The psychology of sleep: How to sleep better at night

Sleep helps to keep people healthy, focused and energetic. (Rawpixel pic)

Have you ever woken up in the morning feeling cranky and drained?

Most people have, as many things can have a negative impact on your sleep cycle.

Stress and anxiety are two of the biggest causes of a restless night.

However, it is possible that one of the causes of these kinds of emotions is due to a lack of sleep.

How can you get a good night’s sleep?

You might think you can get by on just a few hours of shut-eye a night, but don’t be fooled.

Having a good night’s sleep is very important.

Make sure you choose a firm mattress that is supportive and comfortable for you.

Get regular exercise, avoid caffeine and sugary foods late in the day and ensure that you are doing something that relaxes you at least an hour before you go to bed.

It’s incredibly important you get a decent rest each night. Without a good night’s sleep, it is likely that you will suffer from the following:

  • Lack of energy

Of course, a lack of sleep is going to have a huge impact on your energy levels.

Feeling lethargic and sluggish will result in you struggling to wake up and complete your daily tasks efficiently.

The lack of energy you feel after a poor night’s sleep will instantly have an effect on your mood.

Due to feeling so exhausted, it’s likely that you will lose your motivation in doing anything that day.

If this pattern continues for a prolonged period, it will begin to encroach on your day-to-day life.

You might have noticed yourself that, following a restless night, you are more irritable and prone to feelings of depression.

Animals, like humans, need sleep to recharge after a long day. (Rawpixel pic)
  • Poor focus

Not getting enough sleep results in poor focus and a loss of concentration.

This lack of focus can ultimately result in feelings of confusion and frustration.

It might be simple things like forgetting where you left the house keys that can cause a panic.

Or it could result in more dangerous situations, particularly if you get behind the wheel of a car in this condition.

Many road collisions are caused by drivers who have been driving long distances and haven’t had sufficient rest.

  • Impact on weight

You might not have thought that your sleep cycle had any impact on your weight, but in fact, it does.

It comes back down to that lack of energy, and your body needs to make up for it somehow.

When you’re tired, it’s likely that you will begin to crave sugary, fatty foods for the quick energy boost your body is crying out for.

Weight gain can cause issues with low self-esteem, which is a negative psychological issue.

Although people might lack confidence from time to time, if these feelings are continuous, they can contribute to other mental health problems such as anxiety and depression.

  • Lack of memory

A lack of sleep will also have an effect on your ability to remember things.

As you sleep, your brain converts short-term memories into long-term ones.

Therefore, if you’re not getting enough rest, your brain can’t process your memories.

Dennis Relojo-Howell is the founder of Psychreg and host of The DRH Show. You can connect with him on Twitter @drelojo_howell