Not a cloud in the sky, the cool sea breeze nicely compliments a warm summer morning as you drive to work in a state of pure bliss. You take a seat at your desk ready to tear through your list of tasks before the weekend. Feeling optimistic, you get started, but are interrupted when you realise you left your lunch in the car. Slightly annoyed by the situation, you return ten minutes later to your desk to try again. An email pings you on your phone taking you yet further off task.
A few hours later, your happiness has transformed into noticeable irritation, you are wearing a scowl that would make the grumpy cat look happy and you still haven’t checked off the first task on your list. What happened to the happy person driving into work on the perfect morning? Where did your concentration go today?
In its simplest form, the solution is to get more sleep. And we even have a bit of science for you to explain why!
See, an inadequate amount of sleep does two things to your brain. First, it activates your amygdala, which is the part of your brain involved in rage and aggression. This makes it more likely for you to become irritated, flustered and angered by things that normally wouldn’t bother you. Secondly, the lack of sleep decreases activity in your limbic system, which is responsible for regulating your anxiety.
We aren’t here to tell you that sleep solves everything, but a little more sleep might just work some magic for your concentration, your mood and your general state of mind. It can be difficult to tell if you are sleep deprived, but your day-to-day behaviour is a pretty good reflection of the amount of sleep you are getting.
So next time you have that perfect start to your day, you will be well rested. You won’t be forgetting your lunch in the car or daydreaming while you should be working. You won’t be feeling moody nor will you be scowling as you sit flustered at your desk. Instead you will be concentrated or your task at hand with a big smile on your face and feeling much more in control. After all, when you sleep more you tend to smile more.