sleepy man, Klonopin for insomnia, melatonin under your tongue, too little sleep

Sleep deprivation has been linked to diabetes, weight gain, high blood pressure, forgetfulness, accidents, lowered immunity and delayed reaction times. Now, add grumpiness and anger to the list of consequences of getting too little sleep.

How Scientists Studied Reactions to Too Little Sleep:

Researchers at Iowa State University recruited volunteers for this study (Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, online Oct. 25, 2018). The participants either got their regular amount of sleep each night or reduced their sleep time by two to four hours for two nights. These individuals came to the lab and listened to annoying sounds on headphones while they rated different products. Those who had slept less were much quicker to get angry. The scientists are now evaluating whether sleep loss also contributes to aggression.

What Do You Know About Getting the Sleep You Need?

Are you getting a good night’s sleep? If you are like many Americans, the chances are you’re not. According to one survey, 40 percent of us get less than seven hours of shut-eye each night.

Here’s a little quiz:

  1. Do you drag yourself out of bed with difficulty?
  2. Do you often hit the snooze button?
  3. Do you find it hard to keep your eyes open in meetings, while reading or when watching TV?
  4. Does it take longer than an hour to fall asleep?
  5. Do you wake up periodically and have trouble getting back to sleep?

Consequences of Too Little Sleep:

Scary Driving:

If you answered yes to more than one of these questions, you could be chronically sleep-deprived. The consequences might be more serious than you imagine. For one thing, you are a hazard on the highway. Research findings from New Zealand indicate that drowsy drivers are eight times more likely to have an accident than those who feel alert. In the U.S., fatal car crashes are more often due to sleepiness than to alcohol, at least for people under 25.

Impaired Immune Response:

Sleep loss also has a negative impact on the immune system. Mice infected with flu virus recover more quickly if allowed to sleep normally than if their sleep is deliberately disrupted.

Lapses in Memory and Concentration:

Another problem with skimping on sleep is lack of concentration and lapses in memory. A study of 5,000 first-graders has suggested that children who snore loudly-suggesting a sleep disturbance-are twice as likely as others to experience attention problems or hyperactivity.

Snoring is unusual in children, but far more common as we get older. Sometimes it is benign, but if it is caused by sleep apnea (sleep-related breathing disturbances), the snorer is at increased risk of serious problems such as high blood pressure or heart disease.

A number of chronic conditions seem to make it harder for people to get the sleep they need. And, in a vicious cycle, too little sleep can make the disorder worse. This unfortunate merry-go-round is especially serious with certain painful conditions like fibromyalgia. In such situations, insomnia is strongly associated with poor quality of life.

Improving Your Sleep Situation:

Even people with serious insomnia can overcome it, though. A study conducted at Duke University found that people instructed in good sleep habits and given cognitive behavioral therapy were able to halve the number of times they woke up each night and increase their total sleep time by about half an hour.

How can you do this? First, resist the powerful urge to take a long nap in the middle of the day. Instead, stick to a regular schedule for sleeping, going to bed and rising around the same time each day. Vigorous exercise five or six hours before bedtime can be very helpful, while an exciting TV show late at night can make it harder to fall asleep at a reasonable hour.

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  1. Anne
    Bakersfield, Ca.

    My husband and I did have trouble getting to sleep. We finally bought a Sleep-Number (Select Comfort) bed and have had little to no trouble sleeping since then.

  2. Lulugodzilla

    According to data, I am chronically sleep deprived. But wait, I am retired from the entire work force since 2010 and am still learning what things are like in this vastly different time of life. I believe that since I don’t really have a schedule of sorts – when, for how long, and how often I sleep doesn’t really matter anymore. My body and brain is basically on the C-Shift of a work day; yet I live with others who are all A-Shift. >>> 0800 hrs during the week is when my body says it’s “quitting” time and time to go for some restful sleep; for about 4-5 hours. Oh my, that’s telling me that I am possibly awake for about 20-hours per day. (I am laughing to myself . . .)

