Sleep deprivation affects every area of our lives. If you find yourself snapping at your partner and getting irrationally irritated with everything they are doing, you might just be tired. When you are tired, you are significantly more likely to be grumpy and irritable. This is something that science is found over and over again. But what makes us more that way?
Less Able to Handle Stress
Small things such as an unexpected phone call or an annoying office mate humming to themselves will cause amplified stress. Sounds you might normally like, such as the sound of your partners laugh, when you are not expecting it can bring you stress instead of joy. This is a horrible way to live your life, but it’s the way that our brains work when they are sleep deprived.
When you haven’t slept well, your body produces a lot more of a hormone called cortisol, which helps your brain to be anxious about anything it feels like. The more often you go without sleep, the more likely you are to develop major depression or general anxiety.
Less Tolerant of Pain
Whether your pain is acute or chronic, sleep is vital to dealing with that pain. If your sleep is often disturbed or you are only sleeping in short snatches, you are significantly less likely to be able to deal with your pain as well as you would if you were sleeping for longer periods of time.
This can lead to needing to take more medications and stronger medications to deal with your pain. Those medications can in turn cause you to struggle to sleep later on. If you notice that a change in medication has led to more sleep issues, try taking my medication earlier in the day to avoid struggling to sleep at night.
Less Able to Feel Positive
When you haven’t slept properly, you will be less able to handle interacting with other people and thinking constructively. This means that even if things are going well for you, your brain will not accept them as being as positive. This is what caused you to be more grumpy and irritable during the day - everything seems like it’s negative, even when it’s not.
Seven Things to Try to Improve Sleep
If you are experiencing a chronic lack of sleep, talk to your doctor to see if there is an underlying medical issue such as teeth grinding or if medicine can help you to sleep better. If you don’t want to go to your doctor, here are some things you can try in your bedroom to create a better sleeping environment for yourself.
Add Darkening Curtains
Turn on a Fan
Replace Your Bedding
Cut out the afternoon caffeine and evening alcohol
Put your phone away an hour before bed
Do light exercise 2 to 3 hours before bed
Try an early afternoon nap when feeling grouchy
Written by : Mary Lee of Tuck