Not getting enough sleep causes you to feel foggy and grumpy throughout the day. But that’s not all it can do. Losing sleep can also adversely impact your health, physical appearance, memory, weight and sex life.
Here are ten ways sleep loss can severely affect your overall well-being.
- Sleep loss can lead to many health problems.
According to studies, roughly 90 percent of people who suffer from insomnia may also have other health issues. Chronic sleep problems can put many individuals at risk of having diabetes, heart disease, stroke, irregular heartbeat, high blood pressure, among others.
- Poor sleep makes you prone to accidents.
Lack of sleep is a growing concern for road safety. Research shows that drowsiness due to lack of sleep slows your reaction time the same way as drunk driving does. About 100,000 car accidents and 1,550 vehicle crash fatalities each year is linked to fatigue, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
- Sleep loss can hinder your learning.
Sleep is essential to your critical thinking and learning abilities. When you don’t get enough sleep, your cognitive process suffers in numerous ways. Your attention, concentration, reasoning, and problem-solving skills are significantly impaired. So this condition makes it harder for you to learn effectively.
- Sleepiness decreases your libido.
Sleep specialists suggest that men and women who are sleep-deprived have low sex drive and lack interest in having sex. This is caused by stress, loss of energy and increased tension. Men who suffer from sleep apnea may also have low testosterone levels, according to a study published in Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.
- Sleep deprivation makes you look older.
Most people get puffy eyes and dull skin after a couple of sleepless nights. However, when you don’t get enough sleep consistently, you can also have more fine lines, look haggard, and have dark circles under your eyes. Your body releases fewer human growth hormones when you lose sleep. So, your body has a difficult time repairing skin tissues.
- Lack of sleep may lead to depression.
When you are sleep deprived, you run a higher risk of having depression. People who sleep fewer than six hours each night were found to have anxiety or depression, according to a Sleep in America poll in 2005. Moreover, the survey found that those who have insomnia are five times more prone to having depression. In fact, sleeplessness contributes to the symptoms of depression. In return, being depressed makes it more difficult for you to sleep well.
- You tend to forget things.
Sleep plays a crucial role in consolidating your memories. It will be harder to remember what you’ve experienced or learned during the day if you lack sleep. Various cycles during sleep are responsible for moving any information you’ve stored in the hippocampus to the neocortex of your brain, a place where your long-term memories are transferred.
- You are prone to gain more weight.
Sleep deprivation promotes increased hunger, and it may lead to obesity. The shorter sleep time you incur, the more your body produces ghrelin, a hormone that stimulates appetite. On the other hand, lack of sleep reduces leptin, a hormone that inhibits hunger. So, you are more likely to become obese if you sleep fewer than seven to eight hours a day, according to a study done in 2004.
- Sleep deprivation can cloud your judgment.
The way you interpret how events happen can be greatly affected due to lack of sleep. You may not be able to assess situations accurately and make sound decisions. Research also reveals that people who are used to being sleep deprived lose touch on how well they perform at work and how their mental alertness decline because they’ve gotten so used to sleeping five to six hours, instead of the recommended seven to eight.
- You increase your chances of dying.
Researchers investigated how sleep patterns affect the mortality of roughly 10,000 participants in over 20 years. The results showed that individuals who reduced their sleep from seven to eight hours per night had doubled their risk of death from various causes. Also, the risk of dying from cardiovascular disease has notably grown.
This post was written by Rienzi Mosqueda. Works as a sleep ambassador at http://www.onebed.com.au/.