep can effect our ability to solve problems. Sleep deprivation can cause confusion and brain fog. which causes the brain to “misfire” and we cannot focus properly on what we are doing. We all find that it is better to find resolutions and inspiration for problem solving after a good nights sleep.
4… stress is magnified ten fold by a lack of sleep. It’s far easier to perceive stressful situations in a relaxed way if we are well rested. If we are tired, we generally have a far more emotional reaction to most situations that don’t really need it. If we have had a decent amount of rest and sleep then the thought processes are far more logical and information is processed by the brain in the correct order. We are far more likely to have a more appropriate emotional response to a situation when sleep has been in plentiful supply. The mind and body need time to recharge our energy and for the brain to process all the things we have done that day or since you last slept, so the longer we leave it in between catching some beauty sleep, the more likely we are to suffer the physical symptoms and conditions associated with stress and lack of sleep.
5: …. depression and anxiety are generally worsens by sleep deprivation. Post partum depression is generally associated with hormone changes in the body and the lack of sleep that comes with new parenthood. If we are worried about something then it will be perceived by the tired mind to be impossible and far worse than it actually is. This would cause us to respond in a way that may not be to our advantage or even safe. Insomnia, anxiety and depression are all connected and fuel one another. Depression can be made far more serious with a a lack of good quality sleep as low mood is a direct result of sleep issues. The is such a thing as “good” and “bad” sleep also. Interrupted sleep is not as effective as sleeping sounding uninterrupted for a good few hours. The brain goes through a process of changing brain waves as we become tired and fall asleep. This process can take from an hour to 90 mins all told.
6: ….. sleep shortage can age us quicker too. Lack of sleep can give our skin a grey paler to it and the rejuvenation of skin cells doesn’t happen as often as it should. It causes hormone imbalance and chemistry changes within the mind and body that alter the condition of our skin. The appearance of fine lines and wrinkles will have an earlier onset if we do not sleep for more than 6 hours a night.
7…. decreased bone density and the body’s ability to heal bones
8…. increases the risk of suffering a stroke
9…. higher risk of obesity. lack of chance for the body and mind to catch up means that we are more likely to suffer conditions such as hormone changes and changes in behaviour such as lower energy and higher calorie intake.
10….. increased risk of heart attack.
11…. colorectal polyps which lead to cancer
12…. premature death
so you see sleep is more important than we give it credit for. Everyone loves a good sleep. We feel much better in general. It is especially essential in children and young animals for brain development. Many mental health conditions are caused or made worse through lack of sleep.
The greatest weapon we all have against the current global pandemic and how it is changing our lives, in some ways forever, is a positive mind set. Mental health is so important because if you don’t look after your mental health, it can have a profound effect on how your life pans out.
STRESS…THE SILENT KILLER
Stress is something society has come to thrive on. We are currently living in a one of the most stressful situations since WW2. We are now all learning to deal with the new normal. Social distancing making us realise how much we all need each other and appreciate those that love and care for us, and indeed who those people are. But we had a global pandemic that is permanent and we all became addicted to it, long before Covid 19, STRESS. It has so many side effects and is one of the biggest killers ever. In today’s society and especially at the current time, stress is unavoidable. We can manage it as best we can though, in fact it is essential to manage it.
In a world full of adrenaline junkies it has become a life saver, quite literally, to learn to relax and preferably meditate. Learning to relax properly and take care of your mind will also go a long way to take care of your physical health also. If you are as healthy as possible in mind and body then you can tackle pretty much whatever life decide to throw at you. So why do we worry so much ? I don’t know about you but if there’s nothing to really worry about then we tend to find something. The less we have going on, the little things that don’t really matter take on a much bigger significance. We become addicted to worry because society is so fast paced nowadays that when we stop it doesn’t feel right. For some reason we start to feel guilty because we have stopped rushing around . We should be doing something. Executive stress is very real, because it is very true that the more you have , the more you have to lose when things go south. If you are at the top so to speak you have further to fall. This is why I have come to enjoy a much simpler life than I used to have. Some people work to live and others live to work. Either way if you are happy it doesn’t matter, neither does it matter what others think of you for doing it. I have come to understand that the richest life is a happy one, and I don’t mean materially rich. I thought that the word “rich” meant monetary wealth. If we talk about a person being rich, we quite often imagine someone such as Richard Branson and the like. They are wealthy, rich is when your life is rich with people you love and that being around them makes you feel your life is worth something. It has taken me til the age 50 to find that life but I can now say I am rich. Am I wealthy, not a chance, I have very little compared to some and I have a lot more than some people. The greatest advantage I have now is having learned to relax and meditate as a brilliant weapon against stress.
My grandmother Irene, Said something to me when I was about 12 and was living with her at the time, “never walk the garden path by moonlight ” . I couldn’t sleep and I wandered downstairs to talk to her. My sister and I were going through a very difficult time during our parents divorce. “Krama vs Krama ” had nothing on these two. We were staying with my grandparents on the estate in Rye. When I walked into their living room, she was sitting on the floor next to the fire where she always sat. When I told her I couldn’t sleep she asked what I was thinking about and then said “never walk the garden path by moonlight ” when I asked why, she smiled and said ” because you will trip over the rake” and laughed. Then she explained that if you think about things when you are tired at night, your body is at it’s lowest and your brain needs time where your body rests and the mind can recharge itself. Nothing looks or seems the same at night when the moon shines on it. If you look at the garden path in the moonlight, some things are hidden, these things are visible during the day. So if you walk down the path by moonlight you may trip over something you would have noticed in the daylight. So if you can’t sleep because you are worried about something , don’t look at your problems by moonlight , wait til the morning because they will look completely different in the sunlight ………
LIFE IS JUST A JOURNEY HOME …
Life is just a long journey home , we are always looking for “home”. What is “home”? the roof over your head? , I used to think so and for years I was looking for a place to call home. I was looking in all the wrong places. Until I found it in the most unlikely people. Yes people. On our journey we start to follow the wrong path and find ourselves in a dark room with no visible way out. There is always a way out! But when you are there it can seem like there is only one way out….it’s so hard to see anymore or even one way out. When you calm the mind you would be surprised at the number of paths there are out of that horrible dark room. Then you see the warmth, safely and love you need to call it “home” in the eyes of the most unlikely people. Always the souls you never imagined would offer you these things. It’s all about the right connection with those around you and there are those that we meet on our journey that become “home” to us…..