The Psychological Signs That Tell You Need Sleep

Most of us nowadays have schedules that are packed with work or school that 24 hours just seems to be isn’t enough to finish everything. With that limited amount of time, most people tend to cut back time on the activity that we do every day – sleep.

While it’s fine to lessen the amount of sleep that we get for a couple of days or two, it isn’t a healthy thing to do. Doing it for several consecutive days can bring about a number of harmful effects to the body that can last for a short while or can lead to long-term problems. When we lack sleep, our whole body suffers – the brain weakens, the heart works harder, the digestive system goes haywire, our immune system weakens and more of our body functions suffer the consequences of sleep deprivation.

There are several signs and symptoms that display the effects of sleep deprivation. As we continue to lack sleep, our body suffers physically as exhibited by signs and symptoms like indigestion, vision changes and a weakened immune system. However, it isn’t just the physiological aspect of our body that is affected by lack of sleep. The psychological aspect – the emotional and mental capacities – is also affected by sleep deprivation. These can lead to a number of problems like accidents, injuries, falls, problems in social relationships and working relationships and more. Just what are these psychological signs and symptoms of sleep deprivation?

Memory Problems

You may think back on moments when you just can’t remember certain details or get that particular memory back in our head. After staying up all night, sometimes our mind tends to weaken and we have problems in remembering things. Memory problems aren’t surprising whenever you lack sleep.

Several studies have shown that sleep plays a crucial factor when it comes to maintaining the sharpness of our memories. This is because sleep allows the connections of nerve cells to stay strong, providing a suitable pathway for neural signals which can transmit memories. The lesser amount of sleep that you get, the fewer the nerve cell connections that you have – this results in faulty short term or long term memory which is characterized by forgetfulness, inability to recall details and poor memory overall.

What restorative sleep does is helping the formation, retention and recall of our emotional memories. These memories are the ones that stay longer and are the most vivid ones so they should be easier to remember. Knowing this now, it’s certainly advisable to get enough sleep when you plan to engage in activities that require the use of your memories. For example, instead of staying up late to study for a big test or the finals, it’s more advisable to study until you get tired and then get enough sleep before getting that test. Sleep helps in retaining memory and recalling, helping you in these activities.

Decreased Concentration

The brain is the one responsible for the several mental functions that were capable of. One of those mental functions is concentration which is very important in our daily lives as it helps us in accomplishing tasks throughout the day. When you lack sleep, you may notice that you can’t focus on a particular task, pay attention or listen. This may be already a sign of sleep deprivation.

A good example is during class, you sometimes can’t concentrate on what the teacher is talking about or pay attention so you can pick up details of the lecture. You tend to doze of or distract yourself with other things. This might be a sign that you lack sleep. Studies have shown that those students who don’t get enough sleep have poor results on their tests which require their concentration. In addition, they tend to overestimate their abilities. It’s often their population group that think lack of sleep isn’t something serious and missing out on a few hours of sleep won’t be affecting their concentration. That’s where they’re wrong. Someone who gets six hours of sleep every night will significantly perform better than a person who only sleep four hours every night.

Caffeine provides a quick fix when it comes to our concentration. It allows a temporary help in improving our concentration with its effects lasting for about an hour after taking it. A common source is coffee but other sources might include chocolate or soda.


Poor Decision-Making

Restorative sleep is required in maintaining our presence of mind. Someone who lacks sleep tends to make decisions haphazardly in a hurried manner which often leads to harmful results. Poor decision making is one of the symptoms of sleep deprivation which can significantly affect work or school performance and social relationships as well.

Mood Swings

When you lack sleep, your threshold against stress is significantly decreased. That would mean it won’t take much effort to piss you off in normal situations. This leads to the instability of your mood which can swing back and forth from happy to angry to sad and so forth. In the usual situations wherein we get the sleep that we need, we can manage our emotions with little or no problems at all. Even when we experience tense moments, as long as we’re rested up, we can still handle the situation without blowing off steam or exploding all together. However, all that changes when you are deprived of sleep. You can get irritated easily even with the smallest thing. You can get ticked off at random things that don’t piss you off like your order in a restaurant being 3 to 5 minutes late or your coffee not having enough sugar.

Research has shown that younger children who get an amount of sleep that’s less than 10 hours daily had 25% more chance in misbehaving. Studies have also supported that lack of sleep can also lead to experiencing depression, burnout and decreased degree of empathy. Those who are already experiencing depression or other mental conditions may have their signs and symptoms aggravated even more because of lack of sleep. Visit caffo for more

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