Sleep is one of the most essential aspects of your daily life. Not getting enough of it can put a huge damper on your day, affecting your productivity and energy levels. We also know, thanks to countless studies, that sleep deprivation can have dire consequences on your health. However, did you know that lack of sleep can actually lead to something more serious and sinister? This result of sleep deprivation is something you may have never expected…
Can Sleep Deprivation Lead To Illegal Activity?
Recent research suggests that a severely interrupted sleep pattern can actually lead to deviant behavior. A study printed in the Association for Psychological Science found that the effect sleep deprivation has on cognitive skills and reasoning can lead an individual to make poor decisions – sometimes illegal decisions.
The study looked specifically at individuals who have an abnormal sleeping pattern due to their work schedules. Some worked late nights while others worked overnight shifts. This led them to sleep during the day, or sleep for small intervals whenever they could throughout the day. Either way, the participants were unable to achieve the recommended eight hours of sleep per night, and it had serious effects on their behavior.
Research showed that people who do not get enough sleep are more likely to lack self-control and may therefore find themselves exhibiting unethical behavior. This can be something as simple as stealing a few pens from the workplace or something more serious like engaging in drug use or reckless driving. Since their cognitive skills and reasoning were effected by the lack of sleep, they may find it difficult to recognize the deviant nature of their behavior. One can conclude that this will only lead to worse patterns of behavior in the future and poor overall life choices.
This study also showed that people who had interrupted sleep patterns were more likely to be cruel to their co-workers or family. The lack of sleep leaves the individual feeling angry and unrested, making them more likely to lash out at those around them. In the most serious of cases, people with constant sleep deprivation can actually become physically abusive to those around them.
How Can You Avoid Sleep Deprivation?
So how can you avoid this serious result of sleep deprivation? If you work late nights or overnight, you need to get your sleep during the day. You may be able to create a sleep schedule for yourself that works around your shifts and assures that you are getting the recommended 7 to 8 hours of sleep. This can be difficult since daytime just isn’t the optimal time to sleep. After all, how can you fall asleep when the rest of the world is out and about?
Things like melatonin supplements can help you fall asleep easier. Eliminating excess background noise and blocking light sources will help your body recess into sleep more cohesively. If you find that none of these tips help, you may need to consider speaking to a supervisor about possible shift changes. In serious cases, you may need to consider a different job that allows you to have a healthy sleep pattern.