sleep deprivationInjuries happen to us all, even when we take as much care as we possibly can. However, when someone is suffering from sleep deprivation, they are going to happen a lot more frequently and be much harder to recover from. Sleep is one of the most important things you can prioritize to be as happy, healthy and fit as you can.

Sleep Deprivation and Risky Decisions

People who haven’t slept well are going to have a much harder time making good decisions. They are more likely to think something will go well when they haven’t thought through all of the possible risks of a situation. When it comes to exercise, that makes it much more likely that you’ll get injured. You might decide to take on more weight than you can handle or without a spotter, or perhaps continue to exercise despite acute pain, or if you’re an athlete, take a risk while engaged in your sport that you normally wouldn’t.

Sleep Deprivation Increases Likelihood of Infections

The human body does most of its work to help itself heal from injuries, diseases, and infections while it is unconscious. When you don’t sleep well, you are going to have a much harder time fighting off diseases and infections that might come your way, making you feel a lot worse in general.

Sleep Deprivation Slows Healing

Healing from any injury or illness will be a lot harder when you aren’t sleeping well. Because you are more likely to injure yourself and more likely to fall prey to illnesses and infection, it’s going to take you a lot longer to heal. This will also give you even more opportunities to re-injure yourself, putting additional strain on waking hours.

How Can You Improve Your Sleep?

In good news for us all, improving your sleep is just like improving your exercise routine. Small changes make a big impact. It can be as simple as changing when you take a medication or avoiding foods that might create problems.

Here are some changes you can make to your life to make you sleep easier.

Avoid Heavy Exercise in the Evening

You and your clients should both avoid doing any sort of heavy exercise in the evening in order to keep the adrenaline and endorphins from keeping you up at night. If your heart is racing, you won’t be able to fall asleep quickly or sleep well once you do.

Set a Strict Bedtime

By setting a strict bedtime for yourself, you can ensure that you leave yourself enough time to actually get enough sleep to feel rested in the morning. Getting into a comfortable bed at the same time every day will also help you to establish a routine that will help you to sleep better in the long term.

Talk to a Doctor

If you are struggling with an injury or sleeplessness, you should talk to your doctor. There might be a bigger health problem making it difficult for you to heal and function on a day-to-day basis, and they will be able to help you rule those medical problems out. They might also be able to identify other areas of your life that you need to improve on in order to be your best self.

Samantha Kent is a researcher for SleepHelp.org. Her favorite writing topic is how getting enough sleep can improve your life. Currently residing in Boise, Idaho, she sleeps in a California King bed, often with a cat on her face.