Remember when your mother told you to get a good night’s sleep before a big day? As it turns out, this was sound advice. As sleep research continues to grow, new discoveries link a lack of quality sleep to mental health issues and mood disorders. Here’s a closer look at how sleep affects your day-to-day confidence.
Sleep Helps You Socialize
Researchers from the University of California and Harvard Medical school rolled out findings that show how a lack of sleep intensifies emotions. They looked a group of 26 healthy people between the ages of 24 to 31. Half of the participants were kept awake for 36 hours, and the other half were given a full night of restful sleep.
Afterward, everyone underwent MRI scans of the brain. The scientists looked at a specific region of the brain responsible for emotional response. They found the sleep-deprived group had a 60 percent greater response than the group that slept well. The conclusion was that sleep helps people socialize and feel confident in their ability to handle day-to-day interactions.
Quality Matters More Than Quantity
In order to develop self-confidence, you need to be physically and mentally prepared to meet your daily goals. The more you achieve, the more confident you become. That’s very hard to do if your brain doesn’t get the right type of rest. The quality of your sleep is more important than how much sleep you get. A number of factors determine your sleep quality, including your ability to fall asleep quickly and wake up refreshed.
Posture Projects Confidence
You not only need to feel confident, but you also need to project confidence to others. You send subliminal cues through your body language that tells others how competent you are. In reality, these impressions have little to do with how well you do your job or manage your life. Rather, perceived competence in your work is all about how you present yourself.
In a study on nonverbal communication, researchers discovered that people pay more attention to these subliminal cues than what is actually said. A projected sense of self-confidence largely comes down to your posture. Slumped shoulders and a rounded back give the appearance of powerlessness.
When you think about sleep quality and posture, the first thing that should come to mind is your mattress. Good sleep posture improves the quality of rest. To reap the benefits of a confident posture, your mattress should conform to the curve of your spine and support pressure points throughout your body.
Interrupted Sleep Causes Brain Fog
Not sleeping properly causes mental fogginess. This means that cognitive abilities decrease, and you can’t process complicated information as well. You have less of an ability to multitask, and your emotional responses are higher.
The mental cloudiness comes from the brain receiving interruptions. During quality sleep, the brain goes through stages of slow wave activity. Having to adjust your sleep position or hearing disruptive noises keeps the brain alert. After a night like this, you wake up with less mental energy for the day ahead.
Simple Changes Have Lasting Impact
The Mayo Clinic makes these suggestions for improving the quality of your sleep:
- Don’t eat two hours before bedtime and skip anything with caffeine, nicotine, or alcohol.
- Go to bed at the same time every day.
- Make your room sleep friendly. Block ambient light sources and get a good mattress.
- Get some exercise during the day.
- Put your problems aside. They’ll still be there the next day.
- Don’t take naps during the day, or at least limit them.
If your quality of sleep doesn’t improve after trying these suggestions, then you may be experiencing an underlying health condition. While snoring may seem common and harmless, it can actually disrupt your stages of sleep or be a sign of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Ask your doctor about treatment options for snoring.
If you’re working on building your confidence, don’t forget how important quality sleep is. It’s an easy thing to overlook, but making simple changes can have a big impact on how you feel. Wake up every morning feeling well rested, and you’ll be in a better position to achieve your goals.