  3. Martin

    Hi all .
    I agree that sleep is very important but each one of us humans are very different. I am a 74 year old male born in ireland but have lived and worked in 12 other countries. As far as sleep goes i dont think that i have got any more sleep than 4 hours per night in 50 years . I still go too the gym sauna and pool 3 times a week and i am nearly as fit as the 30 year olds . I worked in construction all my life , never have a nap during the day , i dont smoke now drink very very little alcohol , i have a very good diet . I am still very alert and do a days work with any man . So its not the same for any two people .
    My father died at 93 my mother at 90 but both were on sleeping pills for many years , on their last 2 years of life the have a problem with their cognitive decline.
    We are 5 in family all living well from 81 down to myself.
    So i think too much sleep is far more unhealthy than too little .

  4. BB

    I sleep very well until around 3 AM then unable to go back to sleep. Not wanting to take a prescription medication I tried many options with no success. I read an article that Passion Flower would enable one to sleep. I found that if I took two droppers, which is about a third of each dropper as that is all that fills a dropper in a small amount of water before going to bed I would wake up at 3 AM but was able to immediately go back to sleep and sleep till the alarm went off or sleep till ready to awaken about 7 AM. If I forget to take the two droppers of Passion Flower I can get up at 3 AM and take it then and return to sleep within a half hour.
    It is not addicting and works so well and is not cost prohibitive. It is best to discuss with your physician as I did with my rheumatologist and get an okay to try.

  5. Fed Up

    It is even more frustrating to constantly be reminded that not
    sleeping well or lack of quality sleep is detrimental to our health
    and can shorten life. Well since meno at age 62 because of quitting
    vivelle hormone patch, I have not been sleeping well, never the touted 8hrs for sure. I have tried all the recommendations but
    awaken every night after 3-4hrs and most often cannot get back to
    sleep until two hrs later, most times with 1/4 of a 5mg zolpidem, no
    side effects in the morning like grogginess since that small amount
    lasts only about three hrs. Of course, I might be losing my marbles
    and not know it yet! most seniors like me do not stay up all night
    and party. All those “get your 8hr winks” are probably meant for
    the young party or studying population..

  6. SLEEP E.
    Lake View, NY

    I was diagnosed 15 months past with severe sleep apna.
    My events per hour were 108. No wonder I was having trouble staying awake during the day.
    Got a CPAP machine with constant reminders that practice leads to better health.
    Happy to report that last night I registered seven+ hours and 2.5 events per hour. It has been a struggle, but there are noticeable results.

  7. Judith
    Glenwood Springs CO

    I was told to avoid “blue” light. When I stopped reading books on my Kindle before bed, my insomnia diminished. I also do not work or read on my computer after 7 pm.

  8. Daffodil

    I have trouble falling asleep about half of the nights and keep waking up every 1 1/2hrs or so. Tried everything. All Dr. will give is Amytryptaline, which I am worried about as an anticholinergic drug. Many nights I have only had 2/3 hrs sleep.

    • GiantSloth

      To Daffodil –
      I have a recommendation – go to bed really early for awhile so you have at least 10 hours before you have to get up. When you wake up, do not turn on a white light. Use a red head-lamp (very inexpensive) to get around in the dark. Go to the kitchen and make a tea using ground lavender blossoms. Steep for 5 minutes. Go back to bed after walking a little – up and down stairs or just around the house. Sit in the bed and write down what area of your body you are focusing your attention on. Start at the feet and proceed to the top of head. After a couple of times of that – lie back down in the bed and breath deeply for awhile – do the same focusing on the inner energy of the body without writing this time. You’ll probably get back to sleep and be able to sleep awhile before awakening again. If you awaken again with more than 1 1/2 hrs before wake-up time – repeat the above. This has recently been consistently giving me another few hours of sleep each night. i’m feeling much better. i hope it works as well for you.

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