Sleep Deprivation is a common problem in today’s society, affecting most of us at some point in our lives. The feeling that there is so much to do and so little time, is the primary reason why most of us do not prioritise our sleep. Stress, Anxiety, an unorganised schedule and lifestyle are some of the other reasons for sleep deprivation.
What most of us seem to forget is
“Sleep is a necessity, not a luxury”
What is Sleep Deprivation?
Sleep deprivation happens when an individual is not able to get as much sleep as they need to feel awake and alert. For most people the need for sleep generally varies between 7 to 9 hours.
Sleep Deprivation: Case Study
After a month I realised there were some undesirable changes within me.
I was always sleepy be it anywhere. I used to get angry even more easily than earlier. I started forgetting important work that was needed to be done. Finally, I wondered why all of this is happening.
I gave it a thought and sleep was the first thing that popped up in my mind. Initially, I was under the impression that I can work it out. Afterwards, I understood that making this work out means laying off on all the other things which were of equal importance.
Things like taking out time to talk to your parents, friends or going out with cousins.
I am certain that you also have dealt with the consequences of lack of sleep. It may have affected you in many ways but predominantly with your relationships be it with friends, parents or partners or in your career. Which is why I think sleep is more paramount to relationships and career then what we generally consider.
Effects Of Sleep Loss
Sleep Deprivation can make you less attractive
It is more often used as Beauty Sleep. It’s a notion that a good nights sleep and proper rest enables you to look fresh, active and more attractive.
This is why even before any big day (be it marriage or exam or a job interview) you are asked to take a good sleep by your elders.
In fact, whenever we meet someone the first impression is made even before we begin to talk based on our appearances.
In a romantic relationship, it is more likely of you to get attracted to the other if they look more attractive. It is possible to lose interest if your partner is not looking good.
It is well known that he way you appear and carry yourself also impacts the impression you create on your bosses, colleagues and clients.
Tip: It is really a simple and easy one. If you want to look more attractive, you need to sleep. Even coffee, energy drinks, and cosmetics cannot hide your sleep deprivation. Also, avoid energy drinks or alcohol before your big day. Energy drinks may temporarily wake you up mentally, but the physical effect of sleep deprivation is still quite visible.
Sleep Deprivation can affect your emotional and physical health
When you’re sleep deprived, amygdala, the part of the brain that ties emotions to memories – doesn’t work properly.
You are more likely to overreact to situations that you generally wouldn’t. This may lead to more conflict with your family, friends, partners or colleagues.
Smaller problems may start to seem bigger.
Some study shows that people are more likely to feel sad, anxious or depressed when they don’t sleep well. It also impairs attention, alertness, concentration, memory, reasoning, problem-solving, and response time.
It even affects your physical health and may put you at risk, including issues like common cold, diabetes, obesity, heart disease.
Thus both ‘mind and body’ are affected by the alterations of sleep quantity and quality and it may have a negative impact on your relationship.
Tip: Remember, Mental Health can affect Physical Health and vice-versa. Also, you tend to be more patient and have a greater ability to concentrate when you’re rested. You can also work it out by getting professional help. We highly recommend the Cognitive Hypnotic Psychotherapy™ for working with sleep issues. You can generally begin to notice observable changes from the first session itself. It can help you on the issues like anxiety and depression and its impact on sleep.
Sleep Deprivation can hurt your sense of humour and personality
Making someone laugh is considered as number one way to attract others towards you.
Yet many of us don’t realise that our sense of humour fluctuates with the amount of sleep we are getting. Humour requires high-level cognition as it uses attention, memory and divergent thinking. It can’t be achieved when we’re lacking sleep.
Lack of sleep also influences our personality. It makes focus and concentration harder to achieve. It makes is difficult for us to recall or make meaning out of what others have said.
Tip: You may make a proper schedule and follow it effectively. With the proper schedule, you can also go for exercising. Don’t make small naps your regular habit.
Sleep Deprivation might mean less relationship happiness and more problems
Ask these questions to yourself –
How close you feel to your partner?
How secure you feel in the relationship?
How well do you understand your partner?
After having the answers to these questions, finally, ponder upon how much sleep you both get?
Evidence shows that spouses with fewer sleep problems tend to be happier. And it only takes one person who is short on sleep to increase the unnecessary conflicts within your relationship.
A couple who are sleep deprived fight more and have bad arguments. You might notice that your tendency to forget about the things which are really important increases. You may start to lose interest in sex if you are not having adequate sleep.
All these factors are connected with each other and one can trigger or impact another. Finally, there may have a feeling of loneliness or be left alone.
Tip: Sleep on comfortable mattress and pillows. Make it a pact to turn off electronic devices at least 30 minutes before bedtime and spend that time together instead. If you don’t fall asleep in 20 minutes then go to some other room and come back when you feel sleepy.
Sleep Deprivation impairs good decision making
Research shows if you’re woken up around four times in one night, for ten minutes each time, it’ll have the same impact on your mood as if you would have only four hours sleep.
This, in turn, affects your decisions.
When you feel tired and low on mood then you may tend to get irritated faster and take decisions you may regret.
Similarly, when you feel really good and fresh, you think twice and clearly about the decisions you have to make.
I am sure you can think of such instances and know which one is better.
You are also more likely to engage in risky and impulsive behaviour.
Having such deficit in the relationship arena especially in romantic relationships might impair your ability to assess your relationship, your partner and certainly about your future. It also have a major impact on your effectiveness and productivity at work.
Tip: It affects your prefrontal cortex part of your brain, an area of our brain in charge of executive functioning. Thus, you should take care of your sleep to be able to make sound judgement, sound planning, and thoughtful decision making. These skills will help you thrive, succeed at work and in a relationship.
Sleep Deprivation might mean less gratitude
Sleep Deprivation doesn’t only affect your emotional well being. It also directly affects how you treat your partners, friends, parents, clients, colleagues and cousins.
Researchers found that it only takes one person in the relationship to be short on sleep for both the partners to feel a diminished sense of gratitude toward the other. Yes, that’s right: your partner’s poor sleep can make you less appreciative of them, even if you aren’t lacking sleep yourself.
It also diminishes our capacity to empathise with others which is really an important element to a relationship. This means that you are less likely to see the things from others point of view.
Tip: Not only you should rest but also ask your partner or whom you stay with to get the proper amount of sleep to avoid the unnecessary issues. You can limit day time naps, screen timings. Also, can find out ways to relax before you go to sleep. Now the question arises is how much sleep do you need to set it all right? I will answer it just by saying that it depends on you. Everyone needs a different amount of sleep. Therefore you can best decide it for yourself but it should not be less than 6 hours.
Bottom Line: Your mental and emotional health—and your relationships with others, in your personal and professional life—depend on you getting plenty of high-quality rest. You should try and get as adequate sleep as you can get. I want to convey this to you as I left the night internship and felt the effects of it. I was able to focus more on the things I wanted to do and certainly, my productivity got increased.
“Sleep is the best meditation” – Dalai Lama