What a Lack of Sleep Does to Your Brain

We all know how important it is to get quality sleep. When we’re tired it’s hard to focus at work and a lack of sleep can even make you cranky! Caffeine will only get you so far in life, yet for many of us, getting eight hours of sleep in a row seems impossible. So we’ve gathered some info on the effects a lack of sleep has on your brain and also little tricks you can do to feel as rested as possible in the morning.

What a lack of sleep does to your brain

1. A lack of sleep makes you stupid!

Sleep loss really hampers your brain’s cognitive processes and compromises your alertness, concentration, and problem-solving abilities. When you’re tired, you’re more likely to make mistakes and struggle to complete tasks that involve logical reasoning or complex thought.

3. Causes depression and moodiness

A lack of sleep can lead you to become moody and depressed. Not only does losing sleep make you less patient, but it can also impair your judgement and make you more easily lose your temper. Chronic sleepiness can also lead to depression, meanwhile depression can make it harder for you to sleep. So it can become a vicious cycle that’s hard to break!

2. Kills your sex drive

A study done at the University of Chicago discovered that men who got less than five hours of sleep a night for one week or longer had their testosterone levels drop to those of a 15-year-old boy. This drop of testosterone led to the men developing a lower sex drive. Yet a lower libido doesn’t only harm one’s social life, it can also lead to lower energy levels and depression.

When you’re tired, you’re more likely to make mistakes and struggle to complete tasks that involve logical reasoning or complex thought.

4. Sleepiness also makes you forgetful

During our natural sleep cycle, our brain processes information and stores certain memories from the day. When you don’t complete that sleep cycle, your brain is unable to store the information properly. Meaning the next day, you’ll have a much harder time remembering what you did or learned the previous day and you’ll also struggle to with your short-term memory.

1. A lack of sleep makes you stupid!

Sleep loss really hampers your brain’s cognitive processes and compromises your alertness, concentration, and problem-solving abilities. When you’re tired, you’re more likely to make mistakes and struggle to complete tasks that involve logical reasoning or complex thought.

When you’re tired, you’re more likely to make mistakes and struggle to complete tasks that involve logical reasoning or complex thought.

2. Kills your sex drive

A study done at the University of Chicago discovered that men who got less than five hours of sleep a night for one week or longer had their testosterone levels drop to those of a 15-year-old boy. This drop of testosterone led to the men developing a lower sex drive. Yet a lower libido doesn’t only harm one’s social life, it can also lead to lower energy levels and depression.

3. Causes depression and moodiness

A lack of sleep can lead you to become moody and depressed. Not only does losing sleep make you less patient, but it can also impair your judgement and make you more easily lose your temper. Chronic sleepiness can also lead to depression, meanwhile depression can make it harder for you to sleep. So it can become a vicious cycle that’s hard to break!

4. Sleepiness also makes you forgetful

During our natural sleep cycle, our brain processes information and stores certain memories from the day. When you don’t complete that sleep cycle, your brain is unable to store the information properly. Meaning the next day, you’ll have a much harder time remembering what you did or learned the previous day and you’ll also struggle to with your short-term memory.

Ways to feel rested

1.Eight-hour myth

Don’t feel constrained by the eight-hour myth! Everyone is different, and some people require fewer or even more than eight hours of sleep per night. However, except for the rare few, most humans require seven to nine hours of sleep a night and getting too little or too much sleep can actually be harmful. What’s even more interesting is that your night doesn’t necessarily have to be consecutive. History and modern studies have shown that some people prefer sleeping four to five hours and then waking for a few hours and then going right back to sleep for another four. What’s key is that you make sure you feel rested when morning comes.

Don’t feel constrained by the eight-hour myth!

2. Naps aren’t just for babies

What do Albert Einstein, Thomas Edison, Winston Churchill and Napoleon all have in common? They all took advantage of the benefits that a good twenty to thirty-minute nap can provide. Habitual napping is known to increase your short-term alertness and ability to concentrate. However, it’s not recommended to sleep longer than 30 minutes or to nap too late in the day, as you may wake up groggy or struggle to sleep that night. Yet if you’re exhausted and you just can’t stay awake, it’s recommended to sleep enough to where you’ll complete your first non-REM to REM sleep cycle, which generally lasts 90 to 100 minutes, but to not wake up in the middle of your second cycle, which starts immediately after.