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Most people don’t realize how little sleep they get affects their mental and cognitive health. They often think of it as a luxury, knowing that getting enough sleep helps them feel better when they wake up. However, research has shown that getting enough sleep can improve memory, learning, and insight.

Getting enough sleep is a big job, and it can take much effort to catch up. For instance, if you only get six hours of sleep a night, you’ll end up with a whole night’s sleep debt. Nevertheless, here is a few behavioral effects of sleep deprivation. 

Slows Down Your Brain

According to scientists, sleep deprivation can lead to lower concentration and alertness. It can also make it hard to focus on tasks that require complex thinking. This can affect your ability to perform well on complex calculations. Lack of sleep can also make it harder to make decisions. It can additionally prevent you from assessing situations and picking the proper behavior.

Impairs Memory

The connections between our short-term memories and what we have learned during a day are strengthened during sleep. This is because the various sleep phases play a role in bringing new information into our memories. Getting enough sleep can also interfere with these cycles.

You may forget or even miscarry essential things if you’re constantly tired. The lack of concentration and focus can also weaken your memory. If you cannot track what’s happening around you, it will not make it into your short-term and long-term memories.

Makes Learning Difficult

Having an insufficient sleep can also affect your ability to learn. It can make it harder to pick up information and prevent you from learning efficiently. In children, sleepiness can also lead to hyperactivity, and it can also affect learning. By losing the ability to focus and memory, teens can also perform poorly in school.

Slow Reaction

Insufficient sleep can make it harder to react appropriately to situations and tasks needing immediate attention. Doing so can make it harder to perform well on important tasks.

Getting behind the wheel while tired is similar to driving with a blood alcohol level of .08%, which is over the legal limit in most states. Because of this, sleep deprivation can also affect the effects of alcohol on a person’s behavior.


Insufficient sleep can also affect the effects of alcohol on a person’s behavior. It can make it harder to react properly to situations and tasks that need immediate attention. It can also decrease the ability to cope with stress.