Sleep Deprivation Effects on Emotional Health and How to Avoid Them

Sleep Deprivation Effects on Woman in Bed
Photo Courtesy of Pexels – cottonbro studio

Dealing with emotional problems is far from easy from the toll it can take on our physical health and mental state. After all, humans don’t have a switch that we turn ourselves off at night like our computers when overcome with stress or anger. Although we may be tired and try to sleep, our efforts may be futile. However, sleep deprivation has effects on our emotional health and thinking in ways that only enable us less to handle those problems in our lives.

We can’t expect to function with a serious lack of sleep because of the effects it has on the brain, specifically the prefrontal cortex, which affects our emotional control and regulation for how we manage, respond and figure out solutions. It is because the prefrontal cortex starts to close down from the effects of sleep deprivation that can only make things worse. This is sleepless nights only compound the problem for cognitive and behavior.

What happens when you miss even one night of sleep can lead to overreacting because you’re not thinking rationally. Instead, what guides us are the hurt, frustration, anger, and anxiety blowing the problem or our response out of control since we are overly sensitive at this point. It is not surprising how sleepless nights can eventually whittle away happiness and replace it with overwhelming depression if this cycle continues. Therefore, it is important to start taking steps to deal with the source of that emotion.

Though we all handle problems in our own ways, meditation and breathing exercises can be extremely beneficial to calm the mind. Some believe that alcohol is a viable solution, but it is a depressant that can do the opposite.

Another idea during those challenging times when the mind is preoccupied with stressful thoughts is doing something physical such as cleaning, walking, exercising, etc. Those types of activities can tire the body and help induce sleep.

Cognitive behavioral therapy is another suggestion to learn what drives that emotion and working through the thoughts, feelings and behaviors behind it. A trained professional could help get to the root of the problem to explore those feelings and find a solution that works the best for you.

Deprivation of sleep on emotional health doesn’t have to continue with you suffering through those effects. It may take some time discovering new coping techniques that are the right fit for you, but brighter days do follow once you take the first step.


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