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How a lack of sleep can affect you:
- Emotional regulation- more difficult to control your emotions which may affect how you react to situations. Eg likely to become angry or sad quicker than usual in stressful situations.
- Concentration- Being awake for 17hrs is equivalent to a BAC of 0.05. Lapses in attention are more likely and more frequent.
- Short term memory- more difficult to retain information and remember what you’ve been doing/saying
- Appetite regulation- (chemicals affected) resulting in overeating or craving for caffeine or sugary foods in an attempt to artificially boost’ energy levels short-term.
- Decision making- less able to clearly think through pro’s and con’s and take all aspects into consideration.
How to improve the quality of your sleep:
- Ensure your room is cool, dark (close curtains, turn off electronics with lights, put phone on ‘do not disturb’) and quiet (if living/staying in a noisy area you can try earplugs, white noise machine, or relaxation music to block out sounds).
- Avoid screentime (TV, phone, laptop) within at least half an hour of bedtime.
- Avoid exercise within at least an hour of bedtime.
- Avoid going to bed on a full stomach.
- Allow for some “wind-down” time before going to sleep. Some examples- reading, meditation, your evening bathroom routine, listening to relaxing music, gentle stretching.