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The devil who makes you sleepy all day! What is “junk sleep”?



Have you ever had such an experience? After sleeping for 8 hours, I still feel tired and groggy after waking up, as if I didn’t sleep at all. Be careful, this could be a sign of “junk sleep” at your door!

“Junk sleep” means that the sleep time is not enough or the quality is not good enough to nourish the brain and body. It is similar to junk food – eating super sweet cakes and fried chicken once in a while may not affect it, but if you just eat it every night Eating potato chips deprives your body of key nutrients for growth and strength.

The Huffington Post reported that the #junk sleep hashtag had more than 36 million views on TikTok, indicating that many people have similar problems. But when you first wake up feeling tired, it’s a given. The key question is, what are the signs that burnout is actually sleep deprivation, and how can it be improved, both environmental and behavioral?

There are three situations, which represent experience of junk sleep

1. Waking up frequently, wondering if you are falling asleep: If you wake up after falling asleep, and you are not sure if you are falling asleep, it is usually accompanied by restlessness, drowsiness, and irritability. Kristen Casey, an American clinical psychologist and insomnia expert, pointed out that this sleep pattern not only fails to help restore body functions, but also hinders the physical and mental functioning of the next day.

2. Not feeling well emotionally, mentally, or physically: This means you are struggling. Emotionally, you may feel extremely anxious, depressed, forgetful, easily distracted, and irritable. In the long term, this can have gradual effects on the body, such as: getting cold easily, developing chronic pain, digestive and cardiovascular problems, or feeling very tired.

Another sign that is less commonly heard is that eating habits can also be altered by lack of sleep—eating more than usual. American sleep expert Nicole Eichelberger (Nicole Eichelberger) explained that even if there is only one bad night’s sleep, the human body will increase the secretion of ghrelin, commonly known as the “hunger hormone”.

3. Do not believe in the importance of sleep from the bottom of your heart: Cayce pointed out that thoughts can affect how people feel, behave and experience the world of sleep. If you believe that sleep is not important, you may not make sleep a priority or care about your sleep status.

This does not necessarily refer to the extreme “I hate sleeping, sleep is not important”, but something like “retaliatory bedtime procrastination”. When people always procrastinate before going to bed, it is difficult to develop good sleep hygiene, such as regular bedtime and Don’t touch your phone when you get up and go to bed.

What causes junk sleep? How to beat it?

Environmental aspects: Kathy lists noises that prevent deep sleep, such as children waking up, pets, traffic, partner snoring, roommates watching TV, etc.; other environmental factors are people’s senses, such as temperature is too hot or too cold, bed Uncomfortable pads, body aches, colds, too bright light, etc.

“Emotions” can also lead to “junk sleep,” Eichelberg added. Negative emotions such as low self-esteem, guilt, anger, and hopelessness can make people feel anxious or depressed, and it is often difficult to sleep at this time.

The solution: Adjust what you can to make sure your room is conducive to a good night’s sleep. Darkness, coolness, quietness, and comfort are necessary conditions. You can buy a better mattress, turn on the air conditioner to cool down, install blackout curtains, eat enough to avoid waking up in the middle of the night, and wear earplugs; into other rooms.

Behavior: First of all, engaging in drinking, strenuous exercise, eating big meals, etc. 3 hours before going to bed will cause “junk sleep”. Studies have pointed out that drinking too much alcohol will lead to a decline in sleep quality by nearly 40%. In addition to alcohol, drugs such as opioids and antidepressants can sometimes increase the frequency of nightmares.

Second, swiping on mobile phones and watching movies before going to bed not only makes sleep more disturbed, but also hinders falling asleep and maintaining a long-term sound sleep. Because the blue light from the LED screen of electronic equipment can make the brain mistakenly think it is daytime, so even when it is time to sleep, you still don’t feel tired.

Solution: Behavioral variables are better controlled than the environment, try to eliminate things that significantly reduce sleep quality and time. If it is difficult to achieve it in one step, you can patiently improve gradually, such as drinking decaf drinks before going to bed; after watching TV, set aside some time to read before going to bed, etc.

Or it is best not to use electronic devices 1 hour before going to bed, but it is difficult for people to do so. Phil Lawlor, a sleep expert at the British mattress company Dormeo, suggests that you can turn your phone to night mode or a dark theme, so that it is convenient. It can reduce blue light and brightness; at the same time, restrain yourself from not using your mobile phone for 10 minutes before going to bed, increase by 10 minutes each time, and gradually extend to 1 hour.

When you find that you do have “junk sleep” troubles, but the above-mentioned environmental and behavioral solutions cannot relieve the discomfort, please remember to seek professional medical help.

  • ‘Junk Sleep’: When You Feel Tired Even After A Full Night’s Rest
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