If you’ve been making a lot of bad decisions lately, your sleep habits could be to blame.
According to a new study recently published from Clemson University, there is a connection between having poor sleep habits and developing negative tendencies, such as increased impulsiveness and an inability to concentrate.
As Medical Daily puts it, “When you go days of getting only four or five hours of sleep a night, you begin to feel and look like a zombie: Bags seem to appear under your eyes overnight…Your hair is somehow more disheveled than normal. Walking up the stairs is so much more exhausting than usual and your productivity at work or school plummets.”
Although the physical effects of sleep deprivation are notable and serious, this last part — your productivity at work or school — is at the center of Clemson’s latest study.
According to the findings of the study, long-term sleep deprivation causes an increased risk for impulsive decision-making and positive self-control — and these things are what really wreak havoc on your personal life, your career, your relationship, and even your own physical health. (Exhibit A: Midnight snacking, followed by 15 extra lbs.)
CTV News states that the problem of developing poor sleep habits is really a result of our ever-demanding digital world; as stress skyrockets and the office demands more, it’s harder to justify getting a good eight- or nine-hour sleep whilst your Significant Other is neglected.
And even when a person tries to get an adequate amount of sleep, health experts have begun discovering that an astonishing number of people suffer from sleep disorders. In the U.S. alone, it’s estimated that about 18 million people suffer from sleep apnea, which is a condition where the air passage closes up during sleep and causes a pause in breathing. The body will finally gasp for air, jolting awake, and this can happen dozens of times per night.
The trouble with sleep apnea, like with most sleep disorders, is that the people suffering from it don’t even realize they have it — and therefore never get treated until the signs of chronic sleep deprivation begin appearing.
Along with the physical signs, like fatigue and weight gain, the Clemson study found that negative thought patterns and actions also accompany poor sleep; substance abuse, impulsive spending and gambling are all more likely to occur when a person hasn’t slept well for an extended period of time.
In other words, it’s time to shut off the computer, tablet, or smartphone — and go to bed before deciding otherwise!