Have you ever arrived at the office after a night of little to no sleep only to have your co-worker tell you that “you look tired”? It’s not exactly a compliment; it’s roughly translated into “you look rough.” Then that might spiral into grumpiness, stress, or lack of motivation to get through the day’s tasks.
When it’s time to go home, all you want to do is lie down, but your significant other might want to talk and hang out. You brush them off, and that might not make your partner feel too good. But you can’t help it because you’re tired. Sound familiar?
We’re curious about how being tired affects your dating and love life. Is it harmful toward relationships? Is it avoidable? Here’s how sleep deprivation can hurt your love life.
What sleep deprivation does to your well being
Skipping the recommended seven to eight hours of sleep each night might make you feel tired and groggy the next day. A lack of sleep causes sleep deprivation. This contributes to weakened immune systems, trouble concentrating, high blood pressure, mood swings, weight gain, and low sex drive.
Your body needs good sleep to function and repair itself. Without it, your body and mind go out of whack. When you’re tired it’s more of a “get through the day” kind of mentality, rather than fostering meaningful conversations or remembering to complete a task — and this might impact your relationships with others.
How sleep deprivation hurts your dating and love life
When you’re tired, you might feel moody, unmotivated, or irritated. Those feelings don’t make anyone attractive to be around, but remember, you’re not always like this! After reading through these underlying issues of why you’re so tired, look out for these red flags when you’re sleep-deprived:
Lack of sleep can decrease your sex drive
People who don’t get enough sleep experience a lower libido (sex drive). A study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine found that one extra hour of sleep each night increases the odds that a woman will have sex with their partner by 14 per cent! *raises eyebrows*. For men, a decrease in sex drive, desire, or arousal may be due to a drop in testosterone levels throughout the body — which can happen when a man is sleep deprived.
Lack of sleep may increase aggression or conflicts
Experiencing a miserable night of sleep can make you more irritated the next day. You might feel a bit short-tempered, and that can increase conflicts with others. This study suggests that romantic relationships suffer from conflict when one partner is sleep deprived.
Lack of sleep can cause one’s mental health and emotions to go out of whack and introduce stress into an otherwise happy relationship. You're more likely to overreact to situations that usually wouldn’t rattle you. That’s because the amygdala (the part of your brain that ties emotions to memories) doesn’t function when you’re tired, according to the study.
Lack of sleep makes it hard to concentrate or remember specific things
Have you ever been so tired that you forget to pick up a few groceries for dinner even though your partner reminded you three times? Us too. When you get a full night of sleep, your brain makes connections to help you process new information. So when you get little to no rest, your memory is impaired and your mind is exhausted.
On top of that, your concentration and problem-solving skills aren’t as sharp when you experience poor sleep. This may lead you to be a lousy conversationalist...you know when you just want your partner to get to the point of what they're saying already. Geez! Oh...excuse our irritation — just tired.
Lack of sleep increases mood swings
Do you ever feel quick-tempered, emotional, or annoyed at everything? You may just be tired. A behavioural sleep medicine specialist explained to Time that people are more likely to feel sad, depressed, or anxious if they're suffering from poor quality sleep. On top of that, people usually notice that their emotional reactions are amplified when they’re sleep-deprived. It’s kind of like a 2-year-old who skipped a nap. Yikes.
Tips for getting a good night’s sleep
Good sleep encourages a healthy sex life and happy relationships. Here are a few tips for getting a good night’s sleep:
- Give yourself enough time to get the recommended seven to eight hours of sleep each night. That may mean moving your bedtime up to an earlier hour. If you’re having trouble falling asleep, try using one of these 10 apps to help you fall asleep faster.
- Have sex! According to Sleep.org, having sex will help you sleep. It secretes oxytocin (the cuddle hormone) and decreases cortisol (a stress-related hormone). Did you know that having an orgasm releases a hormone called prolactin, which makes you feel relaxed and sleepy? Oh yeah, get it.
- Don’t eat or exercise too close to bedtime. Give your body about three hours to digest dinner before nestling into bed. If you’re going to exercise at night, avoid vigorous strength training or HIIT workouts. Those exercises will boost your adrenaline and make it difficult for your body to wind down. Opt for light cardio or yoga instead.
- Give your bedroom a makeover to make it a more pleasant and welcoming sleep environment. After all, a bedroom’s most valuable use is being a cozy sleep den.
- Reset your body clock by practising a regular sleep pattern and getting enough natural light throughout the day.
- Take a nap at work! And no, we’re not trying to get you fired! Experts say we should be napping at work. It improves alertness, productivity, memorization, and creativity. It also reduces stress. Companies such as Zappos, Nike, Google, and Uber recognise the benefits of on-site napping and provide employees with nap pods, nap rooms, quiet rooms, and hanging hammocks. That’s what’s up.
- Invest in better and healthy sleep with a comfortable, supportive mattress that’s engineered to support your spine’s natural alignment. This allows you to relax into restorative sleep and wake up feeling refreshed. The right pillow can also improve your sleep posture to help you get some shut-eye.