We all know that not getting enough sleep is not good for the body. Not only can it make you more susceptible to sickness, but it also weakens the immunity and is responsible for an array of other health issues. But when talking about the lack of sleep most of us have, we forget the emotional and mental impact it has on our lives.  

In a nutshell, you can consider yourself to be sleep deprived if you’re constantly sleeping less than 7 hours per night or if your sleep quality is severely disturbed.  If you’ve found yourself in this statement, you should start working on managing your sleep schedules. The Bellabeat NZ trackers are one way you can monitor and aim to improve your sleep.

Sleep Irritability

Picture of a lady sleeping dressed in white with white bedding. Bellabeat NZ can monitor sleep and aid improvements in sleep.

Lack of sleep can influence your mood completely. From being irritated, angry to downright rude, it can all be caused by the fact you didn’t get enough z’s last night. 

According to research conducted by Iowa State University, individuals who lose only a few hours of sleep at night are angrier and have a harder time controlling their temper than those who got enough sleep.  As a result, we’re not only more irritated, but our stress levels are significantly higher which can, again, cause sleep issues and insomnia. 

Despite typical tendencies to get somewhat used to irritating conditions – an uncomfortable shirt or a barking dog – sleep-restricted individuals actually showed a trend toward increased anger and distress, essentially reversing their ability to adapt to frustrating conditions over time. 

– Zlatan Krizan, professor of psychology at Iowa State University

Concentration Issues

Picture of a lady stretching, looking tired, while working on her laptop. Bellabeat NZ can monitor sleep and aid improvements in sleep.

When you’re tired, it’s not unusual to have a hard time getting a hang of something. This is especially prominent among students, those who work in a creative field, or some whose jobs have a higher level of responsibility. 

Although you may not think of it as a major concern, long-term sleep deprivation can cause memory issues as well as lower our work performance, but there are some tips that can help you survive those days and get stuff done. 

Take a short walk every once in a while

It will wake you up, stimulate your circulation and blood flow, making it easier to focus. The Bellabeat NZ devices, like the Leaf Urban, can count your steps and get that activity on record!

Take a few deep breaths

When concentrating so hard on finishing something, we sometimes forget about proper breathing and take shallow breaths. Take a deep breath and supply your brain with more oxygen. Meditation can be one way to get some deep breaths in – why not make this part of your normal daily practice?

Manage the distractions

You’re already distracted by the fact you’re tired, you don’t need everything else around you beeping and vibrating. Make sure to turn on your ‘Do Not Disturb’ feature and get on to work!

Drink water

Besides being tired, dehydration is one of the main reasons we having trouble concentrating. Drink at least a glass of water every hour and use that time to walk a bit around your office/library etc. If you’re having a hard time reminding yourself to drink water, Bellabeat have a smart bottle – called Spring – to help (coming soon to New Zealand)! It calculates your daily hydration needs and reminds you to drink more often! If you don’t have the Spring, no problem, you can enter it into your Bellabeat App alongside the other variables tracked in your Bellabeat NZ trackers (like this Onyx Chakra Bellabeat).

Higher Risk of Accidents

A woman working at her desk rubbing her temple, looking tired. Bellabeat NZ can monitor sleep and aid improvements in sleep.

It’s not only your concentration that’s reduced but also your perception and motor skills. Driving a car/bike or any other vehicle when sleep deprived is a real danger.

Approximately 20-25 hours of wakefulness produced performance decrements equivalent to those observed at a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.10%.

– Lamond N, Dawson D., Journal of Sleep Research

According to another study published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, individuals who drove after being awake for 17 hours or more performed equally or worse than those with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.05%. 

Their response speed was 50% slower and their accuracy was significantly poorer than those who got adequate amounts of sleep. For individuals who were awake for more than 19 hours, the performance was similar to those with a BAC of 0.1%. 

When taking these findings into account, you can see how sleep deprivation is not only feeling tired and yawning. It impacts all aspects of our lives and can cause great harm if we don’t manage it on time!

How to manage lack of sleep?

PIcture of a Bellabeat NZ Leaf Crystal wellness tracker worn as a bracelet on a woman's wrist
Bellabeat NZ Leaf Crystal. This can help you monitor and try to improve your sleep.

Although it may seem easy to just say ‘Get more sleep’, sometimes it’s just too complicated to do so. If you found yourself in these symptoms, try some of these steps and manage your tiredness. 

Yes, we know it’s sometimes just hard to have enough time for a proper night’s sleep. But, but we should focus on eliminating the habits that make us lose it in the first place.

  • Avoid using your phone for more than 10 minutes when already in bed
  • Try sleep meditations in the Bellabeat app
  • Try preparing your clothes and food in advance 

So even if you oversleep in the morning, you’ll at least have delicious and healthy food ready!

And if you’re still having trouble sleeping, you might want to learn more about the quality of your sleep. 

The Bellabeat NZ Wellness trackers are perfect for helping you get a good night’s sleep!

We have three trackers available: Leaf Chakra NZ (in Rose Quartz and Onyx), Leaf Urban NZ (in Silver and Rose Gold) and Leaf Crystal NZ (in Rose Gold and Silver). These trackers provide insights into your sleep quality, duration as well as your percentage of light and deep sleep. Combined with sleep meditations and overall wellness tracking, it gives you feedback on your body’s physical state, helping you create healthy habits that can make falling asleep feel like a breeze! 

This article was originally posted on the Bellabeat website and is reposted here, with minor edits, with authors permission.