Irritability is one of the more common lack of sleep symptoms. Poor sleep can have an adverse effect on your energy level and your mood and it may also increase your risk of developing a mood disorder such as anxiety or depression. Fortunately, if your moodiness is due to lack of sleep, getting good regular sleep can help you see the world in a much better light.
Reduction in concentration and cognitive ability are common sleep deprivation symptoms. When researchers gave people who were sleep deprived a hand-eye coordination task or tested them in a driving simulator, they responded just as badly or worse than people who were drunk. If you’re sleep deprived and you drink alcohol this effect is magnified.
Lack of sleep can make you feel more anxious than usual.3 This can become a vicious cycle, because anxiety can also make it more difficult to get to sleep and to sleep well. Researchers have speculated that improving deep sleep may help improve anxiety. For this reason, cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is becoming more widely used to treat both sleep disorders and anxiety.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy aims to break the link between sleep and anxiety so you can get back to sleeping properly and feeling less anxious when you’re awake.4
Sleep deprivation affects your ability to drive safely because it’s all too easy to lose focus or experience micro-sleeps that can cause an accident. Micro-sleeps are brief episodes of sleep that can last from a fraction of a second up to 10 seconds. It can be hard to tell if you’re overtired and having micro-sleeps but the signs to look out for include:5
One poor night’s sleep may not be a problem, but researchers believe that regular sleep deprivation can encourage your body to gain weight. How? It could increase your appetite, particularly for high-carb foods. It could also affect your energy level so you’re less active during the day.7
Being too tired is the number one reason women give for not being interested in sex. The good news is that getting more sleep does increase a woman’s potential for arousal.8
Men whose poor sleep is due to obstructive sleep apnea, may have reduced testosterone levels which can have an adverse effect on their sex drive.9
Many people suffering from insomnia sleep apart from their partner to avoid triggers that may disturb their sleep which doesn’t bode well for intimacy in their relationship.10
Sleep deprivation can weaken your immunity, making you more prone to infections. It also weakens your response to vaccinations. So if you keep coming down with colds or other infections, maybe lack of good healthy sleep could be partly to blame.11
If you’re not getting enough sleep, you may have higher than normal levels of inflammation in your body. Why is this a problem? Inflammation is a risk factor for a number of chronic diseases including stroke and heart disease. People who normally sleep more than 6 hours a night have lower levels of inflammatory markers in their blood compared to people who sleep for under 6 hours.
Many different things can cause you to be sleepy in the daytime but a sleep disorder is a common culprit. If you frequently nod off during the day, stop breathing during sleep, or snore loudly, your daytime sleepiness may be caused by a medical problem like sleep apnea, a condition that interferes with the way you breathe when you’re asleep. Treating sleep apnea may reduce lack of sleep symptoms such as daytime sleepiness.14
If you haven’t slept properly, or you’re suffering from jet lag, you may feel chilled. This is another one of those sleep deprivation symptoms that a good night’s sleep can resolve.15
There are several different types of headaches associated with sleep.
Dark circles under your eyes or puffy eyes can both be lack of sleep symptoms. You can try to relieve dark circles or puffy eyes by placing a damp, cool tea bag on each eye. Getting more sleep is the best way to reduce the appearance of dark circles and puffy eyes.
Pain due to an injury or chronic condition can disrupt your sleep, but conversely a lack of sleep can increase your sensitivity to pain during the day. The good news is that if you can improve your sleep, it’s likely that your sensitivity to daytime pain may be reduced as well.
Heartburn isn’t a symptom of lack of sleep but it can make healthy sleep impossible. If you’re prone to heartburn, you probably find it often attacks when you’re lying down, trying to get to sleep. It can also wake you up during the night. If heartburn is interfering with your sleep, you can try some home remedies, such as sleeping on your left side, elevating the head of your bed, avoiding a heavy meal at night, steering clear of fatty or fried foods and cutting down on alcohol.
Losing weight can reduce the pressure on your stomach. Over-the-counter remedies are available, but if the problem persists and your sleep is still suffering, you should consult your doctor.
Source: https://www.health.harvard.edu/newsletter_article/sleep-and-mental-health 20 June 2019
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Source: Belanger L et al. J Anxiety Disord. 2004;18(4):561-71.
Source:https://www.healthline.com/health/microsleep#symptoms accessed 7 Aug 2019
Source: https://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/news/20180824/how-sleepless-nights-can-trigger-weight-gain#2 accessed 20 June 2019
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Source: https://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/features/relationships#2 accessed 21 June 2019
Source: https://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/features/relationships#1 accessed 21 June 2019
Source: Besedovsky, L et al. Pfugers Arch 20 12. Jan; 463(1): 121-37
Source: https://www.news-medical.net/news/20101115/Acute-sleep-deprivation-increases-inflammation-Research.aspx accessed 21 June 2019
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Source: Landis CA et al. Sleep. 1998;21(1):101-8.
Source: https://www.migrainetrust.org/living-with-migraine/coping-managing/sleep/ accessed 21 June 2019
Source: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/bruxism/symptoms-causes/syc-20356095 accessed 21 June 2019
Source: https://www.everydayhealth.com/sleep/is-insomnia-causing-your-dark-circles.aspx accessed 21 June 2019
Source: 2019 Wei Y, et al. Front Psychiatry. 2018; 9: 377.