Everyone already knows from firsthand experience that a lack of quality sleep at night can have a negative impact on energy and performance. There are, however, many other problems that can be caused by poor sleep quality or sleep deprivation. One unusual effect of low-quality sleep is reduced self-esteem. Here's what you need to know about how a bad night's sleep could be lowering your self-esteem.
The Evidence That Poor Sleep Reduces Self-Esteem
Several studies have established a definite link between low self-esteem and sleep deprivation. A 2013 study
of more than 1,800 adults found that people who slept six or fewer hours per night were more pessimistic and had lower self-esteem than those who slept the recommended eight hours per night. It's intriguing to note that a similar effect was also noted in those who slept nine or more hours per night, demonstrating that too much sleep can be as much of an issue as sleeping too little.
Other studies have found a similar link between self-esteem and sleep deprivation in children. In 2004, a survey of more than 2,200 middle school students
in the state of Illinois revealed a correlation between fewer hours of sleep per night and lower self-esteem. Since then, subsequent studies have repeatedly borne out this connection.
How Are Sleep and Self-Esteem Linked?
At the root of the connection between self-esteem and sleep is the fact that sleep deprivation makes people more emotionally sensitive and prone to stress. Situations that would normally be easy to deal with emotionally become sources of extreme tension when sleep deprivation is a factor. As a result, minor criticisms or errors can undermine a sleep-deprived person's sense of worth. Combined with the fact that someone who is deprived of adequate sleep is less likely to perform at his or her best, this effect of poor sleep creates a vicious cycle that can have severe negative implications for self-esteem.
In a sense, reduced self-esteem can be viewed as a side effect of other, better-known symptoms of sleep deprivation. Increased irritability and the higher risk of depression that come with sleep deprivation are particularly connected to lower self-esteem in sleep-deprived people. However, the link between low self-esteem and insufficient sleep exists independently of the correlation between depression and sleep, as concluded by the 2013 study referenced above.
What Can You Do About It?
The most obvious solution to low self-esteem as a result of sleep deprivation is to improve the overall quality of your sleep. A great place to start is to get off of your electronic devices an hour before bedtime, as artificial light from screens can make you more wakeful
. Another good habit to develop is reading before bed, as reading can alleviate stress and help you fall asleep more easily.
The quality of your sleep is also closely linked to how comfortable your sleeping surface is. If your old mattress keeps you tossing and turning all night long, consider upgrading your sleeping surface. With My Green Mattress
, you can get a comfortable, non-toxic and completely environmentally friendly mattress that will help you sleep soundly in more ways than one.
In addition to improving your sleep, you can also use a variety of other methods to support healthy self-esteem. Practicing mindful meditation is a great way to improve your self-esteem and make you more able to handle daily stress. Adopting a regular exercise regimen is also a good way to promote high self-esteem and improve your overall mental state. Exercise is also known to improve sleep quality and duration making it doubly effective in helping with self-esteem issues.
If you're dealing with self-esteem issues, sleep deprivation and poor sleep quality could be a major contributing factor. By adopting a few simple practices and getting a better sleeping surface, you can improve your sleep and your self-esteem fairly easily.