Waking Up on the Wrong Side of the Bed? 6 Effects of Sleep Deprivation
The quality of sleep we experience sets the pace for our entire day. There’s nothing better than waking up from a peaceful slumber feeling rested and ready to conquer life. But if you’re feeling sleep deprived, it seems next to impossible to get through your workday – with a smile on your face, that is.
Many things can contribute to sleep deprivation, from a racing mind to something as simple as a lumpy mattress. Whatever the issue may be, it must be addressed immediately because the effects of sleep deprivation run much deeper than a little discomfort. Below are six effects of sleep deprivation that impact your brain and body health to remind you how important it is to feel like you woke up on the right side of the bed.
- You’ll Feel Drunk
Forget about being a little ‘out of it’ for a day. Studies show that sleep deprivation impairments are similar to the effects of alcohol intoxication (minus the fun). Motor skills become slower, thinking isn’t as clear, and reactions are not nearly as sharp.
After about 17-19 hours without some Zzz’s, one’s BAC (blood alcohol concentration) is about 0.05 percent — and the danger increases from there. Considering that commercial drivers will have their licenses revoked if found with 0.04 percent BAC, your sleep deprivation goes from being your problem, to the problem of all the other drivers who share the road with you. Feel like taking a nap now?
- You’ll Feel Blue
There’s a popular acronym in AA and any other 12-step program called HALT, which stands for hungry, angry, lonely, and tired. It’s meant to remind those in recovery to monitor these basic human needs to help them successfully take care of themselves and therefore, make healthy choices. It’s important to remember that you can have three out of these four basic needs fully covered, but a person can’t thrive without all four.
A lack of sleep denies the brain its chance to rejuvenate, causing us to feel sad. Our mood is directly affected by sleep deprivation and if you’ve had this issue for a while, it might be a surprise when you make these adjustments and feel worlds better.
- You’ll Feel Slow
It doesn’t matter how brilliant your mind is, without the proper amount of sleep the brain just isn’t as sharp as you could be. Our neurotransmitters haven’t had the chance to formulate what they retained the day before, and you might even have to read this basic paragraph a few times to comprehend what’s being communicated.
Instead of pushing yourself harder, staying up later, and beating yourself up for not absorbing information, a good night’s sleep could be the answer.
- You’ll Feel Old
Ever had someone say, “You look tired?” That’s their polite way of saying, “Your eyes are droopy and you look older today.” A lack of sleep here and there will cause dark circles under your eyes, but after a night of proper rest, you’ll bounce back to normal.
Unfortunately, chronic sleep deprivation isn’t as forgiving. Long periods without sleep can cause a loss of elasticity in the skin, fine lines, and dark circles that are there to stay. So instead of purchasing expensive eye cream, it might be time to make that investment somewhere else.
- You’ll Feel Heavy
A lack of sleep is the perfect recipe for, not only late night cravings – which are bad on their own – but cravings for foods high in fat and sugar. Our body doesn’t get the downtime it needs, so it turns to food for energy.
The result? Our metabolism starts to slow down because we’re not giving our body time to process what we fed it. So instead of getting some rest, the body has to work overtime and will inevitably slow down. Way down.
- You’ll Feel Indecisive
It’s hard to make decisions without rest, and after chronic sleep deprivation, the mind will have a hard time just deciding on basic, everyday choices. If you have a tough decision to make, doing it without quality sleep is the wrong time to make it. Like being intoxicated, our judgment is impaired and emotions are off-balance – how can you expect to make healthy choices when your body isn’t healthy?
Quality sleep is not a luxury, it’s a necessity. Your health, well-being, and everyone around you is affected by how you show up in the world, why not give them your best? If you know why you’re sleep deprived, honestly ask yourself why you haven’t taken the necessary steps to better health. If you don’t know what’s causing your lack of sleep, do everything in your power to find the answer. You deserve to have sweet dreams!