Hack Your Sleep Deprivation

It’s incredible how long humans can be sleep deprived before they even know that they’re suffering. Often, due to the nature of sleep deprivation (reduced judgement and cognitive ability) we are too…dumb to even notice it until a loved one says, “You’re exhausted, get some sleep before you fall over.” In fact, an interesting study from Washington State University says that if you’re sleep deprived, your body is getting the sleep it needs – while it’s awake. ‘Lapses’ are tiny naps, generally about half a second long that you probably won’t even notice, unless you’re driving and almost drive off a cliff. To check if you’re suffering, go into a room on your own and try to hold a pencil in front of your eyes for 5 minutes, if the pencil drops, that was a lapse – get some sleep.

But how? Here are 3 simple tips –

  1. Force Yourself To Go To Bed

It’s far easier to make yourself go to bed than it is to make yourself wake up after 5 hours sleep. Give yourself something to look forward to, a good book, a glass of milk, even listening to your favourite music in bed is better than just being up for no good reason.

2. Or Don’t Go To Bed, Go To Seat

Tibetan Monks sleep sitting up. This enables them to face their shrines but it also has the added bonus of enabling them to wake up easier and reducing back pain.

Lean sleeping is about less bedding and ‘stuff’ in the bedroom. A purist lean sleeper won’t even use bedding, will fall asleep when tired and wake up when rested. The theory says that bed isn’t a sanctuary, simply a place to ‘get sleep done.’ A lean sleeper wakes up rested, not comfortable and so has no issue getting up and starting their day.

3. Meditate

Yeah, you knew it was coming. I’m huge on the benefits of mediation, it’s certainly changed my life. Meditation before bed is one of the best ways to get a good night’s sleep – it calms your mind, ‘banks’ your worries and stresses and acts in a similar way to alcohol – reprioritising your thoughts and allowing you to relax. Seriously, how many time do I have to tell you to meditate?

Sleep deprivation will shorten your life expectancy and reduce your ability to enjoy that shorter life. Awareness is the first step, stop and look in the mirror, check the work you’ve been doing over the last few days and ask someone who cares about you – “Am I tired?” Because if you’re sleep deprived then you’re not the right person to ask.