For many, not getting enough sleep is inconsequential. You might be too busy meeting deadlines or partying late and might not be sleeping enough. If you are one among those who is sacrificing sleep, WAKE-UP before it’s too late.
Do you always feel sleepy, keep yawning, feel irritated at the smallest of things? You might be sleep deprived.
Sleep deprivation can ruin you, both professionally as well as physically. It can make you feel grumpy, dazed, sullen and make you less productive and not be working to your best. That is not all, lack of sleep can have profound consequences on your health as well.
It can kill your sex drive, have an impact on your memory, put you at risk of developing a chronic illness, affect your skin and looks, and even affect the ability to lose weight.
Getting enough sleep every night is as important as breathing and eating, you won’t survive without them. So when so are sleeping, your body is getting you ready for the next day and tending your physical and mental health.
How does lack of sleep affect your body?
Watch Video: How Just A Single Night Without Proper Sleep Can Have Severe Implications
A study conducted at Michigan State University, researchers suggest that cognitive abilities of a person breakdown in 24 hours of sleeplessness and are 4.5 times more likely to make false confessions.
Just one night without proper sleep starts to impair your physical movements and mental focus becomes comparable to having a blood alcohol level of 0.10 percent. It means you at par with someone who is drunk.
What Happens in Your Body After Two or More Sleepless Nights?
According to Dr Mercola,
After 48 hours of no sleep, your oxygen intake goes down which leads to impaired anaerobic power affecting your athletic potential. You may also lose coordination, and start to forget words when speaking.
After 72 hours of no sleep, your heart rate and emotional starts to increase. You would lose concentration and be at a higher risk of having an accident. Your problem-solving skills will dwindle. You might also start hallucinating and research suggests, psychosis can occur after as little as 24 hours without sleep mimicking symptoms of schizophrenia.
According to Harvard Medical School, various studies show that sleep deprivation is dangerous to mental and physical health. It also lowers the quality of life. What is even alarming is that if you sleep less than 5 hours every night, your risk of death from all causes increases by 15%
Sleep Deprivation Can Lead to Serious Health Problems
Watch: 25 Scary Effects Of Sleep Deprivation
Read more about it in the section below
How much do you need to sleep every day?
Sleep is not a luxury, in fact, it is a necessity. All of us have different sleeping patterns and habits and how much you should sleep? It cannot be generalised. Ideally, eight hours of quality sleep every night is recommended by experts.
Since no two individuals have the same habits, lifestyle, eating habits etc. You are the best judge to figure out how much sleep is enough for you. A general rule to know if you are getting good, quality sleep every night, see how you feel in the morning. If you wake up tired, lazy, grumpy and a heavy head, most likely you did not get quality sleep. Study your sleeping patterns for a week or so and tweak it accordingly.
You are sleep deprived if:
- You need an alarm to wake-up
- Use snooze button
- Cannot pull yourself out of bed, laze around
- Become sluggish as the day passes
- Yawn in meetings, lectures etc.
- Get drowsy after eating or while driving
- Always craving for a nap to get through the day
- Fall asleep watching TV, relaxing in the evening
- Sleep in most of the weekend
- Doze off within 5 minutes of hitting bed
Catching up on lost sleep
If you think you are sleep deprived, the only way to compensate is by getting more sleep!
You might be sleep deprived for a long period of time and might not even have realised. Look back and analyse past few months of your life. Chances are you would have a fairly good sleep deficit. You might need weeks even moths to recover.
First and foremost, cut back on caffeine and energy drinks. They might seem to be helping you boost energy and concentration, they are doing more harm to your sleep and disturbing your sleep patterns and keeping you awake longer than you need to be.
Try and go to bed little early, turn off your gadgets and phones. Don’t bother yourself about facebook updates and checking what your friends are up to. Remind yourself that you need to catch up on all the sleep you have missed on for good.
More Tips to Improve Your Sleep Habits Towards The End of This Article
Health Hazards of Sleep Deprivation You Should Know
5 Major Health Hazards Of Not Getting Enough Sleep
Lack of Sleep Raises Your Risk of Type 2 Diabetes
There are a number of studies which suggest the lack of sleep play a significant role in insulin resistance leading to type 2 diabetes.
Another research showed women who slept five hours or less every night were 34 percent more likely to develop diabetes symptoms than women who slept for seven or eight hours each night.
According to research published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, after four nights of sleep deprivation (sleep time was only 4.5 hours per night), study participants’ insulin sensitivity was 16 percent lower, while their fat cells’ insulin sensitivity was 30 percent lower, and rivaled levels seen in those with diabetes or obesity.
According to Mark Mahowald, MD, director of the Minnesota Regional Sleep Disorders Center in Hennepin County, “The body’s reaction to sleep loss can resemble insulin resistance, a precursor to diabetes. Insulin’s job is to help the body use glucose for energy. In insulin resistance, cells fail to use the hormone efficiently, resulting in high blood sugar”.
It Raises Your Risk for Cardiovascular Disease
Studies suggest that a single night of inadequate sleep in people who have existing hypertension can experience elevated blood pressure the next day. Another study found that sleeping less than 6 hours or more than 9 hours, increased the risk of coronary heart disease in women.
Watch video Dr Janet Mullington discusses the link between Sleep Deprivation and increased risk for Cardiovascular disease (0:31)
Makes You Gain Weight
While we sleep, our bodies secrete hormones that help control appetite, energy metabolism, and glucose processing. So when you are not getting enough sleep, it upsets the hormone balance like increased production of cortisol, often referred to as the stress hormone.
According to a 2004 study, those who sleep less than six hours a day have 30 percent more chances to become obese compared to those who slept 7 to 9 hours. Sleep is now being seen as a potential risk factor for obesity along with the lack of exercise and overeating.
Lack of Sleep Kills Sex Drive
Sleep experts say that people who are sleep-deprived report lower libidos and less interest in sex which is related to low energy levels, sleepiness, and increased stress.
Poor sleep lowers testosterone levels significantly which leads to lack of sex drive in men. Sleep deprivation can also leave a long lasting impact on hormone levels.
A study, published this month in Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) states that getting less than 5 hours a sleep ever day for a week reduces testosterone levels drastically and more akin to someone who is 15 years older.
Lack of Sleep Damages Your Skin
Chronic sleep loss can have a drastic effect on your skin. It could give you dark circles, wrinkles, dull skin which could make you look much older than you are.
Being sleep deprived increases the release of the stress hormone cortisol which breaks down skin collagen. Collagen is what gives you that smooth and elastic skin
When you don’t get enough sleep, your body releases more of the stress hormone cortisol. In excess amounts, cortisol can break down skin collagen, the protein that keeps skin smooth and elastic.
If you are among those who sleeps for six hours or less and think that is enough for you, chances are you are fooling yourself. Maybe you have adapted to live with less sleep. You might have your own reasons or obligations, getting proper sleep will add to your overall health and make you feel more energised, vibrant and happy.
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