We all need sleep to survive, but did you know sleep deprivation can have a negative impact on your social life?
Sleep helps rejuvenate our minds and bodies, but without enough of it, we can find ourselves feeling tired and irritable. Not only this, but research has shown that sleep deprivation can even lead to us becoming socially disconnected.
The less sleep we get, the less likely we are to want to interact with others. When we haven’t had a chance to fully recharge our batteries, socialising can feel like a drain on our limited energy supply.
What’s more, if you’re feeling exhausted and grumpy there’s a good chance you won’t be the first choice of companion for your well-rested peers.
If you’re one of the many whose lack of sleep is affecting their social life our tips will help you get back to bed and out to play.
Create a healthy bedtime practice
Routine is queen when it comes to getting a good night’s sleep and establishing a regular bedtime practice is a great place to start.
As children, we all had bedtime rituals, regulated by our parents, like having a bath and being read a story. But when we get older and our lives get more hectic these practices fall by the wayside.
It’s time to remember the carefree sleep of your youth and get into the habit of winding down before bedtime. While our first thought might be to climb straight under the duvet, try some gentle bedtime yoga or meditation, take a warm bath or read a chapter of that book you’ve been meaning to finish instead.
It may not always be possible to go to bed at the same time every day but if you follow your wind-down routine you’re bound to end up in the land of nod in no time.
Sleep in the City
City life is great but not always conducive for a good night’s sleep.
Apart from the great nightlife, there’s also plenty of noise and light pollution that can be particularly troublesome for those already suffering from insomnia.
If you’re a particularly light sleeper, investing in blackout blinds or an eye mask will help you get to sleep and stay there.
If you struggle to get out of bed on dark mornings, another great tip (especially as the winter months close in) is to invest in a daylight alarm to help regulate your body clock.
If you live on a busy road, block out the noise with some soft ear plugs or play relaxing sounds to counteract the sirens and city sounds.
Simple things such as ensuring your bed is made before you climb into it and clearing away all electrical devices will help create a relaxing and inviting space in which to rest.
Not only is exercise great for keeping in shape, but it also has benefits when it comes to sleep. If you’re stuck for ideas on how to deal with insomnia, increasing your physical activity is one way to get some quality shut-eye and prevent sleep deprivation.
Finding the time to exercise may sound easier said than done, but thinking outside the box can help ensure you have fun, too.
Exercise is a great way to socialise, so not only will it help you sleep better, but it can help tackle the risks to your social life that come with sleep deprivation. You could join a gym class and make new friends, or take your mates along to the gym with you – a little gentle competition to spur you on will soon tire you out.
Insomnia can be infuriating, but instead of lying in bed worrying about it, head to a 24-hour gym instead. The endorphins you produce will help reduce your stress levels and you may even get chatting to other gym-goers that are experiencing the same problem as you.
Reduce your caffeine intake
It sounds pretty simple, but reducing your caffeine intake can help you sleep much better.
When you’re struggling with sleep deprivation, the coffee machine may start winking at you, but think twice before you reach for that cappuccino.
If you’re trying to resist the anti-social perils of sleep deprivation by heading out with friends, order wisely and be mindful that you’ll soon want to get to bed.
Turn the phone off, turn down the glare
Being more aware of how much you use your phone can also help you sleep better. Although the aim of social media is to get people socialising, all too often we get drawn into mindless scrolling which isn’t beneficial for our energy levels or our social lives.
Research shows that the blue glare from our phone screens can reduce melatonin, which in turn makes it harder to fall to sleep. Putting some time between your phone activity and going to bed can increase your chances of getting off to sleep.
Get to know your work colleagues
We often find ourselves wanting to head straight home after a long day at work, but if you’re hoping to unwind before bedtime, why not see if your colleagues fancy a post-work drink or a casual dinner?
Creating friendships can make work a nicer place to be and will help keep you socially active.
Plus, if you’re happier in your job, you may have less keeping you awake at night.
Use Loose Ends
Although getting regular sleep at the same time every night is the best for our bodies, this isn’t always possible for everyone.
In a city that never sleeps, working shifts is essential for some. Not only does shift work wreak havoc on your sleeping pattern but the antisocial hours are just that – antisocial.
If you’re struggling to find a time to see your friends because of your working schedule, use Loose Ends to make plans with other night owl friends or who work hours to you.
While it may be tempting to lock yourself away after a long day at work, making a conscious effort to socialise will help prevent loneliness and is better than lying awake waiting for your alarm clock to go off again.
Plus, socialising will help you feel ready for bed, whatever time you end up getting there.
Lying awake at night can be incredibly stressful especially when there’s a busy day of work ahead. If you find yourself staring at the ceiling fruitlessly counting sheep try following our tips and see if they help you drift off.
- Create a relaxing routine to help you drift off
- Set the scene ensuring your room is free of distractions from light and sound
- Get some endorphins with regular exercise
- Put down the coffee especially after 3pm
- Leave your phone out of the bedroom or at least avoid looking at it an hour before bed
- Get to know your colleagues out of the office
- Use Loose Ends to see who else is about in the wee hours