When you're exceptionally tired but unable to get sleep, it doesn't take much to set you off. Situations that normally would be manageable may suddenly seem much more irritating. There's a good chance it's because you're sleep deprived.
One study showed that children who slept less than 10 hours in a day were 25 percent more likely to misbehave [source: The Franklin Institute].
Sleep deprivation increases your odds of experiencing feelings of depression, burnout and decreased empathy. Those who are already depressed or have other underlying mental health disorders may find those problems exacerbated by lack of sleep.
Looking for a reason to stay awake a little longer? Check out lots more information on sleep deprivation below.
- Breus, Michael J., Ph.D. "Chronic Sleep Deprivation May Harm Health." WebMD. Mar. 15, 2006. (July 20, 2011) http://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/guide/important-sleep-habits
- Christensen, Misty Marie. "Effects of alcohol intoxication and sleep deprivation, on concentration, reaction time and driving simulation tasks." Jan. 31, 2008. (July 20, 2011) http://dspace.nitle.org/handle/10090/3835
- Downs, Jenny R. "How Sleep Deprivation Affects Psychological Variables Related to College Students Cognitive Performance." Jan. 11, 2011. (July 20, 2011) http://reviewessays.com/print/Sleep-Deprivation-Affects-Psychological-Variables/30747.html
- Durmer, Jeffrey S. "Neurocognitive Consequences of Sleep Deprivation: Sleep Deprivation and Accident Risk." Seminars in Neurology. March 2005. (July 30, 2011) http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/503105_2
- González-Ortiz, M. et al. "Effect of sleep deprivation on insulin sensitivity and cortisol concentration in healthy subjects." Diabetes, Nutrition & Metabolism. Apr., 2000. (July 20, 2011) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10898125
- Ledoux, Sarah. "The Effects of Sleep Deprivation on Brain and Behavior." Jan. 3, 2008. (July 20, 2011) http://serendip.brynmawr.edu/exchange/node/1690
- Lieberman, H.R. "Effects of caffeine, sleep loss, and stress on cognitive performance and mood during U.S. Navy SEAL training." Psychopharmacology. Nov. 2002. (July 20, 2011) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12424548
- National Sleep Foundation. "How Much Sleep Do We Really Need?" (July 20, 2011) http://www.sleepfoundation.org/article/how-sleep-works/how-much-sleep-do-we-really-need
- Palmer, Brian. "Can You Die From Lack of Sleep?" Slate. May 11, 2009. (July 20, 2011) http://www.slate.com/id/2218092/
- Roy-Byrne, Peter P., M.D. et al. "Effects of One Night's Sleep Deprivation on Mood and Behavior in Panic Disorder." Archives of General Psychiatry. Sept., 1986. (July 20, 2011) http://archpsyc.ama-assn.org/cgi/content/abstract/43/9/895
- ScienceDaily. "Sleep Deprivation Doubles Risks Of Obesity In Both Children And Adults." July 13, 2006. (July 20, 2011) http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/07/060713081140.htm
- ScienceDaily. "Sleep-Deprived People Make Risky Decisions Based On Too Much Optimism." March 21, 2011. (July 20, 11) http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110308172942.htm
- Stein, Anne. "Lack of sleep contributing to obesity." Chicago Tribune. June 29, 2011. (July 20, 2011) http://www.latimes.com/health/sc-health-0629-sleep-20110629,0,3551358.story
- Stevens, M Suzanne, M.D. et al. "Normal Sleep, Sleep Physiology, and Sleep Deprivation." Medscape Reference. (July 20, 2011) http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/1188226-overview#a30
- The Franklin Institute. "The Human Brain: Renew- Sleep and Stress." (July 20, 2011) http://www.fi.edu/learn/brain/sleep.html
- The University of Chicago Medical Center. "Sleep loss boosts appetite, may encourage weight gain." Dec. 6, 2004. (July 20, 2011) http://www.uchospitals.edu/news/2004/20041206-sleep.html
- UC San Diego Health System. "Brain Activity is Visibly Altered Following Sleep Deprivation." July 29, 2002. (July 20, 2011) http://health.ucsd.edu/news/2000_02_09_Sleep.html
- Venkatraman, Vinod et al. "Sleep Deprivation Biases the Neural Mechanisms Underlying Economic Preferences." The Journal of Neuroscience. March 9, 2011. (July 20, 2011) http://www.jneurosci.org/content/31/10/3712.abstract
- WebMD. "Are You Getting Enough Sleep?" Feb. 9, 2009. (July 20, 2011) http://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/guide/sleep-requirements
- WebMD. "Understanding Insomnia -- Treatment." Oct. 25, 2010. (July 20, 2011) http://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/understanding-insomnia-treatment
Four weeks and 4,000 miles is a long time to get by on catnaps during a solo sailing race.