Impact Of Sleep Loss On Mood And Emotions
When you dont sleep, you cant react as quickly, remember information, solve problems, make plans, multitask or regulate and understand emotions as well as you could if you were well rested. Its well known that not getting enough sleep alters mood and emotions think how grumpy you feel the next day if you stay up all night.
But we know less about how lack of sleep impacts more complex emotional processes. Moods and emotions are often thought of as the same thing. In reality, they are very different.
Moods are short-lived, arent linked to a particular event and are either positive or negative. The last time you had a mood swing, you probably felt great and then terrible, but may not have been able to pinpoint the cause.
Emotions are learned responses to situations or people. They come in different shades and intensities. For example, the emotion of fear may come at the sight of a bear in the woods.
Its hard enough to understand our own emotions, but what about understanding other peoples emotions?
What To Do About Sleep Deprivation
Establish a schedule. Go to bed and get up at the same time every day. Although there will be occasions when this schedule will not be possible, stick to it as much as possible.
Relax before bedtime. If your thoughts wont shut off or you find it difficult to relax before going to bed, practice a routine that promotes relaxation, such as yoga, meditation, deep breathing, listening to soothing music, reading poetry, or taking a hot shower.
Take naps. According to the National Sleep Foundation, taking a short nap improves alertness. It also is the best length of time to help you feel refreshed and not interfere with your nighttime sleep. A nap is critical if you are drowsy when driving.
Turn off the electronics. The blue light glow from laptops, cell phones, TVs, and tablets tricks your brain into thinking its daytime and disrupts the production of the sleep hormone, melatonin. Wean yourself off of the gadgets and dont even have them near you at night.
Limit or avoid alcohol. Although you may think having several drinks will help you sleep better, they actually can disturb sleep quality. Alcohol can cause you to wake up multiple times throughout the night and prevents you from getting REM and deep sleep that you need.
Eat light. A piece of fruit or a few whole-grain crackers before bedtime can ward off hunger pangs. However, large meals will cause your digestive system to be working into the night and disrupt your ability to sleep.
Symptoms Of Sleep Deprivation
- Mood and behavioral changes, which may include anxiety, and depression
- Problems with functions like planning, organization, and judgment
- Psychiatric symptoms like paranoia, disorientation, and hallucinations
- Difficulty concentrating. This can result in decreased reaction times, impaired work/school performance, or increased risk of car accidents
- Physical effects, such as gastrointestinal symptoms, such as upset stomach or diarrhea and generalized discomfort, pain and aches.
- Any interference in the natural flow of the sleep cycle can impact hormones such as growth hormone and thyroid hormone contributing to infertility
- Increased risk for stroke. heart disease, and asthma attack
- Diminished ability to combat infections
- A small decrease in your body temperature, due to cold
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Avoid Things That Can Interfere With Sleep
A useful step in addressing sleep deprivation is to avoid things that can, often unbeknownst to you, negatively affect your sleep:
- Electronic devices: TVs, cell phones, tablets, and computers can keep your mind stimulated, leaving you still wired when you want to go to bed. The light emitted by these devices can also interfere with your circadian rhythm. As a result, its best to avoid using electronic devices for an hour or more before bed.
- Alcohol: Drinking, especially at night, can disrupt your normal sleep cycle, reducing overall sleep quality and consistency.
- Caffeine: As a stimulant, caffeine makes you alert, and because it can stick around in your system for several hours, its best to avoid it in the afternoon and evening.
- Naps: To keep naps from interfering with sleep at night, keep them short and never take them in the late afternoon or later. If you are struggling with insomnia, its best to avoid naps altogether.
Reasons For Sleep Deprivation
Its all too common to suffer from sleep deprivation, especially if you are a student. Many of the following aspects can cause you to lose sleep, but for each, you can adjust your outlook or activities to better manage your sleep/wake cycles.
- Part-time jobs
Go to bed early and at the same time every night.
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Are All Definitions Of Sleep Deprivation The Same
In sleep medicine, sleep deprivation is defined based on sleep duration, which is the total amount of time a person spends asleep. In reality, though, being well-rested is about more than just how many hours you sleep. As a result, the terms sleep deficiency or sleep insufficiency are more frequently used to describe factors that reduce the quantity and/or quality of sleep and keep a person from waking up refreshed.
In this way, sleep deficiency has a broader application. For example, a person who sleeps for a total of eight hours but with many awakenings that fragment their sleep may have insufficient sleep even though their sleep duration technically meets the recommended amount.
This terminology can be distinct from everyday conversation in which the term sleep deprivation may be used with a wider meaning that refers to poor sleep overall and not just total sleep duration.
Even in the medical field, studies may use different technical definitions of sleep deprivation as some classify it as seven hours of sleep or fewer while others use six hours as the cutoff.
How Is Sleep Deprivation Diagnosed
Doctors can often diagnose sleep deprivation by discussing a patients symptoms and sleep patterns. This may involve reviewing a sleep diary or taking a sleep questionnaire that offers a detailed look at sleep patterns and daytime symptoms.
