Lack of sleep can make you cranky, foggy and lose focus. You might not be aware of the effects it may have on your sexual life, memory, health, appearance, or even on weight management.
You may be undermining all of your efforts even if you maintain a healthy diet and exercise routine but don’t get at least 7 hours of sleep each night. And we’re not overacting! Our health depends on sleep, but many of us don’t get enough of it.
Here are 10 surprising and serious effects of what loss of sleep can do to your body.
1. Health problems
There are serious effects of lack of sleep on your physical health with or without any long-term consequences. High blood pressure, diabetes, heart attacks, heart failure, or stroke are some of the most severe potential issues linked to long-term sleep deprivation. Obesity, depression, weakened immune system response and decreased sex drive are additional issues associated.
2. Kills sex drive
Your libido can also be affected if you don’t give your sleep proper attention and the required hours of sleep. Sleep experts believe that sleep-deprived men and women report reduced libidos and less enthusiasm for sex. Increased tension, tiredness and depleted energy may be major contributing factors.
3. Contributes to psychiatric issues
General evidence shows that sleep deprivation over a period of time can aggravate depressive symptoms. Insomnia, the most prevalent sleep problem, is most strongly associated with depression. Sleep deprivation frequently makes depression symptoms worse, and depression itself can make it harder to fall asleep.
4. Leads to weight gain
You might lose weight if you sleep in when it comes to your body weight. Insufficient sleep appears to be linked to increased hunger and appetite, as well as to obesity.
5. Affects memory
Your capacity to think, remember and process information may be impacted by sleep deprivation. Sleep is crucial for the brain’s self-organization, particularly when it comes to transferring information from short-term memory to long-term memory. Getting enough sleep is essential for memory recall.
6. Ages your skin
The majority of people have experienced swollen eyes and pale skin after a few nights without sleep. But it turns out that a lack of sleep over time can cause fine wrinkles, dull skin, and dark bags under the eyes. The stress hormone cortisol is secreted more often by your body when sleep deprivation occurs. The protein that maintains skin elasticity and smoothness, collagen, can be broken down by too much cortisol.
7. Causes accidents
Insufficient sleep is a big public safety hazard every day on the road. Being sleepy can make driving more difficult than being intoxicated. History is proof that some of the worst tragedies in recent times, including the 1979 Three Mile Island nuclear accident, the vast Exxon Valdez oil spill, the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear catastrophe, and others are a result of sleep deprivation.
8. Faulty brain functionality
We have all experienced mental haze, fatigue, irritability, and lack of focus after just one restless night. Mental abilities can significantly deteriorate when the brain is unable to rest properly over an extended period of time.
9. Dumbs you down
The process of thinking and learning is greatly aided by sleep. These cognitive processes suffer in many ways from sleep deprivation. First, it hinders attention, awareness, concentration, reasoning, and problem-solving. Effective learning is made more difficult as a result.
10. Impairs judgement
Lack of sleep can impact the quality of our understanding and the acceptance of the reality of things and events. As a consequence, it also affects our ability to make sound judgements because we may not be able to assess events in our environment properly.
Make time for some downtime even though there are so many other things to do — family, personal stuff and work life. These are challenges, but if people understand how important adequate sleep is, and how to sleep better, it makes a huge difference.