Don’t forget—your lack of sleep can affect the people around you, too. According to PsyCom.net, “Sleep deprivation weakens the prefrontal cortex’s (reasoning) ability to control the amygdala (emotions), making it difficult to process and cope with emotions.” A sleep debt can cause you to react to everyday stressors more harshly or aggressively than you otherwise might, and may even cause or worsen paranoia, anxiety, and sadness. This can have a negative effect on personal and professional relationships, which can exacerbate emotional instability even further. Trust us, it’s much easier to just get enough freakin’ sleep.
Mental Impacts: Blah Work Performance
Falling short on work projects? Continually misplacing important files? Reading the same sentence on that office memo over and over again? Sleep deprivation can have some seriously inconvenient mental side effects. According to the National Sleep Foundation:
“Good sleep helps us to think clearly, remember information, and make decisions. When we don’t get enough quality sleep, it impairs our ‘executive function’—a set of abilities we need to do well in school, at work, and in all realms of daily life.”
Lack of proper sleep can also dull creativity, frustrate learning and impair productivity—ironic, considering many of us stay awake later in order to get more done. Turns out a few extra hours of rest might actually be more efficient than staying up late huddled over your laptop!
Physical Impacts: Weight Gain, Illness, and Injury
The physical side effects of sleep deprivation don’t end with fatigue. Over time, lack of sleep can cause increased appetite and decreased metabolism, which can lead to major weight gain. Ouch. Sleep also regulates your immune system, so slacking on ZZZs may lead to longer and more frequent illnesses. Perhaps most terrifying, sleeplessness tends to cause clumsiness and decreased alertness, which could mean physical injuries and car accidents. Sleep deprivation is costly, and you could be paying for it with a couple stubbed toes—or some broken bones.
While our culture tends to reward busy schedules and long work hours, it’s important to note the benefits of taking care of your physical needs. The restoration that happens during sleep takes time— 8 to 10 hours, to be exact. Try tucking in an hour earlier than you normally would, and see if the mental, emotional and physical benefits are worth it the next day. We have a feeling they will be.
Written by: Samantha Colicchio, Liquid I.V. Brand Storyteller