Our Infidelity with Sleep and How It Affects Our Mental Health

Death by a Thousand Cuts of Your Mental Health and Career

Matthew Berg |Founder at Somni

This article was originally published on Mind Share Partners' "Mental Health at Work" section on Thrive Global.

We hate when people cheat on tests, cringe at the thought of being cheated on by a lover, and nothing frustrates us more than when a person cheats to get ahead in their career. Yet, we don’t think twice when cheating on our greatest confidant, our most loyal caregiver—sleep.

Unfortunately, the peddling of the empty advice to ‘sleep when you’re dead’ of our culture couldn’t be more dangerous to our mental health and careers.

The Gifts of Sleep

If you haven’t heard the news yet, sleep is nothing short of a miracle drug—and one miraculously without side effects.

Sleep helps regulate emotions, protects against stress, increases learning and decision-making ability, strengthens our social relationships, boosts creativity, improves fertility, regulates weight, balances the gut microbiome, fights diseases and more.

And what does sleep ask in return for these amazing benefits? As any devoted relationship, just some good ole’ quality time.

The True Cost of Life Without Adequate Sleep

Unfortunately, the cost of not sleeping all too often outweighs the reward of whatever stole its place. Especially, because of the toll, it takes on our mental health and ability to function at work.

Why? Because chronic sleep deprivation—routinely sleeping less than 6-7 hours per night—is tightly correlated to: