“YOU’RE not yourself when you’re tired.”
We’ve all heard, or have said, this sentence before, but how seriously have we really taken it?
A new study published this week has found that tiredness is linked to increased rudeness in emails.
After a shorter night of sleep, employees increased their risk of firing off grumpy work emails in the morning, were more likely to ignore requests for meetings and made more demeaning or derogatory remarks while at work.
The study also found that a lack of sleep increased people’s chances of overall rudeness or impoliteness in emails or text messages to anyone they know.
But it’s not just how you communicate on text and email that is impacts when you lose sleep.
Results Wellness Lifestyle's sleep expert Jeff Spires says: “When we have poor sleep it impacts many aspects of our personality.
“Sleep deprivation leads to irrational emotional responses because the amygdala, the area of the brain that is our emotional control centre, is negativity impacted.
"The amygdala overreacts to negative stimuli because it becomes disconnected areas of the brain that normally moderate its response.
“In studies the amygdala showed 60 per cent more activity in those who lacked sleep than those who got a full night’s sleep.
“It’s not just that we are less productive without sleep, it can make us completely different people.”
Here Jeff Spires outlines how poor sleep can impact your personality.
1. Self control
We all have different desires and impulses to control every day, but when we are tired we can find it much more difficult to control them, Jeff says.
Whether it’s not eating a tub of ice cream, resisting a gambling app, or stopping ourselves scrolling on social media, self-control is all about stopping ourselves from doing something we want to do because we know it isn’t good for us in the long run.
Jess explained: "When we have a poor nights sleep self control becomes more difficult because the pathways in our brain that link our emotions and our decisions, are weaker.
"Therefore, when it comes to having the mental strength to say “no” or “enough”, we lack the same power when we have lost sleep."
Most of us know what it feels like to wake up a little bit groggy but poor sleep could leave us feeling more irritable.
Jeff explained: "The amygdala in the brain – responsible for our emotional ‘fight or flight’ responses – kicks in when we feel threatened.
"When we have had poor sleep the amygdala is on high alert and it is therefore primed to react strongly and quickly to situations that don’t warrant a big emotional response.
"You can find yourself kicking into ‘fight’ response at the smallest of things, making you appear irrational to those around you".
3. More argumentative
When we are more irritable due to sleep deprivation, we are also more likely to start arguments, Jess said.
Sleep allows our brain time to rest and restore and when we don’t get enough hours in we find it harder to pause and rationalise situations.
"The mixture of a heightened “fight” response along with a lack of self control is a dangerous concoction when it comes to interactions with others", Jeff said.
Instead of being able to control our anger, we can lose control of it and find ourselves picking fights with partners, friends, colleagues or even strangers (road rage etc), he added.
4. Being negative
Positive people are more fun to be around, but while you might usually find it easy to see the good in life, a lack of sleep could quickly make you a negative person.
"Sleep-deprived people are more likely to perceive emotional stimuli, (personal interactions with others, social events, work situations) as worse than they really are.
"Research has found that a lack of sleep can cause significant changes in emotional reactions, making us less calm and flexible in our thoughts, and instead making us have a more negative outlook on life overall", he said.
5. More anxious
Research has found that a sleepless night causes anxiety levels to spike by up to 30 per cent.
On the flip side, the same study found that anxiety levels dropped after a full night of sleep.
When we don’t get enough sleep the brain’s foot is firmly on the emotional accelerator pedal and it has no access to the brakes – meaning anxiety levels skyrocket.
The brain’s amygdala – that regulates our emotions – is unable to prevent the escalation of anxiety without good sleep as it is on high alert.
Ten top tips to make bedtime happy and healthy
Nutritionist and male hormonal health expert, Bertie Stringer, CEO and cofounder of DNA
- Take time to relax: More than half of the UK population has not surprisingly suffered from stress-induced sleep problems since the pandemic. Take a little time for yourself whether it’s taking a bath, writing a journal or chatting to a friend and try to free your mind from today’s worries.
- Find a routine and stick to it: Optimal sleep is 7 to 9 hours per night. Use a sleep calculator to find a bedtime routine that works for your age and lifestyle
- Have an orgasm! This releases a wonderful cocktail of natural endorphins which help you relax and help your body get into a flow of REM sleep cycles to help you stay asleep which is also when T levels are replenished – winner!
- Ditch the booze: Not only does this reduce testosterone levels, it also impacts sexual performance leading to greater chances of erectile dysfunction. Not to mention causing disrupted sleep which again in turns reduces the restoration of T levels overnight.
- Remove distractions: Get rid of excess noise and light so that your room is quiet, calm, for sleep or dim the lights, light the candles, pop on some Barry White and let the good times begin.
- Rectify nutrient deficiencies: Vitamins in particular play a role in regulating our circadian rhythms, the 24-hour bio rhythms that control our sleep-wake cycles. As deficiencies are common most GP’s will now test key nutrient levels and you can then supplement and / adjust your diet accordingly. Vitamin D, Magnesium, Zinc and B6 are all crucial for happy male hormones.
- Lose weight: Losing just 5 percent of your starting weight can result in improved length of sleep and sleep quality (also extra fat produces oestrogen in men which robs testosterone levels)
- Be active: Spending some of your active time outdoors, seems to help protect against sleep problems (also tops up natural Vitamin D levels)
- Avoid eating close to bedtime and keep snacks out of the bedroom! Eating late at night can affect your quality of sleep and put you at higher risk of developing diabetes and obesity. It’s also a passion killer sitting in bed whilst your other half wolves down a family size bag of Doritos….
- Minimise blue and artificial lights: Light from mobiles and laptops can suppress melatonin and can make it harder to fall asleep. Ditch them at least an hour before Z time…
6. Less funny
While we can find ourselves finding other people funnier when we are tired, we ourselves struggle to be as humorous when we lack sleep.
Jeff said: "Sleep deprivation disrupts the way our brain cells communicate with each other, which can cause memory lapses and poor concentration.
"Research has found that neurons in the brain to respond less quickly to visual information
"Being funny often requires us to respond quickly to situations and come up with witty responses by tapping into past memories or quickly remembering references that the person we are with might find funny."
When we are tired these responses just don’t come to us quickly enough – if at all – meaning we are much less likely to be perceived as funny by the people whose company we are sharing at that time, he added.
7. Less sexy
The more you sleep, the sexier you feel.
When you get enough sleep, it affects the condition of your skin, your diet (you are more likely to overeat when you are tired) and your energy levels.
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All of these things, when combined, contribute to your confidence and how sexy you feel – decreasing your desire for sex.
A study from the University Chicago showed that lack of sleep completely wipes out sex drive in men, which a study from the Journal of Sexual Medicine found that sleep-deprived women were 14 percent less likely to have sex than those who had gotten enough sleep.
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