Today, prolonged wakefulness is a widespread phenomenon and most people who don’t get enough sleep don’t recognise the toll that it takes on their cognitive and mental health.
Lack of sleep can alter your mood significantly. It causes irritability and anger and may lessen your ability to cope with stress.
A sleepy fatigued person is accident prone, judgement impaired and more likely to make mistakes and bad decisions. Staying awake for 24 hours leads to a reduced hand-to-eye coordination that is similar to having a blood alcohol content of 0.1.
Constant sleep deprivation can result:
- Reduced alertness
- Shortened attention span
- Slower than normal reaction time
- Poorer judgement
- Reduced awareness of the environment and situation
- Reduced decision-making skills
- Poorer memory
- Reduced concentration
- Increased likelihood of mentally ‘stalling’ or fixating on one thought
- Increased likelihood of moodiness and bad temper
- Reduced work efficiency
- Loss of motivation
- Errors of omission – making a mistake by forgetting to do something
- Errors of commission – making a mistake by doing something, but choosing the wrong option
- Microsleep – brief periods of involuntary sleeping that range from a few seconds to a few minutes in duration.
Sleep is as important to the human body as food and water, it is time to prioritise sleep and sleeping environment the same way we do hydration and nutriotion.
Read here how much sleep you should get: How much sleep do you need?
- Sleep deprivation: Impact on cognitive performance, by Paula Alhola and Päivi Polo-Kantola.
- What Lack of Sleep Does to Your Mind, by Camille Peri
- Sleep deprivation at BetterHealth Channel