How sleep deprivation is affecting your life + how to fix it

This morning I woke up at 4am. I got up, wandered the house aimlessly – tidying dinner plates from the night before, and then took myself to the gym for a very early spin class. I know come 4pm I’m going to regret all of the above (apart from maybe the exercise) when my eyelids start to feel heavy and I just want a hot chocolate and some crisp sheets to snuggle. Damn it.

According to a recent study, one in five adults are regularly sleep-deprived. Even partial sleep deprivation can affect our mood, and impacts our cognitive skills. These findings are shown to be more relevant when faced with a heavy workload. Eek!

Not only can sleep deprivation cause weight gain and a very grumpy you, but it can actually trick your brain into snacking a whole lot more too. Here’s some tell-tale signs you need more shut-eye:

  1. You can’t concentrate

    You start writing an email, just as another one pops in, and then you realise you really need a cup of tea whilst you tell your colleagues a summary of Love At First Sight last night, before you decide it’s time to update your LinkedIn profile and then….

    The solution: matcha lattes.

    The monks used matcha to assist with focus during hours of meditation. While green tea does contain caffeine, it has significantly less than a coffee – so you won’t get that jittery feeling. Even better – try it added to your morning pancakes.

  2. You crave sugar

    Your body is low on energy from lack of proper rest, so it tells you to reach for sugar for a pick-me-up. It’s a trick – when you indulge, your blood sugar rises and you feel great for 30 minutes, but when your blood sugar then rapidly drops, you’re left feeling more lethargic than before.

    The Solution: healthy fats

    Try snacking on something high in healthy fat. Think nuts or avocado for sustained slow energy release or opt for these delicious fructose-free treats made with coconut oil to kick those sugar cravings to the curb.

  3. You’re grumpy

    After tossing and turning all night, it’s no surprise your temper is frayed. Studies show that couples have more arguments after a sleepless night too – it’s not just your colleagues the have to deal with your grouchy ass.

    The Solution: Get a bloody good mattress.

    I just got my hands on a Koala King Mattress (so much spaceee) and my mood and boyfriend are loving it. Firm, supportive but super springy thanks it its high-density eco foam. Don’t just take my word for it – check out the reviews. You also adopt a koala in the process! – love.

  4. Your brain is racing

    You do all the right things – have a cup of tea, a bath, lavender oil and more, but your brain just doesn’t understand it’s time to switch off. Why doesn’t it understand?! If I go to sleep now…i’ll get just 5 hours sleep… if I go to sleep now, it will be 4 hours. Arrghhhhhhh….

    The Solution: power down.

    Turn off electronics 1 hour before bed. The light emitted can impact your brain activity – causing you to feel stimulated rather than sleepy. Sorry guys…that includes your iPhone.


About Sally O'Neil - Editor in Chief

Sal is on a mission to prove that healthy and nutritious doesn’t have to be boring – and that even while staying in shape you can have your cake and eat it too. After losing 14kg from adopting a healthier lifestyle, she shares her journey with others on The Fit Foodie Blog. She also writes for national health magazines, has launched a range of Protein Ball Mixes: Fit Mixes, and is the author of Love Move Eat (Bauer Media, 2017).

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Posted under: mood, sleep

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2 Responses to “How sleep deprivation is affecting your life + how to fix it”

  1. Emily Reynolds

    Love this article and so handy especially when I have a bub who keeps me up most nights, numerous times at unearthly hours. Thank you. Couldn’t agree more with the matcha and bigger bed. Life-changing xx

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