In some cases, additional testing with sleep tracking technology, known as actigraphy, or with an overnight sleep study may be conducted if further information is needed or if a doctor suspects that the patient may have an underlying sleep disorder.
Why Most People Are Sleep
Im excited to have Dan Pardi as a guest on todays show. I met Dan at PaleoFX last March, and we instantly hit it off. As a PhD candidate sleep researcher at the University of Leiden in the Netherlands, and the CEO of Dans Plan, Dan is one of the most knowledgable people on the effects of sleep on health Ive come across. I hope you enjoy the interview!
In this episode, we cover:
6:48 Why sleep is essential to health20:30 The telltale signs of sleep deprivation32:40 Does light play a role in getting better sleep?40:28 The truth about polyphasic sleep49:00 Simple tips for getting better quality sleep
Sleep When The Baby Sleeps
Many parents hear this age-old device and want to implement it. But when the baby actually arrives, it can be very difficult to catch shut-eye while your baby snoozes.
Many parents feel the need to get things done at this time or take some time to just be, and that is understandable. But your babys naps are a prime time to catch up on sleep, so take advantage of them.
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Signs And Symptoms Of Sleep Deprivation
You may be sleep deprived if you:
- Feel tired, irritable, and fatigued during the day yawn frequently.
- Have difficulty focusing or remembering things.
- Feel less interested in sex.
- Find it difficult to get out of bed in the morning, need an alarm clock to wake up on time, or repeatedly hit the snooze button.
- Feel lethargic or drowsy in the afternoon.
- Find it difficult to stay awake in lectures, meetings, warm rooms, while driving or commuting, or after a heavy meal.
- Have to take a nap during the day.
- Fall asleep on the couch in the evening.
- Are asleep within five minutes of going to bed.
- Need to sleep late on weekends.
- Have experienced mood changes, including feeling depressed, anxious, stressed, paranoid, or suicidal.
Bad Habits To Avoid When You Havent Slept
In addition to the above proactive strategies, there are several bad habits you should avoid when operating on little to no sleep. These bad habits include:
- Eating large meals. Eating a large meal, especially one full of carbohydrates, will make you drowsy. Instead, try eating several lights meals over the course of the dayand choose moderate portions of lean meats, eggs, nuts, and beans.
- Engaging in dangerous activities. This one may seem obvious, but when you are sleep deprived your mental and physical abilities dramatically decrease. This means you need to avoid driving, operating heavy machinery, or any other potentially hazardous activity when tired. A good rule of thumb is that your biological need for sleep will eventually prevail, and you dont want this to lead to an accident.
Remember that all of the above strategies for surviving on little to no sleep are only useful over the short termthere is no long-term strategies to effectively function on little or no sleep.
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What Are The Consequences Of Sleep Deprivation
The effects of sleep deprivation and sleep deficiency can be serious and far-reaching.
Acute sleep deprivation raises the risk of unintentional errors and accidents. Drowsy driving, which involves slowed reaction time and the risk of microsleeps, can be life-threatening. People who are sleep deprived are more likely to struggle in school and work settings or to experience mood changes that may affect personal relationships.
Chronic sleep deprivation can contribute to a wide range of health problems. Sleep plays a fundamental role in the effective functioning of nearly all systems of the body, so a persistent lack of sleep creates significant risks to physical and mental health:
Given these diverse and important impacts of sleep deprivation, it comes as no surprise that studies have found insufficient sleep to be tied with a greater overall risk of death as well as a lower quality of life.
On a society-wide level, the impacts of sleep deprivation are enormous. The CDC estimates that as many as 6,000 deaths each year are caused by drowsy driving, and sleep deprivation has been calculated to incur hundreds of billions in added healthcare costs as well as over $400B in productivity losses per year in the United States alone.
How To Function On No Sleep
Attention, night owls. Your parents didn’t teach you to get your beauty sleep for no reason. Bodies of research support the fact that the average adult needs seven to eight and a half hours of sleep per night. This sounds ideal, but the busyness of life often causes the hours in the day to quickly slip away from us. In the long run, not getting the proper amount of sleep does us way more harm than good. Research shows that lack of sleep has a terribly disturbing effect on your brain. In fact, a study published in The Journal of Neuroscience found that chronic sleep loss can eventually lead to brain damage.
Andersen Ross Photography/Getty Images
In other words, there’s plenty of science behind why it’s hard to function on no sleep. And while we’re not supporting sleep deprivation, we’re here for you when it’s just one of those days and time is decidedly not on your side. Adam Tishman, co-founder and sleep expert of Helix Sleep, and Michael Breus, aka The Sleep Doctor, a clinical psychologist and diplomate of the American Board of Sleep Medicine, shared an expert-recommended guide to how to function on no sleep. Thank us later for this guidebook on how to make it through the day when you’re running on no fuel.
