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Serene woman sleeping in bed

Source: Hero Images / Getty

Sticking to a regular sleep schedule—particularly one that lets you be awake for plenty of sunlight—is very important for your physical and emotional health. A small adjustment in your sleep schedule can cause problems and becoming a total night owl can really have some serious consequences. See how drastic sleep changes affect your life below…

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1. It affects your social life

You start to see friends less, because you simply aren’t on their schedule. They’re having happy hour drinks at 5pm, but you just started work at noon, so you’ll be working until 8pm or 9pm. You also can’t join them for a morning workout class because you’ll still be asleep. But missing out on friendship can lead to depression—we are social creatures after all.

2. Your days feel shorter

Though you may be awake for the same amount of time, you aren’t experiencing as many daylight hours. The day naturally feels shorter. You feel rushed. You feel like the day is ending when it barely just began, since the sun is dropping, and you’ve only been up for a few hours. This feeling that the day goes by too fast increases the feeling that life goes by too fast, which can also trigger depression.

3. Less sunlight can lead to other issues

The mere fact that you aren’t up with most of the sun means you aren’t getting vitamin D, one nutrient many people are low on, and one that you need for many important functions.

4. You eat at odd times/alone

You start to eat at odd times. Breakfast is at 11am. Lunch is at 5pm. So, when everyone else is having meals, you’re in the middle of work. You wind up having to eat a lot of meals alone, which can feel very sad.

5. You spend less time with your partner

You spend less time with your romantic partner because he’s on a regular sleep schedule. So, when he wants to have dinner together, you’re in the middle of your workday. You never go to sleep or wake up together, either. You share a bed, but you barely spend time together in bed.

6. You make poor food decisions

In addition to eating alone because of your new eating schedule, you also eat less healthfully. It’s funny how being awake late at night, when nobody else is, has a way of convincing us that half a pizza at 1am doesn’t count. But it does.

7. You may get headaches

Adjusting your sleep schedule can lead to headaches. Oversleeping or being low on sleep causes the blood vessels in your brain to expand and contract in a way that can lead to headaches and can even trigger migraines.


Surprising Ways Sleep Changes Affect Your Life  was originally published on