Sleep deprivation and what to do about it

Sleep deprivation and what to do about it

Is your body yelling out for more shut-eye? If you’re tired, grumpy and under-performing at work, it’s time to start making your bedtime as important as your gym-time.

Our society doesn’t value good sleep as much as ‘getting the most out of each day’. And perhaps our open-24-hours-a-day culture doesn't help.

But regular lack of sleep (less than 7 hours) is a big issue. It puts you at risk of serious conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, obesity and cancer. Your life expectancy is also reduced.

How can I improve my sleep?

1. Avoid gadgets in bed.

Using technology before bed can cause sleep deprivation, according to a recent study.  Screens emit blue light, which suppresses the production of sleep-inducing melatonin. Stopping exposure 2 hours before bedtime is recommended to improve sleep quality.

2. Avoid caffeine after 2pm.

Caffeine stays in your body for 8 hours, so avoid those afternoon cappuccinos. Milk and Brazil nuts might be a good sleep-inducing alternative.

3. Exercise (but not within 4 hours of bed).

Working out (especially cardio) improves sleep length and quality. But it takes 4 hours for the body to cool down, and only then will it start to release melatonin.

4. Stick to a sleep schedule.

Go to bed at the same time each night and get up at the same time each morning. Including weekends. This one change alone can make a huge difference to your sleep.

5. Use a sleep app.

Ok, so we're talking gadgets, but this might help. Both Android and iPhone users have apps which monitor sleep pattern. Features include lulling you to sleep, bedtime stories, showing when you dropped off and waking you when you’re coming into shallow sleep.

Good sleep means better gym results. Respect it!



The Author

Kath Webb

Kath is a contributing writer for PayasUgym. Football, running, weight training, yoga and walking are her forte, along with cooking tasty, nutritious food - with a regular batch of cake chucked in.


Roger B.
21 January 2015

Roger B.

I am conditioned to have to read a book before bedtime. I have tried bedtime DVDs (not good) but the article is right - it keeps me awake.Back to the printed page.

Emma C.
19 January 2015

Emma C.

No technology before bed for me. I realised that taking an ipad to bed would mean I take longer to get to sleep, when I actually get off the thing. Read a book and I'm dozing off within 10 minutes.

Sarah L.
16 January 2015

Sarah L.

caffeine has an 8 hour effect? Very interesting! I will move the coffee to the morning!

Matthew C.
13 January 2015

Matthew C.

I would definitely agree with setting a sleep schedule. i go to bed at 10:35 every night, after the news, read for half an hour then fall asleep at 11, then wake up at 6:30 like clockwork. Never had a problem and only seem to be tired if I try to change this.

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