4 Effects of Sleep Deprivation and Bad Sleep Quality on Your Mental Wellbeing

Posted by Chris Wilson on May 16, 2013 0 Comments

Sleep deprivation doesn’t just affect physical health, it can also drastically impair your mental wellbeing and normal emotional state. Here are 4 ways in which sleep can effect your mind:



It is well known that mood is closely tied to sleep quality. A bad night’s sleep can leave you feeling cranky, easily irritable and vulnerable to stress. Prolonged inadequate sleep can cause severe mood changes, depression and anxiety. A major study involving 10,000 adults showed that those with mild to chronic insomnia were 5 times more likely to develop depression and 20 times more likely to develop some kind of panic disorder. Depression and lack of sleep can feed on each other... bad sleep = bad mood!



Learning involves three basic processes: Acquisition of information, consolidation, and information recall. Lack of sleep can have a detrimental effect on all three, but most profoundly on consolidation, or the strengthening of appropriate connections in the brain for long term memory storage. A large body of evidence suggests that most memory consolidation occurs during sleep. Depriving yourself of this crucially needed time can dramatically affect memory formation and, in turn, your ability to learn. In essence, good sleep can make you smarter!


Judgement & Performance

Sleep depravation greatly effects our ability to concentrate and make accurate decisions. A tired mind can lead to wrong interpretations of events and to overall poor judgements about your safety.  Exhaustion can greatly affect your performance in anything you are doing, which can be dangerous during certain activities. Drowsiness has been shown to slow reaction time behind the wheel just as much as drunk driving. So if you want your body to perform at its best, use good judgment and get the sleep you should.



Your appearance might not technically be a component of mental health, but let’s be honest... who doesn’t want to look their best?  Research shows that when you look great, you feel great and, in turn, take better care of your health. Loving your body and the way it looks greatly improves your self-esteem, which is directly tied to cognitive well being. At some point in life, we’ve all gotten up after a bad night’s sleep and seen the consequences first hand. Pale skin, blood shot eyes and puffiness are some common visible signs, but chronic sleep loss can lead to more serious and permanent damage, such as fine lines and dark circles under your eyes. There’s a reason why Sleeping Beauty looks so great!

So next time you’re tempted to trade in some precious snooze time for something that seems more important or exciting just remember: Sleep makes you happier, smarter, healthier, thinner and better looking... what could be more exciting than looking and feeling your best!

-The Zeez Team

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