Why You Shouldn’t Make Important Decisions When You’re Sleep Deprived

decisions

Aside from the light-headedness, grogginess, and endless yawning, scientists just recently found out that sleep deprivation can also cause optimism. It doesn’t really sound like a bad thing at face value, because everyone could really use some positivity in their lives, right? Yes, but with reservations. Excessive optimism can get risky, especially if you need to make important decisions when you’ve just missed out on some zzz’s.

We all know that making an important decision while sleep deprived is not a good idea. Without the right amount of sleep, we’re less focused, we don’t remember things right, and it’s hard to integrate feedback properly. In short, because we’re unable to focus on the matter at hand, making a decision when you didn’t get enough zzz’s is never a good idea. You’ll most likely neglect important points worth considering, making your call flawed and problematic in the end. Coupled with exaggerated optimism, you might just commit yourself to something that you won’t even touch with a ten foot pole after a good night’s sleep.

A study was conducted by neuroscientists from the Duke University medical schools tested the effects of sleep deprivation in decision making. With the help of an MRI, the experts determined that lack of sleep can increase brain activity in the areas that assess positive outcomes and a decrease in the areas for negative consequences. This helped them conclude that a person who has slept less than needed is more sensitive to positive rewards and tends to ignore the cons.

This means that when we’re sleep deprived, we’re more likely to only recognize the good things an opportunity brings. We tend to ignore the possible consequences and we’re not really able to rationalize the situation. We’re more likely to jump at something because our brain is only focused on the good part, blinded by sleep deprivation.

So, the next time you haven’t gotten a good night’s sleep and you’re offered a major opportunity, give yourself some time before you make a decision. Experts even suggest to sleep on it first. As your body is able to integrate conscious deliberations with unconscious processing when you’re fast asleep, sleeping on a big decision gives your body some time to think it through, since your brain isn’t really resting when you’re dozing off. Clear your mind with some zzz’s and get your ability to weigh pros and cons back before making a call.

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These Cozy Cuddles will Make You Long for Your Bed Even More

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Aside from sleep, cuddling is possibly the next best thing you can enjoy in bed. Holding a loved one closely while you relax and drift off to sleep is always a great feeling, letting you unwind even more and fall asleep peacefully. So, in celebration of this wonderful activity, here are some of the sweetest and coziest cuddles that will make you want to run home and get in bed with a loved one – may it be your special someone, your child, or your pet.

Gossip Girl

Chuck

The X-Files

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No Strings Attached
500 Days of SummerTeen Wolf

Friends

The OC

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Castle

According to experts, cuddling can help you sleep better. Cuddling releases the cuddle chemical, oxytocin, which is a hormone that helps relieve pain and stress, boosts the immune system, and helps you sleep. It also drops your cortisol levels, making you less anxious and more relaxed, ready to catch some zzz’s. These make cuddling a great way to get yourself ready for some shuteye as it can easily help you unwind even after a stressful day. With all of its benefits, cuddling is definitely a great addition to everyone’s bedtime routine.

Your Medication May Be Causing Your Sleeplessness

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Insomnia can be caused by a lot of things. Your diet, lifestyle, caffeine, diseases, and stress are just some of the most common examples. There are people who are easily affected by these and spend sleepless nights continuously or on and off. If you’re used to experiencing nights without a wink of sleep every now and then, you can easily chalk it up to one of these things. But if you’re someone who rarely experience any sleeping problems, finding it hard to catch some zzz’s could really be a bit alarming.

In such cases, there are a lot of possible culprits. The most potent one, however, may just be the new medication you’re taking. We’re not talking about sleeping pills here, but other meds that can cause insomnia as a side effect. As chemicals don’t work the same way for different people, side effects don’t manifest the same way for everyone. Some people may experience sleep loss due to their prescription drugs, while others won’t. There’s no way to know if a newly prescribed medicine will affect your sleep until you take them, you will most likely have to bear with it until you can consult with your doctor or pharmacist on whether they can adjust the dosage or replace it with a different one.

Medicines that Can Cause Insomnia

These drugs can affect the quality and quantity of your sleep:

1. Antibiotics

Specific varieties of antibiotics can cause difficulties in falling asleep. Quinolones could intensify the effects of caffeine, causing it to last longer in your system. This, in turn, could result to sleeplessness. Class members include ciprofloxacin (Cipro),  moxifloxacin (Avelox), levofloxacin (Levaquin), and ofloxacin (Floxin).

2. Corticosteroids

Taken to treat inflammations, gout, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and allergic reactions, corticosteroids can also influence the body’s adrenal glands, which then affects sleep. Class members include cortisone, methylprednisolone (Medrol), prednisone, and triamcinolone.

3. Statins

Typically prescribed to help manage high blood pressure, statins come with a side effect of muscle pain. This, in turn, makes it difficult for a some to fall asleep. Varieties include atorvastatin (Lipitor), simvastatin (Zocor), lovastatin (Mevacor), and rosuvastatin (Crestor).

4. Alpha-blockers

Also used to manage high blood pressure, alpha blockers can help relax muscles and improve the taker’s blood flow. However, it affects REM sleep, decreasing the quality of a person’s zzz’s. Examples of alha-blockers are alfuzosin (Uroxatral), silodosin (Rapaflo), prazosin (Minipress), terazosin (Hytrin), doxazosin (Cardura), and tamsulosin (Flomax).

How to Deal

It is never okay to suffer from insomnia while you’re treating a different condition. So if you suspect that your new meds are causing your sleeplessness, see your medical health provider right away. A dosage adjustment or prescription replacement can resolve the issue, so don’t hesitate to seek help as soon as you can.

 

Why A Good Night’s Sleep is Almost Impossible Away from Your Bed

good nights sleep

Some people can sleep anywhere at any given time. They’re often humorously referred to as the “masa,” short for “masandal, tulog” (can fall asleep as soon as they get back support). Others, however, find it hard to sleep in new places. We typically refer to this as “pamamahay,” or the feeling that you’re not really at home in a new place. We knew that being in a different place can cause sleep difficulties, but what we didn’t know was why it was so hard for some folks to sleep in a different bed.

A new study published in Current Biology explains what exactly happens when we sleep in a different place. Apparently, when you sleep in a different environment, your body does its best to protect you. By keeping the left hemisphere of your brain awake, your body can still react to potential dangers even while you’re catching some zzz’s. As we are most vulnerable while asleep, being in an unfamiliar place heightens the body’s alertness, urging it to take measures to protect itself even subconsciously.

This is why grogginess is experienced the next morning after sleeping in a different bed. It’s really hard to get a good night’s sleep when your body has a high sense of self preservation, so if you tend to experience “pamamahay” on the regular, getting more sleep at home is advised. This way, you can, at least, bank on a few restful zzz’s before you have to sleep somewhere else.