Sleep Deprivation; What Can You Do?
Sleep Deprivation; What can you do?
I am a ICU nurse and work night shift. Up until recently my body has been able to handle the demands of night shift and on my days off I go right back to a regular schedule. Well let me tell you, I just worked 4 shifts this week and had approximately 16 hours of sleep total on my time off. I do all the necessary things; dark room, warm decaf tea, white noise, keep the room cold, etc. Regardless I had the worst insomnia ever!
Lets talk about sleep deprivation and what it does to your body.
Symptoms of Sleep Deprivation
- Inability to concentrate
- Mood swings
- slurred speech
- forgetfulness or even amnesic event
How does sleep deprivation affect your body?
- It weakens your immune system
- Increases heart disease
- Increases insulin production
- causes “foggy” brain
- sex drive
- chronic fatigue syndrome
What do you do?
- sleeping aids (these do not work for me)
- Cognitive behavior therapy
- Guided imagery (induced dreaming)
- Acupressure ( I will share more on this below)
- Massage therapy
- Do not go to bed until your body feels sleepy and is relaxed
- DO NOT take any electronics to the bedroom. LEAVE THE IPHONE ALONE
- Avoid caffeine
- Do not work out just prior to laying down.
What works for me…
I can say right off, sleeping pills do nothing for me. I can take two and still be up. However, I might not be coherent but I am also not able to sleep. I have started using a massage roller. I will link a picture here. It sounds kind of kooky but just rolling around on this foam bolster provides a deep massage and has really helped. I also have tried Yoga. I am not talking about the hard stuff but more of gentle stretching and holding poses for several minutes. There are several poses designed to just do that, RELAX BEFORE BED. I will link a great blog here on those poses. My favorite is legs up the wall. Lastly, I have learned to NOT eat a large meal before bed. I get off work at 7:15 am. I attempted to have my breakfast at work around 5:00 A.M., therefore digestion is not an issue.
Sleep deprivation is not good for you. It can lead to health and mental issues. Find something that works for you and make that your everyday routine.