Lack of Sleep

We’ve all felt a little irritable after a long night, but is not getting enough sleep actually making us angry? The short answer is yes, yes it is.

Sleep is our form of maintenance.

Sleep is important to the body because it’s when all of the restoration is done. The daily stresses of our lives cause wear and tear on our bodies, which is then repaired at night while we are sleeping. Getting higher quality sleep means we are able to restore more of that stress and feel better the next day.

Increasing stress means increasing negativity.

When you don’t get enough sleep, you are going to feel tired and irritable because your body hasn’t had that opportunity to refresh and repair. The relationship between this and anger isn’t entirely understood, but scientists believe that sleep deprivation exacerbates pre-existing mood disorders, including anger.

So, the things that are already bothering you, such as negative tendencies like anger and irritability, and made worse by sleep deprivation. That’s why not everyone who gets tired is going to get angry, but someone who has a higher than normal level of anger may seem irritable.

Reversing anger starts with noticing it.

Being angry when you’re tired is about more than just being tired but recognizing this is the first step to dealing with it. Sleep deprivation is definitely making your anger worse, but it is not causing it in the first place.

Once you’ve noticed you’re getting angry and irritable, you can pinpoint what actions and environments are triggering your anger, as well as how much sleep you got the night before. Understanding the relationship between your environment, your sleep health, and your emotions will give you a better idea of what’s going on in your brain and what to do about it.

Fixing your sleep means getting consistent.

Sleep is going to be negatively impacting your mood, and can even lead to mental illness if you aren’t getting healthy sleep. But what does healthy sleep mean?

Most people understand that they are supposed to be sleeping 7-9 hours a night, but aren’t aware that it’s when they sleep that matters just as much as how much sleep they get. Sleeping at the same time each night helps your body regulate the production and distribution of sleep hormones that regulate your internal clock. This lets you feel tired at night and energized during the day so you can live a healthier and more productive life.


Anger doesn’t come from a lack of sleep, but not getting enough sleep will make whatever frustrations you’ve been feeling that much worse. When you don’t get that restorative, healthy sleep that we all need, your brain is going to function slower which is going to produce additional frustration. Combine that with sleep deprivation’s negative impact on the amygdala and you have a recipe for rage.

Focusing on understanding your emotions, understanding your sleep habits, and understanding how the two are connected will help you make better decisions and be a happier and more productive person.