Everybody has those rough nights, often blaming their negative mood on being tired. These rough nights often affect our emotions, translating into a poor attitude described as being “snappy,” “mean,” or just plain “moody.” Everybody has these bad days, but if your letting your emotions get the best of you often, that’s a red flag! A lack of sleep could be causing a physical change in your brain that’s making your emotions go haywire.
A study done by the University of California-Berkeley and Harvard Medical School, published in Current Biology, examined the effects of sleep on 26 healthy adults. The results found that the brain’s emotional center becomes 60% more reactive in those who are sleep deprived. Brain scans showed that when the participants were exposed to a series of images, ranging from neutral to disturbing, the sleep deprived had stronger responses because the prefrontal area of the brain (that normally sends inhibiting signals) wasn’t able to keep emotions under control.
5 Tips to Improve Your Mood
Find your Magic Number: Find your magic sleep number and start sticking to it each night. It will help you rule out the possibility that your emotional distress is sleep related.
Catch a Cat Nap: If you’re getting up early but going to bed late, schedule a quick power nap. Don’t nap more than an hour or it could make it harder for you to fall asleep at night.
Reduce Caffeine: Caffeine is a mood altering drug just like alcohol. It can mask the feelings of being tired by giving you a temporary energy boost. It raises your blood pressure, makes you jittery and can mask your need for sleep.
Enjoy Solitude: If you’re feeling emotionally distressed, create a space that you can enjoy alone. Try calming the mind through meditation, writing or just a place to think clearly. It’s best to visit this place when you’re feeling heightened amounts of stress or just before bedtime. This will allow you to calm your nerves and mentally prepare for bed. (Your bedroom should be a relaxing place too).
Locate Pain: If you’re experiencing neck, back or any other type of pain, it not only bothers you all day, but it interferes with the quality of your sleep. This greatly affects your mood. Locate your pain and talk to your doctor about finding a solution.
Although your mood is directly related to your sleep, it can be the other way around. If you’re depressed, anxious or you notice the things that once made you happy are no longer enjoyable, you might need to address other areas of your emotional health. Talk with your doctor if your negative emotions are consistent for prolonged periods of time.
About Valley Sleep Center:
Since 2002, Valley Sleep Center, accredited by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, has provided Arizona with diagnostic sleep disorder testing in a home-like atmosphere, ensuring a comfortable, relaxing experience for patients. Their Board Certified Sleep Medicine Specialists consist of experienced and knowledgeable physicians who provide expert advice across a multitude of sleep related disorders including insomnia, sleep apnea, snoring, excessive daytime sleepiness, hypertension, sleepwalking, and pediatric sleep problems. They accept most insurance plans as well as Medicare. For more information contact Lauri Leadley at (480) 830-3900 or visit us at http://www.valleysleepcenter.com.