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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 July 10, 2020

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

Boundaries are limits

—they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

1. Self-Awareness Comes First

Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

  • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
  • When do you feel disrespected?
  • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
  • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
  • When do you want to be alone?
  • How much space do you need?

You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

2. Clear Communication Is Essential

Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

Sample language:

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  • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
  • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
  • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
  • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
  • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
  • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
  • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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Final Thoughts

Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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