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Missing out on sleep can leave you feeling sluggish and unfocused, but did you know that a simple mental trick could help you feel much better, at least in the short-term? Studies show that people who believe they slept well feel well-rested the next day, even if they actually got very little sleep in reality. However, the effects don’t last; if you keep missing out on sleep night after night, no amount of mental trickery is going to help you focus at work.

The Power of Positive Thinking

According to cognitive behavioral therapy, the way you think about sleep can affect how easily you get to sleep and stay asleep. As you probably know, there’s nothing less sleep-inducing than worrying about the fact that you can’t get to sleep. What’s more surprising is that changing the way you think about sleep can also change how good you feel when you’re awake. It’s similar to the placebo effect, where believing you are taking a medication can help you feel better, even if it’s really just a sugar pill.

Short-Term Effects of Too Little Sleep

Missing a single night of sleep can make you feel tired and reduce your performance at work. A study that deprived people of sleep confirmed this finding. However, when researchers told participants that they’d had more REM sleep than they’d actually had, their performance improved again. It seems that if you believe you are well-rested, you can perform as though you actually are, at least in the short-term.

Long-Term Effects of Too Little Sleep

Unfortunately, the long-term effects of too little sleep aren’t so easy to overcome. The more nights of sleep you miss, the greater the physiological changes in the brain that reduce your ability to think clearly. The connections between your brain regions begin to break down, causing you to perceive the world as more threatening than it really is. The longer you stay in this sleep-deprived state, the harder it is to think critically and make rational decisions. Instead, you will enter a state where you react rashly to situations, without taking the time to carefully weigh up the pros and cons and come to a considered decision.

Sleeping Tips From The Mattress Hub

As this research shows, the way you think about sleep can have a big effect on the way you feel. Therefore, it’s important not to worry too much about losing a single night of sleep. If you have one late night, relax and know that you can perform well as long as you stay focused. However, sleeping badly over the long-term can cause serious ill-effects. If you consistently struggle to get enough sleep, you need to take steps to improve the situation. Work on creating a sleep environment that is quiet, dark and comfortable.

Consider Changing Your Mattress

If you find yourself sleeping badly every night, you should consider changing your mattress. Feeling comfortable is important for getting a good night’s sleep. Sleeping on the wrong mattress can cause you to wake frequently during the night and suffer back pain during the day. If you are on a tight budget, check out the Cheap Sheep selection of deals at The Mattress Hub.

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