Have you ever felt too tired to sleep or experienced trouble sleeping when you know you’re sleep deprived? Many people find it difficult to fall asleep after missing hours, and sometimes days, of a good night’s rest. They feel fatigued throughout the day and say things like, “I can’t wait to get home. I’m going straight to sleep!” But, they “go to sleep” just before the alarm clock goes off (or don’t go to sleep at all) and the next day is exactly the same.
Sleep deprivation can be a vicious cycle. While not getting enough sleep can cause illness, like diabetes or hypertension, those very illnesses can be the reason many find trouble sleeping. Sleep deprivation has also been linked to obesity, depression, weakening of the immune system, memory problems, heart attack, and stroke, according to the “Sleep Better, Live Better” study from Sense Labs. Illness aside, not being able to sleep when you know you’re tired is just plain old annoying.
“Healthy sleep is undervalued and unappreciated. It is critical to immune health, weight management, learning and memory, safety, and to decrease the risk of illness,” said Dr. Chris Carruthers, a sleep educator.
The feeling of being too tired to sleep has been compared to a toddler who acts out because they’re tired but refuses to go to sleep. That seems about right. Not getting enough sleep increases stress levels, which also increases sleep distress. Sleep deprivation has many negative side effects, including moodiness, loss of concentration and tardiness.