How does lack of sleep affect our mental state?

Irritability, inability to work, and feeling miserable may indicate serious physical conditions. They may also tell us that the person has exhausted themselves with the lack of sleep while working, watching TV shows, or playing video games all night long. Fatigue is a passing inconvenience, but it can grow into something bigger when ignored. Lack of sleep does not only prevent us from being vigorous and thinking clearly but also puts our physical and mental functioning at risk. It is very easy to injure oneself or spend an unproductive day half-asleep.

In the late 1950s, a popular New York DJ stood awake for 200 hours to raise charity with his record. He was an important case for physicians who watched the man staying awake for more than 8 days. By the third day, DJ Peter Tripp became highly irritable and by the end of the week he began to hallucinate and behaved like a paranoid. Most people suffering from the lack of sleep do not repeat the Tripp’s case, but the effects are similar. Increasing irritability, bad spirits, anger, and anxiety always give out a person who does not sleep well at night.

All these effects happen due to the processes that happen in the brain that does not get enough rest. People cannot control their emotions because their amygdala is hyperactive. The hippocampus is the brain region responsible for storing new memories. When awake for a long time, it cannot memorize things like it did before. Besides, the brain starts overproducing stress hormones that are not neutralized by serotonin because of the lack of sleep.