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15 Minutes Less of Sleep Can Break Your Day

15 Minutes Less of Sleep Can Break Your Day

A highly busy person is seen as someone who works tirelessly, working both day and night for their goals. Some even strive for this, and stay up late working all hours, surviving on sheer determination, and a significant amount of coffee. This kind of behavior is destructive. Working without sleep, or working when you haven’t slept enough can have a great impact on your ability to focus, function, and your health overall.

In 1999, a plane, American Airlines 1420 crashed on the runway of Little Rock Airport, Arkansas.[1] There was nothing out of the ordinary about the flight, such cross country flights are routine, the kind every pilot in the world makes hundreds of times in their career. The plane was working perfectly. Yet the crashed killed 11 people, including the captain, and wounded over one hundred others. After some investigation, it was concluded that the pilots were too fatigued, and didn’t pay full attention the the situation around them, and failed to activate the spoiler system, a device in the plane to aid in landing.

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    Of course, not all of us are airline pilots, but think about it, how many times have you heard about fatal car accidents that were caused by a tired driver, or a lack of attention. It is extremely common. It has been estimated that 100,000 car accidents per year occur because the driver was fatigued.[2]

    Why do we sleep less now?

    As human beings, we have evolved to function around the day and night cycle. For centuries, low light conditions signalled to us that it was time to sleep. However, since the invention of electronic lighting, we have created environments where we can remain constantly in bright light conditions, whether it is in the middle of the night or the middle of the day. What’s worse, it has been discovered that the light emitting from an LED screen, the kind on our phones, tablets, computers, or TV actually slows down or even stops the melatonin , a hormone in the brain which enables us to sleep.[3] As a result, either through our own behaviour or our devices, we are getting less sleep than we need in order to function.

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      There have been countless studies into the effects of sleep deprivation, and almost all of them show that it is extremely damaging. Symptoms can range from difficulty focusing, to greater risks of heart disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure. By not sleeping as much as we need, we could be putting ourselves in considerable risk.[4]

      The dangers aren’t just health related. Being even slightly sleep deprived can have a huge and disastrous impact on your productivity. It has been shown that losing 90 minutes of sleep can reduce your alertness by as much as one-third. If you’re working in a high pressure and demanding environment, that can have a massive impact on your productivity.[5] Your mental state after four hours of sleep is similar to that of legal drunkenness.[6]

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        However, those who sleep the recommended eight hours per day find they remain focused throughout the day, with few, if any impairments to their mental functioning.

        A small adjustment can turn things around

        Make a small adjustment in your sleeping habit, as small as 15 or 30 minutes, can make a great difference on your energy level the following day.

        Try to gradually add 15 minutes of sleep to your nightly schedule every day. Continue with this until you feel fully rested the next morning. By then you’ll find out exactly how much sleep you need to feel energetic. When you realize the time you need to sleep to gain sufficient energy, stick to that time.

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        There are a number of things you can do to improve your sleeping. Check out this article if you want to sleep better: 15 Ways to Sleep Better, and Wake up Refreshed

        You might find yourself surprised about how much of an impact a tiny adjustment to your sleep pattern can have. Retaining a healthy sleeping pattern will help keep you alert, highly functioning, and productive throughout the day.

        Featured photo credit: pixabay via pixabay.com

        Reference

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        Samantha Aloysius

        Samantha is an everyday health expert with a background in International Public Health and Psychology and has experience in diabetes care counselling.

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        Last Updated on May 21, 2020

        The Top Fad Diets That Are Actually Worth the Hype

        The Top Fad Diets That Are Actually Worth the Hype

        You have probably seen enough fad diets to last a lifetime. Many have become popular overnight and left just as quickly.

        Some fad diets, though, have actually passed the test of time and are making some headway in the nutritional world.

        Outlined below are four fad diets that are actually beneficial for your health and wellness. Read on to find out why you should consider adopting one (or more) of these healthy eating styles today.

        An important concept you should keep in mind is to disregard the term “diet” as it is typically used. The word diet implies the idea of restriction and removal. Instead, think of the word diet in this context as a healthy eating lifestyle.

        Let’s take a look at some of these healthy eating lifestyles that have been categorized, by no fault of their own, as fad diets.

        1. The Paleo Diet

        The paleo diet, or ancestral eating, is simply eating the way your paleolithic ancestors would have up to 10,000 years ago, or when the agriculture age began.

        The advantage now is you don’t have to do this in a loin cloth, unless you want to… The focus of this diet is proteins, vegetables, some fruits, nuts and seeds and some healthy fats.

