The Reason Why You Sometimes Feel Giddy and Energetic When Sleep Deprived

Have you ever experienced feeling so hyper after a few sleepless nights? It’s quite surprising and mildly encouraging, right? Because you totally expect to look and feel like a zombie, the burst of energy on what could be some of your busiest days ever is a great gift. But what does it mean and is it bad for you? Should you be worried?

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The thing with the sleep deprived brain is that it can get extreme. You don’t need to read a study to know that lots of people who aren’t getting a lot of zzz’s are irritable and pessimistic at best. However, one study discovered that the brain’s reward networks also go into hyperdrive when deprived of sleep. This means that you can end up taking neutral cues as positive ones when you haven’t gotten some shuteye in a while.

While this sounds great, it can also be burdensome in many occasions. Not because lack of zzz’s makes you hyper and giddy does it mean that you’re doing alright. You should actually look at it as you not communicating properly, which can lead to interpersonal complications later on.

What we’re getting at here is, not because you’re feeling up and happy despite not getting enough sleep does it mean that you’re fine not getting quality shuteye. You might feel great, but, really, sleep is important, so you should work on improving your sleep hygiene.

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We Need to Stop Glorifying Sleep Deprivation Right Now

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In today’s modern times, a lot of people choose to ditch sleep so they can do other things. We tend to glorify sleeplessness as if it is a testament to how hard working we are. It makes it appear that we are willing to sacrifice a bodily function so we can be more productive, which, of course, isn’t always the case. What we need to do is to stop glorifying sleep deprivation right now. It’s not good and it could hurt you.

The Elitism of Sleep Deprivation

The common idea among many is that if you don’t sleep, you do more. Being too busy for sleep is typically lauded in corporate environments because, for some, it showcases just how industrious you can be. If you don’t sleep, it should mean that you’re working on something else. And working on so many things tend to make some people feel so important and valuable.

For many, it’s their competitiveness that drives them to forsaking sleep. By thinking that if they work more, they’re automatically better than everyone else, sleep is just an easy casualty in reaching their goals. This, in turn, makes them respect others who are like-minded, spreading the idea that if you want to keep up with your top performing colleagues, you better be ready to miss out on some zzz’s.

The Problem with Not Sleeping

While being productive and being able to accomplish a lot of things in a day are all great, sacrificing sleep for it will have its own repercussions. First off, sleep deprivation will eventually get to you. As Ariana Huffington, founder and Editor-In-Chief of The Huffington Post, recounts her ordeal with sleep deprivation, it made her ask whether her collapse due to exhaustion is what success is all about.

Honestly, we don’t have to detail why not sleeping enough is bad for you. We’ve talked about it countless of times in this blog, so all you need to do is click on our sleep deprivation tag and you’ll see just how awful not getting enough zzz’s will do to your body. This makes it even more awful that so much people are praising those who don’t like to get ample shuteye, thinking that the less they succumb to this bodily need, the more wiser, more productive, or better person they are.

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The Case of Short Sleepers

This doesn’t mean, however, that you should sleep long hours as there are people who doesn’t need as much hours in bed as others tend to do. Commonly referred to as natural “short sleepers,” these folks are genetically wired to need less sleep. Sadly, not everyone who thinks they’re one of these folks are actually short sleepers. Out of 100 people who claim they don’t need as much sleep as others do, only 5 are actual short sleepers.

How do you know if you’re one of these rare breed of short sleepers? Experts note that some of their characteristics include:

  1. They only sleep for about 4-6 hours at night and don’t take naps or rely on coffee to stay awake during the day.
  2. They’re usually nocturnal, dozing off after midnight and waking up before sunrise.
  3. Always upbeat and optimistic.
  4. Have fast metabolisms, which is in complete contrast to those who are sleep deprived who are most likely to become obese.
  5. Their unusual sleep patterns go back to their early years. Some are even reported to stop napping as early as the age of two.
  6. Could have hypomania.
  7. The need for less sleep also typically runs in the family, so if a parent doesn’t need to sleep a lot, their child has a likelihood to require less zzz’s as well.
  8. Some short sleepers have a gene variation that could be the culprit for their need for less sleep.

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Bottom Line: It’s Bad for You

Just, please, get enough sleep. Sleep deprivation is bad for you, as well as glorifying it, as it propagates the idea that sleep is a dispensable activity. Just go to sleep. There are more benefits to sleeping than missing out on it, so please just get some shuteye. Sure, you can argue that staying awake lets you do more, but we can counter that with two questions: do you really need to do all of it on your own? Can’t you just do everything you need to do with better time management?

As yourself these questions and you might just realize that you can get some zzz’s and still get ahead in your field.

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

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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.