All the secrets about sleep deprivation

Published on 26 September, 2019

All the secrets about sleep deprivation

Nothing can ruin your day more than a bad night’s sleep. Whether you sleep poorly or suffer from sleep deprivation, sleep deprivation is a disabling problem that can even be dangerous!

How much sleep do we need?

The amount of sleep our bodies need varies greatly with age. For a normal, healthy adult, it is recommended to sleep between 7 and 9 hours. However, each person is different, and can function well with a little more or less sleep than the recommended age range. The start of the school year marks a change of pace. As a result, parents and children often go to bed later and get up earlier to adjust to the new routine, which can be disastrous if we don’t get enough quality sleep.

How do we know if we are sleep deprived?

If we feel good when we wake up, even if we haven’t slept much, how will we know if our body needs more sleep? It is sometimes difficult to realize that problems can occur even after a night or two of sleep deprivation. Continued deprivation can have serious health consequences.

Sleep deprivation can lead to the following symptoms: yawning, difficulty staying awake or alert, difficulty concentrating, irritability, and can also interfere with our ability to properly process sensory information. Continued lack of sleep can affect our quality of life, negatively impact our work or school performance, and even lead to obesity. In addition, lack of sleep is also the cause of an increasing number of traffic accidents as well as other accidents. Therefore, this problem is a matter of public safety.

How to avoid sleep deprivation?

The first steps to reducing sleep deprivation and getting back to the restorative levels your body needs are to make sleep a priority, and to adopt healthy sleep habits. Thus, limiting exposure to blue light emitted by electronic devices during the hour before bedtime is already an important first step in the right direction. In fact, blue light affects our production of melatonin, the “natural sleep chemical” produced by our body. This blue light disrupts the natural circadian rhythm, which causes problems with falling asleep. Essential oils such as clary sage, lavender and chamomile can also help reduce stress, and promote sleep.

In addition, chamomile tea is great in the cooler months to help you relax before bed, but can be too hot in the summer months unless you sleep in a very cold, air-conditioned room. Ideally, the temperature of the room should be between 16 and 18°C. Melatonin is also available in tablet or capsule form, and there are even doses for children.

When should I see a doctor?

When you’ve tried everything else, and you’re spending more time looking at the ceiling than sleeping, it may be time to see your general practitioner. Your doctor can provide helpful advice and even prescribe prescription medications that can help you get the sleep your body needs. Take the time to focus on healthy sleep habits – your body will thank you.

Do not hesitate to consult the Doctena website to check if your GP offers online booking of appointments on our platform.

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PS: Doctena allows you to make free online appointments with thousands of doctors in Germany, Austria, Belgium, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Switzerland.

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