Caffeine Is Ok But Don’t Overdo It
“Go easy on the caffeine,” Feller warns. “Yes, it will give you a boost, but for those that are sensitive to the side effects, having too much can lead to the decreased desire for food, the jitters and difficulty sleeping.” Coffee or tea should be your moderated caffeine of choice, she says, adding that you should stay far away from sugar-doused energy drinks because “the additives are more harmful than helpful.”
Immediate Effects Of Sleep Deprivation
About one-third of American adults do not get enough sleep each night, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Short sleep duration in adults is defined as less than 7 hours of sleep in 24 hours. About 40% of adults report unintentionally falling asleep during the day at least once a month, and up to 70 million Americans have chronic sleep problems. Because of the public health burden of poor sleep health, achieving sufficient sleep in children and adults was included as a goal in the Healthy People 2020 goals.
Sleep helps to process your thoughts from the day as well as store memories, so a lack of good-quality sleep can lead to difficulty focusing and thinking clearly. You may feel tired, irritable, or anxious during the day. Performance at work or school may suffer. Your reaction time may be slowed, increasing the risk of driving accidents.
In children, insufficient sleep can lead to attention and behavior problems or hyperactivity. In the elderly, lack of sleep may decrease focus and attention, leading to a greater risk of falls, bone fractures, and car accidents.
There are several reasons people may get insufficient sleep:
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How Sleep Deprivation Affects Health
Anyone who has ever lost a few hours of sleep knows that sleep deprivation can make you feel a little extra forgetful, unmotivated, spaced out, and exhausted. But sleep deprivation that is chronic, as is often the case when you’re a sleep-deprived new parent, can actually have significant effects on your physical and mental health.
What Is Sleep Deprivation
Insufficient sleep or sleeplessness when we do not get adequate sleep to feel alert and rested is termed as sleep deprivation. It is a serious disorder that impacts our quality of life, drains our health, happiness, and financial resources.
A chronic sleep-restricted state can result in clumsiness, costly diseases, acute fatigue, daytime sleepiness, and increased appetite thus causing obesity. It could also result in workplace absenteeism and accidents.
The National Sleep Foundation recommendations for sleep duration for all ages has been given below
Over time, chronic sleep deprivation can cause a wide range of health ailments, including:
- Increased risk of Type 2 Diabetes
- Increased levels of stress hormones
- Higher risk of cardiovascular disease
- Raised levels of inflammation
- Weight gain
- Increased sensitivity to pain
Sleep deprivation also impairs cognitive functioning, decision-making, and reaction times. Which is why sleep deprivation increases the risk of vehicle accidents. Sleep loss is also believed to elevate skin aging and reduce the skins potential to heal.
Since sleep loss causes an impact on the hunger hormone named leptin, people binge on an increased amount of carbs and calories making their gastrointestinal upset. This also increases weight. Other issues which one experiences due to sleep loss include nausea, heartburn or increase or reduction in appetite
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Ten Things Being Sleep Deprived Triggers
If the report about medical errors from lack of sleep has your attention, then you should know that its just one issue that can occur. Your body must have a certain amount of sleep to function. When it doesnt get the rest it needs, then all sorts of things begin to happen. Here are the most reported problems from sleep deprivation.
How Much Sleep Do You Actually Need
Everyone feels better after a good nights rest. But now, thanks to a report from the National Sleep Foundation, you can aim for a targeted sleep number tailored to your age.
The foundation based its report on two years of research andbreaks it down into nine age-specific categories, with a slight range thatallows for individual preference:
- Older adults, 65+ years: 7 to 8 hours.
- Adults, 26 to 64 years: 7 to 9 hours.
- Young adults, 18 to 25 years: 7 to 9 hours.
- Teenagers, 14 to 17 years: 8 to 10 hours.
- School-age children, 6 to 13 years: 9 to 11 hours.
- Preschool children, 3 to 5 years: 10 to 13 hours.
- Toddlers, 1 to 2 years: 11 to 14 hours.
- Infants, 4 to 11 months: 12 to 15 hours.
- Newborns, 0 to 3 months: 14 to 17 hours.
Dr. Walia says theres evidence that genetic, behavioral and environmental factors help determine how much sleep an individual needs for their best health and daily performance.
But a minimum of seven hours of sleep is a step in the rightdirection to improve your health, she says.
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Prioritize Balanced Meals And Snacks
You should eat balanced meals every day, but doing so becomes doubly important on days when you’re completely wiped. “Create meals that supply all of the macronutrients from whole and minimally processed sources,” says Feller. “A great lunch would be a serving of fish or really any protein of your choice with a heaping side of greens topped with nuts and seeds.” An optimal afternoon snack, she adds, could be a slice of traditional dark pumpernickel bread topped with avocado and hummus. “The lunch is providing lean protein along with a boost of phytonutrients from the greens the snack is providing a fiber-rich whole grain with plant-based fats and vitamins and minerals,” she explains.