Let’s talk about how sleep deprivation can massively kill your mental performance. Sleep is essential to good health, that might sound revolutionary to some but yeah it’s true. Sarcasm aside there are many health benefits to getting a good night’s rest, many of which we don’t fully understand. Not getting enough sleep can lead to you becoming unproductive and unfocused.
One thing that is certain about sleep is that our bodies need it. Have you ever pulled an all-nighter and went into the next day feeling like you’re hungover? Well turns out that research shows that lack of sleep and poor mental performance go hand in hand.
Some studies claim that sleep deprivation can be likened to going to the pub and downing a few bears. Even though it won’t show on a breathalyzer test the effect on your cognitive abilities is the same, lack of awareness.
In my experience I remember downing a bottle of alcohol in my early days, I had the feeling of carefreeness after. I felt like nothing mattered. My awareness felt dulled. It was as if my brain could not process things the same.
I could have walked into the street and got hit by a car, but my brain didn’t perceive it as a danger. I say all this because I’ve been drunk before and I’ve been sleep-deprived and both had a dulling effect on my brain.
Our bodies need sleep to heal
Your body produces the hormone serotonin during sleep. This hormone is very important in regulating things such as our moods, appetite, attention, and our ability to learn. Lack of this hormone may even lead to conditions like depression.
In today’s world, we as humans are sleeping less, because there is so much more to do in the 21st century. You can binge Netflix series, go out and party all night, or watch YouTube straight into the night.
All these options were not available to humans a mere 200 years ago. I mean you couldn’t very well study properly in lamplight until the wee hours of the morning. But most importantly we did not have smartphones.
We have all become modern-day cyborgs in some sense today as we can’t leave our house without our smartphones. We are constantly on it during the day. I am willing to bet that this is why most people find themselves sleep-deprived. It is because many of us stay on our phones into the night.
Part of the problem is that smartphones emit blue light. This light has been proven to affect your ability to fall asleep and in particular to get rem sleep which is the deep sleep that all our bodies crave.
Sleep is important to heal the body, there is a reason you feel refreshed after a good night’s sleep. Your body does the housekeeping during this time. It removes toxins, refreshes the mind. I have had headaches several times in the night then went to sleep and my mind was clear.
sleep is essential in managing stress. Stress is the ultimate killer it will creep up on you without you knowing. Sleep revitalizes the body and mind and in turn, can be effective at eliminating stress to give your body the healing it deserves.
Sleep is your body’s reset button.
Ever played a video game where you died and you had to reset. Sleep is like that reset button on your controller, so fill that health bar up by treating your body to some sleep.
The busy nature of this world makes it harder to sit back and rest sometimes. You must always remember that lack of sleep puts you at risk for some of the worst and avoidable health problems.
Sleep deprivation affects mood and attention
Most people who don’t get consistently good sleep are constantly in a bad mood. This is because serotonin production in the body affects your mood. Ever gotten only 2 hrs of sleep per night? It is a recipe for being grumpy
Stress levels also get high because the stress hormone cortisol gets produced once you are sleep-deprived.
Long term sleep deprivation can lead to psychiatric disorders
I already mentioned that sleep deprivation can lead to depression but it can also lead to other mental health issues. Anxiety is prevalent in people who are sleep-deprived.
Anxiety causes you to worry a lot often about trivial issues that have no bearing on whether you will achieve your goals. Being anxious is one thing but suffering from anxiety is crippling.
Sleep can help with anxiety as it helps to reset your nerves. Stabilizing your nervous system and getting it back into its natural rhythm.
Some people underestimate how damaging a lack of sleep can be long-term. Some people have been shown to even start hallucinating after several days without sleep that’s how bad lack of sleep can get you. People will lock you in the looney bin if you tell them you see something that isn’t there. Better yet even interacting with things that are not there.
Tips for improving your sleep quality
First, get a quality pillow. a good pillow is one of the best tools that allows you to get great sleep. If you sleep with a bad pillow you could end up with a cricked neck and you know how painful that can be. I found a list of the best pillows you can check out right here to see which one is the best fit for you.
Have clean sheets. Simple but you get a better sleeping experience when your sheets are clean. You can subconsciously feel the body soil on the sheets as you sleep and it does interfere with your sleep.
Invest in a good mattress. Remember there are twenty-four hours in
a day and if you want good sleep you will be spending eight hours in your bed. you would want that to be a pleasurable experience. Having a bad mattress will lead to poor sleep quality.
Go to sleep at a consistent time nightly to get your body into the rhythm. Turn off your smartphone as studies have shown that you need at least an hour to detox from the blue light.
Lack of adequate sleep can have a damaging effect on your mental performance. It can cause issues such as anxiety, mood, and attention issues. Lack of mental focus because of an unrested brain. If you liked this article please consider reading how natural foods can boost your immune system. Until next time stay healthy.