Sometimes it feels like everything and everyone in your life is out to get you. Maybe the kids are acting up (as usual). Perhaps there’s too much traffic and you’re running late (again!). You spilled coffee on yourself (and you have a client meeting at 9am), or work is just coming in faster than you can handle.
If these little inconveniences seem overwhelming it may be less to do with what’s happening to you and more to do with the amount of sleep you’re getting.
You may know a few people (or even yourself) that claim to be night owls, but did you know that the human body is hardwired to wake and rest with the rise and fall of the sun?
You may also think that you can get by with only a few hours’ sleep but research from the University of California has discovered only 3% of the population have a gene that enables them to function well on only six hours or less sleep. Maybe you are part of that 3%, but more likely is that you suffer from high-functioning sleep deprivation.
The reason you anger quickly
When your brain is running in sleep debt your amygdala is more active than usual. This is the part of your brain involved in rage and aggression. It means you are more likely to become irritated, flustered and angered by things that normally wouldn’t bother you.
On top of this the lack of sleep decreases activity in your limbic system, which is responsible for regulating your anxiety.
Anxiety + Rage + Irritation + Aggression = One foul mood
Once you’ve been operating in this space for a prolonged period of time you will find you are at increased risk of heart disease, heart attacks and high blood pressure to name a few. Your health will take a nose-dive.
We don’t want to say that sleep fixes everything, but it can definitely help to improve your mood. Sleep is one of the four pillars of health, along with exercise, diet and mental health. It’s essential for your physical, mental and emotional well-being.