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Signs That Sleep Deprivation is Affecting Your Life

Signs That Sleep Deprivation is Affecting Your Life

Counting sheep not helping you? The bags under your eyes becoming designer? It’s about time you find out if sleep deprivation is affecting your life.

Any doctor will tell you that getting 7-9 hours of sleep a night is the best way to feel well-rested. Coincidentally, it’s also the right amount of sleep for keeping your body running healthily. So, what happens if you aren’t getting your eight hours in nightly? How is that affecting your body? And, more importantly, is it affecting your life?

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Below are a list of symptoms that could mean you are suffering from sleep deprivation and how it’s affecting your life in a BIG way.

1. You struggle with a normal workday

We all feel the lag when the clock hits three, but when you are sleep deprived, 11:30am feels like 11:30pm. If you find it hard to get through a 9-5 day without over-caffeinating or taking it easy, you are likely sleep deprived. Your body needs rest, so it’s finding it during the day instead of at night. This affects work performance and interpersonal relationships, which is a big part of your life.

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2. You drink more than one cup of coffee

Drinking too much caffeine can cause your body  to experience an overload of anxiety. When you’re tired, a stop at the coffee shop around the corner is necessary. If this is happening more than once a day, chances are your body is becoming hyperactive from too much caffeine exposure, which can cause your body to become oversensitive and over-think, which can then make work and home anxiety overbearing.

3. You get into more arguments/fights

Lack of sleep can make a person irritable. When you’re irritable, you’re more likely to get into an argument over something stupid. This irritability is usually prevented from feeling well-rested, but when you don’t have that rest your body feels off, causing a short temper and increased annoyance. If you find yourself arguing over vegetables with your spouse, or disagreeing with a coworker continually, it’s probably from not catching enough ZZZs the night before.

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4. You are constantly worried

As said in #2, over-caffeination causes anxiety. When you’re anxious, you worry. Sleep helps your body relax and makes each day feel like a do-over. When you don’t sleep, your body doesn’t have a “fresh day” to start off with. Therefore, your worries pile up and build into one big worry that makes your life feel terrible. All of this worry can lead to increased signs of aging (yikes!) and can lower your immune system. If you’re feeling this, you need sleep. Badly!

5. You gain weight

One of the worst parts of sleep deprivation is weight gain. Your body metabolizes food, using energy, and fuels your body for the day. Because your body has no energy from not sleeping the night before, it requires more food to get you through the day. In turn, this is going to show in the long run as you keep piling more and more calories into your body just to get you to the end of the work day. That burrito from Chipotle sounds really good when you’re exhausted at lunch time, but your waistline will not thank you a few weeks from now.

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6. You have a cold

Sleep is part of what keeps your immune system strong to fight off pathogens (those little buggers that get you sick). So, what happens when you don’t sleep? All of those germs infest in your body and cause colds, flus, and other nasty illnesses. Increased number of illnesses (like having three colds a year instead of one) can mean that you’re suffering from sleep deprivation – and using up all your sick days.

Featured photo credit: Health Com U via healthcomu.com

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Last Updated on March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

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Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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