Irritability, cravings, trouble focusing? You may be sleep deprived:

Learn 10 things that happen, when you don’t get your quality daily zzz’s and what you can do to improve it:


  1. Lack of sleep causes difficulty learning new concepts, forgetfulness and you aren’t able to create memories: without sleep you can’t form or maintain certain pathways in your brain.
  2. It’s harder to concentrate and respond quickly. 
  3. reduced sex drive 
  4. moodiness, fatigue, irritability, depressed mood – Sleep deprivation weakens the ability of the part of the brain that handles reasoning, known as the prefrontal cortex, to control the emotional part, the amygdala. This leads to the abnormal processing of emotions.
  5. inability to concentrate or a “fuzzy” head 
  6. lack of motivation 
  7. clumsiness
  8. increased appetite and carbohydrate cravings, while insulin sensitivity drops. So you’re prone to eating more sugar, but your body wants to store more than usual. You may be eating less, moving more (which is a bad advice anyway – see why)… But still not seeing progress because you’re lacking sleep!
  9. reduced leptin and elevated ghrelin: you’re feeling less satisfied after meals, and hungrier 
  10. Affected hormone production, including growth hormone and testosterone, which are one of the most important when you’re trying to lose weight/build muscle/change body composition.

You’re probably annoyed and frustrated reading this, and saying to yourself – yeah that’s me. But then again, do you proceed to stare at your screens late at night, overthinking problems, doing stuff that doesn’t really matter,  or even procrastinating because you’re too tired to do anything else of importance?

More sleep and a healthy bed routine isn’t going to happen. When tired, it’s almost impossible to make the first step or imagine a perfect sleep routine. That’s why you need to start with ONE of the basics and keep practicing every day. If you want to change everything at once, you’ll end up practicing nothing longterm and keep being stuck.

Here are some options to choose from:

1. Follow your circadian rhythm (CR),
that controls your timing of sleep – causing you to be sleepy at night  and wake you in the morning without an alarm, when cortisol levels rise. Messed up levels of cortisol at the wrong times, or having it constantly elevated, will cause lack of quality sleep, or/and difficulties falling asleep.

It’s hard to imagine a routine like that in this world, so if that is impossible, set the same times each night and – go the f*ck to sleep! Tomorrow is another day to continue your work. Wake up at the same times, even on weekends to ensure keeping your CR in balance.

2. Help special little cells in your eyes process light properly – to tell the brain whether it is day or night by avoiding bright light when you should be getting asleep.
It can make it difficult to fall asleep and return to sleep when awakened by bright light. Avoid blue light from screens and flashy lights before sleeping: get blue light blocking glasses, turn your room into a cave using dim lights, candles, use f.lux app for coloring your screens orange/red. Use earplugs/eye pads to create complete darkness and silence or cover all light sources and cool the room.

3. Factors that influence your sleep and are under your control include:
– stress response. Practice meditation via app Calm or Headspace. Practice gratitude. Journaling. Creating a list of things to get them out of your head.
– sleep environment – cool the room and make it dark. (see nr.3)
– what you eat and drink prior to sleep: use more carbs before bedtime to help you with serotonin production, which is a precursor to melatonin that helps you sleep well. 1 hour before bedtime meal: risotto with chicken, oatmeal with protein, potato salad with tuna or even fruit.

Knowing those things is one thing, but practicing them consistently must become a part of your non-negotiable ritual if you want to wake up well rested and conquer every day.


If you need help creating an optimal bed routine or trouble being consistent with your habits that would make a positive change, you are welcome to contact me!

Lea Klep

  • certified IFPA personal trainer,
  • Precision Nutrition 1 Coach.
  • CHFI Strength Performance Coach 2
  • CHFI Performance Nutrition Coach 2

REFERENCES Brain Basics: Understanding Sleep (National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke) / Short sleep duration is associated with reduced leptin, elevated ghrelin, and increased body mass index. Taheri S1, Lin L, Austin D, Young T, Mignot E. / What’s to know about sleep deprivation? Last updated Thu 25 January 2018 By Kathleen Davis FNP Reviewed by Karen Cross, FNP, MSN