        In the paleo diet, there aren’t any grains, starchy carbohydrates, sugars, or dairy.

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        How Your Health Can Change With Paleo

        The paleo diet is a good way to keep your blood sugar under control. It can also have a positive effect on type 2 diabetes, and can lower your risk of cardiovascular disease.

        With this healthy eating lifestyle, people have also achieved good weight loss results and boast improved energy levels. [1]

        It’s not just what’s in the paleo diet that’s important, it’s what’s NOT in it. There aren’t any processed and manufactured foods, junk foods, artificial ingredients or chemical additives.

        Paleo is a way of eating that gets you more in tune with your body and, therefore, can provide a lot of benefits.

        2. Whole30

        The Whole30 diet is relatively new and owes its popularity to social media and the #Whole30 Instagram hashtag that allowed people to share and broadcast their success with the diet.

        With Whole30 you are taking 30 days and focusing on nutritious whole foods such as meats, nuts and seeds, seafood, eggs, vegetables, and fruits.

        During the month you are eliminating:

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        • sugar
        • alcohol
        • legumes
        • grains
        • dairy
        • soy

        Whole30 is similar to paleo, but it goes a bit further eliminating sweeteners such as honey or maple syrup.

        At the end of the 30 days, you strategically reintroduce those eliminated foods back into your diet to discover any possibility of health consequences from them or even potential food allergies.

        Finding Out How Food Impacts You

        Most people eat the same things so often and may not realize that certain foods are causing health consequences, as they’ve become accustomed to feeling lethargic and run down.

        With Whole30 you get the chance to see how these foods may have a negative impact on your body. You’ll also reset your taste buds, which may have become desensitized from processed and artificial “foods” and excess salt.

        This diet will help you regain your love of food… in a healthy way!

        3. The Mediterranean Diet

        The Mediterranean diet has been at the top of the list as a very effective diet for some time now.

        For people in countries like Italy or Greece, this has simply been a normal way of life–along with higher activity levels, sunlight exposure, proximity to water, and lower stress.

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        With the Mediterranean diet, the focus is on heart-healthy foods. It looks like this:

        • Fruits & vegetables
        • Whole grains
        • Legumes & nuts
        • Replacing butter with olive oil
        • Using herbs and spices instead of salt
        • Eating fish and poultry at least twice a week
        • Moderate amounts of red wine

        Help Your Heart & Overall Health With A Mediterranean Diet

        Information from the Mayo Clinic shows that this diet reduces heart disease and lowers your “bad” LDL cholesterol. Studies involving 1.5 million people demonstrated that the Mediterranean diet was associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular mortality, along with overall mortality. [2]

        With all these benefits, this is definitely a “fad diet” that’s worth the hype.

        4. The Alkaline Diet

        The alkaline diet is about changing the foods you eat so that you put your body into an alkaline state and out of an acidic state. When your body is too far on the acidic side it can result in a condition called acidosis. This can lead to issues in your body such as upset stomach, breathing difficulties, headaches, weakness and, fatigue. In extreme cases, it can result in shock, coma, or death.

        The goal is to get your body in a more alkaline state, which results in overall better health. The focus is on including alkaline boosting foods such as fruits, nuts, vegetables, and legumes. You’re also wanting to reduce acidic foods such as low quality beef and poultry, dairy, eggs, grains, and alcohol.

        Pros & Cons With The Alkaline Diet

        The benefits that come from this way of eating is that reduction in inferior quality foods, processed items and alcohol. You may feel improved energy levels, mental clarity and even better joint health.

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        People also report weight loss but again this may come from the reduction in calories from junk and processed foods but this is not a bad thing at all.

        One con with this diet is that the pH value of the food you eat might not have an impact on blood pH, as your body is able to balance this pretty well on a day-to-day basis.

        Follow These Fads for Better Health and Wellness

        There can be a danger in categorizing things as a fad diet because fads come and go. People are always looking for the next big thing or a quick fix.

        The four examples above buck that status quo. These diets, though mainstream, actually can give you benefits and aren’t going to go away anytime soon because they work.

        What makes these diets special is that they boast real whole foods and the eliminate processed and manufactured junk.

        The Big Takeaway:

        Whatever way you choose to eat, the focus needs to be on whole unprocessed foods. Look for the cleanest, local and most natural things you can find for the benefit of your overall health and wellness. Your body and mind will thank you.

        Featured photo credit: Dan Gold via unsplash.com

        Reference

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