13, Jun, 2024
How Can Lack Of Sleep Cause Anxiety And Stress

How Can Lack Of Sleep Cause Anxiety And Stress

sleep deprivation

Lack of sleep has been known to have a huge impact on an individual’s mental health. Once it takes a toll on you, it will cause significant changes in your behavior. So to answer your question, “Can lack sleep cause anxiety?”- Yes! It most certainly does! Check this page to find out how it’s diagnosed and treated by specialists.


What Is Anxiety

Anxiety refers to our body’s natural reaction to stress. It’s an uneasy feeling accompanied by fright for things that haven’t even occurred yet. For some people, it happens during the most unexpected events. You can be watching tv and start feeling anxious about certain things out of nowhere.

Sometimes, anxiety and nervousness are incorrectly interchanged. To differentiate the two emotions, anxiety is a psychiatric sleep disruptive disorder that gradually develops if left untreated. Nervousness, on the other hand, is a common feeling that lasts for a short period of time.


Lack Of Sleep and Anxiety

man fallen asleepTypically, adults need at least seven hours of sleep every day to function well. Teenagers need an average of nine hours of sleep since they are still in the development stage with a variety of education and extra-curricular activities. Without enough sleep, anxiety and stress may emerge which can directly affect their everyday mood and performance.

According to studies, people who have sleep disorders will most likely develop anxiety in the long run. And clinically diagnosed patients with anxiety usually exhibit symptoms like sleep disruption. The correlation between these two is yet to be determined.

Research shows that lack of sleep causes the same brain operations that make an individual vulnerable to anxiety. While it’s not the major cause of anxiety, it can highly trigger its other signs and symptoms, adding intensity to the anxiety and fueling it to progress more.

So how exactly does sleep affect our mental health?

If you are a normal sleeper with no sleep disorders at all, your sleep cycle changes every 90 minutes. Every night, you experience two different sleep categories. The quiet sleep and the rapid eye movement sleep.

The first one refers to the calm type of sleep where our body temperature decreases, muscles are being relaxed, and the heart rate and breathing slow down, more like a hibernating period. This is where you are asleep deeply. Quiet sleep is important in boosting the immune system.

The rapid eye movement sleep is the total opposite of quiet sleep. It’s the category where your body increases temperature and the levels of blood pressure, heart rate, and breathing rise as well. It greatly contributes to emotional and mental health as it improves learning and memory.

If an individual does not experience the two stages of the sleep cycle regularly, there is a vast possibility that he or she will eventually develop mental health issues and sleep disorders.


Effects of Sleep Deprivation

Apart from developing anxiety and stress, lack of sleep also affects the body in many ways. It may have unpleasant effects on your mental health, but worst-case scenario, it can put you in a critical situation. Listed below are some of the most common effects of sleep deprivation;

  • It leads to sleepiness. We are all aware that lack of sleep will eventually make you feel sleepy during the day. This means that you will not be able to function well and perform your daily tasks. lit will also be harder for you to stay awake as your body deliberately just wants to shut down and rest.
  • It causes accidents. Once sleepiness overpowers you, there is a huge chance that you end up in an accident. Data shows that one of the topmost reasons why road accidents happen is because of sleepy drivers who cannot stay focused.
  • It literally causes you to be unable to grasp or understand ideas and impressions. Losing focus is one thing, but losing your ability to stay attentive, comprehend, concentrate, and solve problems will be another issue for you to deal with. As mentioned, sleep plays a vital role in developing thinking and learning skills so it’s important to have complete hours of sleep every day.
  • It puts you at risk of other health problems. Some of the diseases that you might contract include heart disease, heart failure, abnormal heartbeat, irregular blood pressure, stroke, and diabetes. In fact, it’s been widely estimated that about 90% of people with sleep disorders also obtain other health conditions. Dr. Jack Yang of Beyond Infinity Dental in Castle Hill warns that it also leads to bruxism issues.
  • Your anxiety could lead to depression. In most conducted studies about the connection of anxiety and sleep deprivation, most people with anxiety and depression sleep for less than 6 hours per night. Insomnia, being the most common sleep disorder, has the most intense impact on the development of anxiety and depression.
  • It makes you forgetful. One thing that makes lack of sleep very frustrating is the fact that it makes an individual quite forgetful. Doctors claim that complete and regular sleep can sharpen memory and improve critical thinking skills.
  • It affects your judgment. When a person is sleep-deprived, their ability to interpret events around them gets compromised. Many studies reveal that lack of sleep not only causes anxiety but weakens a person’s judgment skills.


Improve Sleep and Avoid Anxiety

woman cannot sleepTo prevent anxiety, stress, and development of depression, it would be better to improve your sleeping habits:

  1. Set a regular sleeping schedule.
  2. Make your own bedtime routines. Drink warm milk, brush your teeth and floss and go straight to bed.
  3. Perform physical activities.
  4. Maintain a balanced diet.
  5. Avoid caffeine especially at night.
  6. Limit consumption of alcoholic beverages.
  7. Avoid long naps during the day.
  8. Create a sleepy ambience.

Your sleep habit will surely improve once you try these helpful tips.