Sleep Awareness Week: Can we “get along” without it?

Getting along without sleep is a contradiction in terms. People who lack sleep are very difficult to be around. Their sleep loss disables their judgment, patience, compassion and other virtues valued in familial, social, and professional relationships.


Human relationships can survive the slings and arrows of ordinary stress—as long as everyone is getting their sleep

Family members and coworkers are sometimes the first among us to notice when we’ve not slept well. Aside from the dark circles under our eyes, we show our poor sleep habits in the way we relate to other people. We’re irritated, aloof, impatient, and lacking focus. We can’t carry on conversations or remember important information. We make mistakes we wouldn’t normally make.

Most relationships we have in our lives come from three cross sections of society: our families (which are like micro-societies), our workplaces (or communities at large, if we aren’t employed), and our schooling (from pre-K all the way to the highest echelons of academia).

That’s a lot of relationships to manage, but without a regular and healthy dose of sleep, we aren’t likely to be good managers of them. Marriages end, families divide, jobs are lost, friendships fail, and damages are rendered in a multitude of ways due to sleep deprivation. 

The following links uncover the ways in which poor sleep can cost us the very relationships we treasure and need for support throughout our lives. Just think… how much better might we all get along if we weren’t all so sleep deprived?  if we weren’t all so sleep deprived? 

Notice the wide range of relationships discussed here. We’re not just talking about divorces due to snoring.

People who commit to caring for others face significant issues related to shift work and lost sleep. Our elders and our newborns do not mean to challenge our sleep schedules, but they do. It may take a village to raise a child, but it also takes a village with healthy sleeping habits to raise that child to be healthy and happy. And we’ve already discussed at length about the huge costs of sleep loss in the workplace.

APR 20:
Mom has a brain hemorrhage, vascular dementia, and does not sleep. What can we do or should we do to help her sleep?
Curator’s comment: You can bet this will be a regular conversation among families in the near future if it isn’t already common enough.

APR 18: Romper
Honestly, Breastsleeping During The Newborn Period Saved Me
Curator’s comment: That earliest of bonds, between mother and child, can certainly benefit when both are getting adequate sleep.

MAR 24: Los Angeles Times
Op-Ed: Why do we make children sleep alone?
Curator’s comment: This is a great question. They give a pretty thorough answer.

MAR 23: Elephant Journal
How being an empath can lead to adrenal fatigue, insomnia & exhaustion
Curator’s comment: Sometimes, caring too much can lead to poor sleep.

MAR 23: Thought Catalog
What It Means To Be A Best Friend To A Survivor With PTSD
Curator’s comment: This is truly what friends are for… getting us through the very real nightmares that plague us.

Study finds lack of sleep limits ability to interpret facial expressions
Curator’s comment: Getting a bad read on body language and facial expressions can challenge even the strongest relationship.

MAR 12: The Sleeping Blog
Some couples prefer separate beds or even the LAT option
Curator’s comment: LAT = Living Apart Together.

Sleep loss ‘starts arguments at work’
Curator’s comment: It can also lead to less productivity, unprofessional conduct, lost clients, even napping in meetings.

FEB 28: Psychology Today
Are You Suffering From Caregiver Fatigue or Burnout?
Curator’s comment: Welcome to life in the 21st Century Sandwich Generation family. I’ve been here myself much too much already.

FEB 24: Chicago Now
Sleep Apnea, a Bedtime Story
Curator’s comment: Listen, this is becoming a more common conversation between married couples. Don’t avoid the discussion.

FEB 20: Ahwatukee Foothills News
Sleep affects more than a child’s mood, so make sure routines are in place
Curator’s comment: This is good advice, truly, for every member of the family.

OCT 17, 2016: The Daily Mail
How lack of sleep changes your PERSONALITY: Just one restless night can make you emotionally detached, irrational, and willing to risk a lot
Curator’s comment: This articles discusses the fascinating observations of a significant sleep deprivation experiment from 1959.

OCT 8, 2016: Hattiesburg American
Harrison: A good night’s sleep for me — and my wife
Curator’s comment: When I worked at the sleep lab, I ran across more patients than not who had a spouse who’d demanded they deal with their snoring. Why is it so hard to admit to snoring?

AUG 29, 2016: The New York Times
Long Nights With Little Sleep for Homeless Families Seeking Shelter
Curator’s comment: Having no place for an entire family to sleep brings additional challenges.

AUG 23, 2016: Sleep Review
Sleepless at Shoreditch Town Hall Tells Tale of People Who Die Because They Can’t Sleep
Curator’s comment: Fatal Familial Insomnia… talk about your family curse.

AUG 11, 2016: Good Men Project
A Dad Takes a Trip to Bedwetting Island, and Helps Spark a Much Needed Conversation Among Parents
Curator’s comment: Enuresis can become stressful for all members of a family, but parental education and child support can do wonders.

AUG 1, 2016: The Daily Dot
Meet the couple who turn their sleep-talking into surreal cartoons
Curator’s comment: Lemons for lemonade. Sometimes it’s important to not take sleep affectations too seriously (if they aren’t unhealthy, anyway).

JUL 22, 2016: The Daily Mail
Forget the romantic breaks and expensive gifts: The secret to a happy marriage is MORE SLEEP
Curator’s comment: If sleep can improve prefrontal cortex function, we should be able to improve the way we perceive our relationships.

JUN 15, 2016: Sleep Review
Childhood Abuse, Parental Death, Divorce Linked to Adult Insomnia Symptoms
Curator’s comment: And it can be avoided by simply prioritizing sleep.

MAY 19, 2016: Huffington Post
Why My Baby Monitor Is Keeping Me From Sleep
Curator’s comment: It’s hard to know how much distance you can put between yourself and your new baby, and the wrong amount might result in sleep loss.

ZZZ icon transparent

It makes zero sense to shortchange yourself sleep!

Sleep is as necessary to good health as water, sunshine, movement, and nutrition. Without sleep, humans become chronically ill and can even die. Don’t skimp on sleep. If you’re losing sleep, for whatever reason, think about why and what you can do to make a healthy change.

Good sleep can help prevent illness, relieve symptoms of illnesses, ease pain, improve mood, and keep you safe from accidents caused by sleep deprivation.

This week, we’re be sharing some different ideas about how sleep can impact your mental health as part of our 4 Ms theme, focusing on mind, mood, memory, and mental health.

ACTION ITEM: Look for shares, moments, and links in Twitter by following @sleepyheadctrl and/or looking for the hashtag, #SleepBetterFeelBetter

About Tamara Kaye Sellman (621 Articles)

1 Trackback / Pingback

  1. #ICYMI: April’s survey of sleep and the 4 Ms: mind, mental, memory, and mood – SleepyHead CENTRAL

Leave a comment or question for the Curator

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.