If you’re struggling with self-confidence and self-esteem issues, the source of the problem might be poor sleep. Over the course of twenty years writing on this website about self confidence and self esteem I have discovered a great deal of research into how sleep affects self confidence.
How does sleep affect self confidence? Lack of sleep affects self confidence negatively. Reasons include the difficulty of completing tasks when tired, which causes increased stress and frustration. Feeling less than one’s best, a lack of energy and poor concentration can also lead to lower self confidence because we doubt our ability to perform well.
It might sound obvious that sleep affects self confidence but to understand why is important if you want to fix this problem. For example, there may be reasons why you are experiencing a lack of sleep which may or may not be out of your control. In any case, correcting a poor sleeping pattern is not easy so you may some guidance.
Is a lack of sleep causing your low self confidence?
There are many possible reasons why self confidence can drop, some of them are obvious and others not. If you are suffering from insomnia or other sleep disorders I sympathise! Again, I have experienced this too and I helped myself out of it. No sleeping tablets necessary, I just worked to restore my sleeping pattern back to normal. More about this later..
In the next section we will look more closely at four ways that you can improve your sleep pattern. This will not only help you with your self confidence, but with general physical health too. Sleep is extremely important (see the importance of sleep on APA.org), and is still not totally understood even by the experts. But we do know we cannot function for long without it.
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Never ignore your problems sleeping and get advice from a doctor of you need to.
Four Ways to Improve your Sleep and Boost your Self Confidence
As we consider how sleep affects your self confidence, we need to think about four benefits of better quality sleep. More energy, better physical health, improved wellness and feeling better about how you look. If you can improve your sleep and benefit in these ways then you will also lower your stress levels, think more positively and be less likely to have body image issues. Your self esteem and confidence will therefore also improve.
Better sleep means more energy throughout the day. More energy means you can focus more and engage in tasks and activities. Your concentration will improve and so will your performance in all aspects of daily life. Better performance means more self confidence.
According to a study of nurses in 2011, (79% of whom had poor sleeping patterns), extreme tiredness results in low levels of self-confidence and burnout at work.
Whether it’s upgrading to an Essentia mattress (this link goes to a company who produce beds made from organic materials which promote sleep for wellness and good health) or making simple adjustments to your bedroom to make it more sleep-friendly, taking steps to improve your sleep will undoubtedly lead to feeling more energized. This will help boost your self-confidence literally overnight.
Better Physical Health
Sleep plays a major role in your body’s immune system to fight off infections. Those who suffer from chronic lack of sleep are more susceptible to cold and flu viruses than those who manage to get quality sleep on a regular basis.
Being sick makes it difficult to function well, which makes it hard to accomplish goals at work and elsewhere. This impacts negatively on your motivation levels and general level of happiness. Over time, this can negatively impact your self-confidence and self-esteem.
While a few sleepless nights here and there won’t significantly affect your immune system, poor sleep for long periods of time is something that needs to be fixed as soon as possible. In the next section below we will look at further steps you can take to improve the quality of your sleep, but if things are serious you may need to check with a doctor. More of this in a moment…
If you feel that you could benefit from some online help or therapy there are many options. I recommend the services available at BetterHelp (I do not receive any commission from this link, it is just my opinion that this is a helpful service!)
Poor sleep leads to waking up aching and in pain. It can also contribute to depression and other mood disorders. I don’t know about you but it’s difficult to be at my best when I’m dealing with aches and pains and feeling sad.
In order to reach optimal wellness in life, you need to be getting good quality sleep on a regular basis. The alternative is living life anxiously all because your sleep situation is a problem. There are many ways you can get better sleep, so there’s no reason to let your poor sleep become normal.
Self-confidence shouldn’t depend on appearance, but really feeling good about how you look is a sure way to boost self-esteem. In a study published in 2017, subjects undergoing sleep deprivation were rated as less attractive and less healthy looking than those who were not.
If your goal is to look in the mirror and like what’ you see, the first step is to get good sleep on a regular basis. Good sleep does not always mean more sleep.
Please do not try to diagnose yourself, see a doctor for a proper diagnosis of your sleeping problems. The information on this website is for your information only and to help decide what steps you should take to help yourself. Always seek professional guidance for medical issues.
The three main kinds of sleep disorders are:
- Sleep Apnea
- REM Sleep Disorder
Simple Steps to Improve your Sleep
Before we move on, here is a great tool that will help you get a relaxing night’s sleep and bring you all the many benefits that go with that..The tool I’m speaking about is self hypnosis and you can download this audio now to help you improve your sleeping.
As I mentioned earlier, I helped myself to restore my irregular sleep pattern and insomnia into a more normal sleeping routine. This has happened a couple of times in my life and often these problems are temporary and will go away. Other times, if your sleep problems continue you can take quick action to improve your sleep. But you need patience as nothing happens instantly!
Here are eight steps you can take to restore the quality of sleep:
- Don’t nap during the day if you are suffering from a lack of sleep. Make sure you are tired before your bedtime. Naps can disturb your sleep pattern.
- Make your bedroom as dark as possible. Close the curtains and if necessary replace light ones with darker shades to block out the light. This is especially important during summer months when it gets light much earlier in the morning.
- When you get up go out immediately into the light or sun. Your body is programmed to sleep when dark and wake when its daytime. Make this different as clear as you ca and reprogram your body.
- Go to bed a bit later, do not fall into the habit of sleeping early. Make sure to sleep at the same time each day. Over a week or two make it a bit later until you find the right time.
- Only spend time in your bed sleeping. You need to send a message to your body and mind that bed=sleep. What I mean here is don’t spend time in your bedroom reading or working.
- Stop working on the computer after, say, 9pm and no bright phones either! The brightness of the screens can fool your body into thinking it is earlier than it is. Bright light from electronic devices stops your body from automatically preparing you for sleep mode.
- Don’t watch movies late at night, especially action movies as this will stimulate your brain too much and you’ll be unable to switch off.
- Finally, coffee and eating. Don’t drink coffee or eat after a certain time perhaps 8 or 9 pm.
If you experience regular insomnia or other sleep problems which affect your daily life, seek help. You can try these steps first if you need to, but you will solve this.
Self-confidence is important. While sleep is not the only factor in determining whether you’re feeling good about yourself, it could be the secret ingredient in your attempt to boost self-confidence.
Optimizing your sleep environment and consulting with your physician to address potential causes of insomnia are great places to start. Before long you’re likely to find yourself feeling more confident, the results of getting better sleep.
- Sundelin, T., Lekander, M., Sorjonen, K., & Axelsson, J. (2017). Negative effects of restricted sleep on facial appearance and social appeal. Royal Society open science, 4(5), 160918. https://doi.org/10.1098/rsos.160918
- Ao, J., Liu, J., Chen, Q., Du, Z., & Li, H. (2003). Sleep quality and mental health of pilots. Chinese Mental Health Journal, 17(10), 713-715.
Website Author and Editor Bio
Karl Perera is a fully qualified Life Coach (DipLC), Teacher (MA) and author of Self Esteem Secrets. He has taught at various universities including Durham, Leicester and Anglia Ruskin, Cambridge. He has run More-SelfEsteem.com since 1997 and is an expert in Self Esteem and Self Confidence.