How often have you felt depressed and anxious? Do you really find it difficult to concentrate? Has it been that you are always feeling irritable? Forget about pills and therapies to deal with such problems, it might just be the case that you are not getting enough sleep at night. It happens with most of us. Even a single night’s sleep results in poor concentration, poor performance at work and irritable mood the next morning. Well, if it’s a temporary situation like late night work or not getting sufficient time to sleep properly in the night, it should not be a matter of concern but consistent insomnia or sleep deprivation occurs three or more times in a week it can eventually take serious toll on your mental and physical health.
The results of poor sleep
How well we sleep plays a major role in our mental health. In order for our central nervous system to work properly, sleep in important. It during sleep our neural pathways in the brain are established. Lack of sleep can seriously impact both short-term and long-term memory. According to researchers the nerves that form our memories get strengthened during sleep. This means that without proper sleep we may find difficult to learn new things and get forgetful.
Improper sleep can affect our emotions as well. The amygdala—an emotional center of the brain gets about 60% more active in people who lack proper sleep as compared to them who get proper sleep, which in turn means that when you are deprived of sleep, you have significantly less control over your emotional responses.
It has also been noticed that people who lacks proper sleep are more likely to get angry, become depressed and have problems managing stress. Chronic cases of sleep deprivation leads to conditions of hallucinations and can further lead to maniac conditions. It can also impair judgment, distort thinking and slow down thinking power.
Looking from the physical aspects of sleep deprivation, lack of sleep can cause many serious health hazards. Risk of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, immune disorders, and other illnesses increases without good sleep. In addition to all these, lack of proper rest increases the production of stress hormone cortisol, which not only makes us more stressed out but is also responsible for weight gain.
The two main behavioral and psychological problems that are causes due to sleep disruptions are:
- The stress hormone levels increase and contribute to feelings of anxiety.
- The brain’s ability to process emotion and react to emotional stimuli in a proper manner is disrupted.
What causes sleep disorders?
The reasons of sleep disorder could be many, including sleeping habits, lifestyle choices and also medical conditions. Some of these conditions can be termed as minor and self-care can treat them whereas others may need medical interventions. These causes may be because of aging, too much stimulation before bedtime such as watching television and playing video games, consuming too much of caffeine, noise disturbances, uncomfortable bedroom, or the feeling of excitement.
Lack of exposure to sunlight, too much sleeping during the day time, frequent urination, pain, jet lag, and medications can also lead to difficulty in sleeping. For many of us stress, tensions, worries, work schedules and other similar factors can also be the cause of lack of sleep. For other, sleep deprivation or insomnia may be because of disorders alike sleep apnea, and restless legs syndrome, says Dietitian Sheela Seharawat. She is a successful entrepreneur and founder & chief mentor of Diet Clinic Health Care Pvt Ltd http://www.dietclinic.co.in
Foods to help sleep well
When sleep disorders starts troubling you, certain foods might do the trick. Here are some best foods that will help you fight sleep disorders and get better sleep every night.
- Warm milk: milk works as a great supporter of sleep. Milk contains tryptophan, an amino acid with sedative effects and calcium that helps the brain to absorb tryptophan. Lack of calcium has also been related to lack of proper sleep and milk is rich in calcium.
- Honey: the natural sugars of honey raises insulin levels and allow tryptophan to enter the brain which releases chemicals that relaxes the body and aids better sleep.
- Nuts: are a rich source of healthy fats and specially walnuts and almonds contain melatonin, a hormone responsible for the control of sleep –wake cycle. Eating nuts increases the levels of these hormones in the blood and helps sleep well.
- Fruits: certain fruits like kiwis, cherries, berries, prunes, raisins, bananas, oranges, pineapple and plums contain melatonin that helps fall asleep faster and wake up less often during the night. These fruits are also rich in anti-oxidants that have similar effects to counteract the oxidative stress caused by a sleep disorder.
- Legumes: high levels of B vitamins in legume like peas and lentils helps calming down the nervous system and thereby aiding good sleep.
About MS. SHEELA SEHARAWAT
(PG –Dietetics and Hospital Food Service (DHFS))
She is practicing since 2005 as a registered dietician under IDA, Sheela Seharawat is the founding member and chief mentor of Diet Clinic, operating around 35 outlets successfully all over the country.
A motivational speaker, an expert dietician and a strong believer of healthy and motivated living, she has transformed the lives of many through her breakthrough diets and inspiration on living a healthy life. Another feather is added to the name of Diet Clinic Health Care as the esteemed magazine and organization “Silicon India Start Up City” has recognized and awarded “Diet Clinic” in their annual listing of “10 Best Startups in Fitness, 2017”.
She started her career in the Indian Army hospital as a dietitian and her journey in health and fitness starts from here and still she is serving the people and believe to offer the best guidance on health and wellness.
Sheela always says – ‘Let Your Diet Work for You’. She aims to spread the message of wellness and the art of dieting through her clinics across various parts of the globe. Ms. Sheela Seharawat dedication work towards spreading healthy lifestyle awareness among the mass is commendable and she keeps on providing relentless services to fitness and health relevantly.
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