The Surprising Effects of Sleep Deprivation

Partha Nandi | May 31, 2018

Are you getting enough sleep?

When’s the last time you got a good eight hours of uninterrupted shuteye? Chances are, you’re under so much pressure to do it all that you skimp on sleep. This is a bad idea. Sleep is such an important part of your life, and a lack of it can cause your physical and mental health to suffer.

You Need to Catch More Zs

Most people do not get enough sleep. This is alarming because sleep is the body’s restorative function. When you’re sick, injured, or overworked, your body uses sleep to regenerate and make up for any deficits. If you’re not sleeping, you’re at higher risks for some serious conditions like obesity, heart attack, immune deficiency, and diabetes. However, the more common effects of sleep deprivation might be happening right under your nose and affecting your everyday life without you even realizing it.

3 Signs That You Need More Time Between the Sheets

You’re moody and not yourself. Sleep and your mental health are deeply connected. The less sleep you get, the more likely you are to feel depressed, anxious, irritable or downright cranky. You might not even notice it, but I bet those closest to you will! The worst part is that depression and anxiety can cause insomnia which can cause more depression and anxiety. Planning on upping your sleep yet?

You can’t figure out where all your energy went. Here’s where things get sneaky. Your body starts to overcompensate and steals your energy while you’re awake. Things you’ve always had the energy to do suddenly seem exhausting. Playing with your kids wears you out. Your work performance suffers. Even staying alert while driving becomes challenging. Your focus is out the window! You become so used to feeling this way that you start to accept it as your new normal. But now, you’ll know to take a look at your sleep patterns.

You can’t remember simple things. Do you constantly forget where you left your keys or stop mid-sentence because you can’t find the right word? I see it all the time. Patients come in because they’ve become forgetful and they’re worried that it might be an early indicator of Alzheimer’s. If you frequently forget things, you might just be sleep deprived. This is why your doctor will always ask, “Are you sleeping well?”

A lack of sleep can keep you from enjoying your daily activities and being present in all areas of your life. Follow my advice below, and be on your way to more restful nights!

Partha's Prescriptions for Getting a Good Night's Sleep

  • Power down. That blue light emitted from TVs, smartphones, and computers triggers a suppression of melatonin and keeps you alert. Give yourself – and your devices – a break and power down.
  • This really works for me! Burn off calories and lingering energy about 6 hours before you turn in. This calms your nervous system and helps you fall and stay asleep.
  • Be an early bird. Exposure to natural morning light helps stabilize your body clock and sleep cycle.
  • Enjoy a hot drink. It’s a great way to relax and prepare for sleep! Chamomile tea is a great choice. Stay away from alcohol and caffeine several hours before bedtime.
  • Keep a notebook by your bed and write down anything that’s on your mind before you go to sleep. You’ll clear your head and be able to relax knowing that you’ve captured anything important.

Make healthy living a part of every day.
As always, the light in me honors the light in you. Namaste.

Dr. Nandi

Find this and other health-promoting articles by Dr. Partha Nandi on his website, Ask Dr. Nandi.


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Partha Nandi

A survivor of rheumatic heart disease, Dr. Partha Nandi M.D., F.A.C.P. grew up to become one of America’s leading patient advocates. His devotion towards educating and empowering others to “Be Your Own Health Hero” stemmed from the empathy and care he received from his father and his first Health Hero, Dr. Chandrasekhar, during his 10 day stay in the hospital and yearlong recovery.

After graduating at the top of his class and obtaining a medical degree at Wayne State University, Dr. Partha Nandi completed his gastroenterology fellowship at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor and has been a practicing physician for over 20 years. Throughout his career, Dr. Nandi authored several publications and spoke at TedX, college commencements, charity events, and international conferences, advocating ways to improve the quality and access to health care. He has also collaborated with The World Health Organization and partnered with the Ministries of Health in Jamaica and India.

Dr. Partha Nandi currently practices gastroenterology full-time in Detroit, Michigan, where he holds the title of Chief Health Editor for WXYZ ABC Detroit. He is also the creator and host of a medical lifestyle television show, Ask Dr. Nandi, and a speaker at conferences and premier medical meetings to share his mission and empower everyone “To Be Your Own Health Hero.”

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