Four Things That Happen to Your Brain on Less Than 6 Hours of Sleep

Experts recommend between seven and nine hours of sleep a night, but at least a third of us aren't getting that much. Here are four things that happen to your brain when you're running on less than six hours of sleep:

  1. You get distracted more easily - Your brain constantly looks for distractions to keep you awake, which makes it harder to focus. So it might seem like you're really prone to multi-tasking, when you really just need more sleep.
  2. You're more anxious - A study at Berkeley had volunteers go a full night with no sleep. And afterward, their anxiety levels were 30% higher than normal. For half of them, it was on par with having an anxiety disorder.
  3. You have a shorter fuse - In a study last year, people who got an average of four-and-a-half hours of sleep were more likely to be annoyed by little things, like a barking dog. And a separate study found it also makes you less patient with your co-workers.
  4. Your take bigger risks - A study in 2017 had guys between 18 and 28 go a week on five hours of sleep a night. Then they put them in a scenario where they got to gamble. And they were much more likely to place high-risk bets.

Now here are four things that can help you power through sleep deprivation: 

  1. Get some sun
  2. Take breaks to stretch and move around
  3. Drink coffee, but don't overdo it
  4. If possible, take a 20-minute nap. That's just enough to make a difference without feeling groggy when you wake up. 

SOURCE: Huffington Post

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Chris Carmichael

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