Lack of sleep can make you feel grumpy and groggy, cranky and hungry (these are given!). But you may not be aware that being sleep-deprived has more outrageous effects beyond those feelings – from memory shortage, mental health, decrease in sex life, obesity, to cancers, diabetes, and even car accidents.
People typically underestimate the power and importance of sleep. According to the National Sleep Foundation, 53% of Americans sleep less than the recommended 7 to 8 hours per night. You could classify yourself as sleep-deprived when you get less than 5 hours of sleep within the 24 hours.
If you believe that sleep is for the weak, here are ten convincing reasons why snoozing is not losing.
1. Sleep deprivation can cause you your life
There is no need to elaborate that lack of sleep while driving can make you feel tired and sleepy, and your body begins to fail you. Today, sleep loss is one of the biggest public advisories on the road because the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration figured out that sleep-deprivation caused people under 25 years old be involved in 100,000 vehicle crashes and 1,550 crash-related deaths in a year in the US.
Individuals who are most likely vulnerable to road accidents are employees under shifting schedule, business travelers, commercial/truck drivers, and anyone else who work long and odd hours. Always think about your safety and get enough sleep for the day before driving behind the wheels.
2. Makes you forget things
Though often underestimated, sleep plays a crucial role in memory, especially in thinking and learning. Missing hours of sleep greatly affects the cognitive process which includes decision making, reasoning, problem-solving, and a decrease in alertness, attention, and concentration.
Lack of sleep does not just make you forgetful; different sleep cycles are also essential in merging memories in mind. If you skip a night of sleep, you would have a hard time remembering and analyzing what you learned during the day. With that being said, if you try to keep your memory sharp, try obtaining plenty of sleep. Investing in a good night snooze is vital for learning new information and a good memory.
3. Depleted sex drive
Not doing anything throughout the day but you are not into making love at night? Check your hours of sleep – did you have your complete rest? Depleted energy and tension are huge factors to blame. Even if you’re not too tired, poor sleep may affect your sex life: lower libidos that lead to lesser interest in sex. Sleeping helps increase testosterone level while skipping sleep lowers them. Having a restless and disturbed sleep, inability to snooze, waking up often and staying awake during the night may result to lower sperm count by 25 percent, as well as it affects men’s overall mood and vigor.
4. Makes your skin suffer
Have you experienced sallow skin and puffy eyes whenever you wake up from a 3 to 5 hours of sleep? Based on research, people of ages 30 to 50 were evaluated according to their sleeping habits and skin conditions. The result discovered that sleep deprivation could lead to more fine lines, wrinkles, and looseness of the skin, pigmentation, and discoloration under the eyes.
When you acquire less sleep than the suggested, your body releases more stress hormones which revealed why the poor sleepers in the research were also anxious and dissatisfied with their looks. Moreover, lack of sleep could decrease human growth hormone. This is why when you were young, your parents keep on reminding you to snooze as much as you can because sleep promotes growth. Human growth hormone supports the body in muscle mass, strengthening of bones, and thickening of the skin.
5. Makes you depressed
When you are having a hard time sleeping or lacking in sleep, you might be more likely to have depression. Insomnia is one of the most common disorders that lead to depression, as well as it is the number one symptom of anxiety.
According to a study in University of Berkeley and Harvard, simply missing one night of sleep can cause you emotional instability and increase in level of anxiety, psychiatric disorders, and depression.
6. Can make you gain unwanted weight
If you have believed throughout your life that sleeping can cause you weight gain, you are wrong. There is a huge chance of weight gain if you lack sleep since it is connected to an increase in hunger which could just lead to obesity. Further, sleep deprivation encourages high-fat and high-calorie cravings such as sweets, junk food, salty foods, and starchy foods.
When you lose hours of sleep, you consume 300 calories more than the normal. This does not just lead to weight gain, but it also stresses the body which activates slower metabolism and store more fat.
7. Increase your risk of death
There are a lot of health consequences when you do not get enough hours of sleep. However, people who consistently accumulate poor sleep and gets less than 7 to 8 hours of snooze per night have a higher risk of death during a given period. In much simpler words, people would all face death eventually but sleeping too short is connected with an increased danger of touching the heaven sooner than others might.
8. Creates trouble at work
Lack of sleep can make situations quickly fall out of your league which leads to injuries and accidents while on the job. It also makes the person unable to focus and decide analytically. There is a huge change that you take risks regarding money – you might close a deal that needs to be rejected (that hurts!). When you are troubled losing focus on things at work, as well as inability to pay attention, assess yourself that a good sleep is a requirement.
9. Long-Term Health Consequences
Based on a study conducted by Harvard Medical School, being sleep-deprived consistently has long term effects more than you could ever imagine such as cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, stroke, diabetes, hypertension, and even cancer. Sleeping is essential in the body’s ability to restore and rebuild your heart’s blood vessels. On the other hand, snoozing more than 9 hours per day can have the same effect as well. It just all boils down to proper balance.
10. Decrease in productivity
When you lack sleep, you are not at the top of your game. It may affect our ability to reflect on situations carefully and respond on them wisely, as well as a decline in memory retention and recollection. Since we are now living in a fast-paced world, people equate lack of sleep to productivity as if it is a badge of honor. But honestly, it is not. Sleep deprivation could be a big problem especially if you are in a field of profession wherein your level of functioning is widely utilized.
Sleep matters more than you know
Beauty rest is called beauty rest for a reason. But really, having enough sleep every night is more than just a beauty rest. Do not just sleep for your looks, but do it for yourself – your life in particular. Keep from any form of distraction before you get to sleep – either catching up on a late television show or updating your social media networks. Check your mattress if it helps you beat to sleep. If not, reflect on investing a gel memory foam mattress to enjoy a good night snooze. Turn out the lights, and appreciate the magic of what seven to eight hours of sleep could do.