Do you sleep for less than six hours? Is sleep deprivation making you weak, lethargic and sluggish?
For all those who view sleep as a waste of their valuable time, let me tell you that, SLEEP is not an ‘option’ but a ‘need’. Sleep has restorative powers; while you sleep, your body constantly works to repair the wear and tear of the day and helps you wake up refreshed and alert for the next day.
Facts On Sleep
According to the National Sleep Foundation, an average adult requires seven to nine hours of sleep. But cutting corners on sleep may not seem to be a big deal for most of us. May be to increase your productivity or spend some leisure time, you end up few hours here and there but remember, this has a lot to do to keep up to that “productivity” the following day and throughout your life as well. So there are a lot of risks of sleep deprivation.
Of course, running short of a single night’s snooze may not pose any risk, but being sleep deprived for a stretch of weeks can alter more than 700 of your genes that could result in severe health issues including heart problems and obesity. Building up on sleep debt, can eventually pose you a severe toll, affecting your health, looks, sex life, ability to manage weight and more. Here is what you ought to learn to know what indeed you are doing to yourself by cutting down on your sleeping hours. Now we know there are not one but many dangers of lack of sleep.
Effects of Sleep Deprivation
Dumbs You Down
Lack of sleep has critical effects on cognitive abilities like to think and memorize things.
Research on sleep deprivation shows that it impairs concentration, reasoning and problem solving skills which can prove to be discouraging for not only teens but also adults.
Now the cause and effect of sleep deprivation are a lot and researchers believe that rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, which is one of the stages of sleep, helps our brain process information gained throughout the day and regenerate neurons in the brain.
If you skimp on a night’s sleep, your brain hasn’t had the opportunity to refresh and reorganize itself, so your ability to think, interpret and make good decisions suffers.
Also, as different sleep cycles are involved in memory formation, you may not wonder if you say you don’t remember something exactly because your words reveal more than you think about your memory deterioration out of sleep deprivation.
Leads to Serious Health Problems
Sleep effects on health in many ways. Chronic sleep loss can give rise to an array of diseases such as –
- Heart disease: According to 2011 research, people who sleep for six hours or less each night and have sleeping problems have 48 percent higher risk of developing or dying from heart disease.
- Stroke: According to 2012 research, adults who regularly sleep fewer than six hours a night have four times the risk of stroke symptoms.
- Diabetes: Lack of sleep increase insulin resistance, thereby raising the risk of diabetes. This in turn leads to inability to control blood sugars within an optimum range.
- Immune system: Sleep deprivation causes the defense mechanism to become less responsive, due to decrease in the count of white blood cells which are the primary cells of immune system.
Diminishes Sex Drive
Sleep specialists say that sleep-deprived men and women report lower libido and less interest in sex. Depleted energy, sleepiness, and increased tension are to be blamed largely.
Leads to Obesity
Lack of sleep seems to be related to an increase in hunger and appetite, and possibly to obesity which in turn leads to Vitamin D deficiency.
On inadequate shuteye, sugars are metabolized at a slower rate as a result people end up craving sweets and salty foods as well as starches and hanker on junk stuff.
Recent research has studied the connection between sleep and the peptides that regulate appetite. “Ghrelin stimulates hunger and leptin signals satiety to the brain and suppresses appetite,” says Siebern.
Ages Your Skin
Depression and sleep deprivation are very much relatable. You surely must have experienced puffy eyes and paler skin the next morning when you miss out on your night sleep.
Most of the times it so happens that you are too excited about a special occasion the next day and find it hard to catch snooze and end up looking worse.
It can be terrible for you to learn that effects of sleep deprivation do end with lack-lustering skin, fine lines, and dark circles.
This is because your body releases excess cortisol, stress hormone, which breaks down collagen present in the skin resulting in wrinkles and early aging of skin. It also lowers skin’s ability to recover from sun exposure.
A small new study in the Journal Sleep shows that sleep-deprived faces look ugly and weary with dark circles and drooping eyelids.
Affects Creativity and Innovation
Research suggests that lack of sleep may have a particular effect on cognitive processes that rely on our experience of emotions spurring creativity and innovation.
Lowers Your Ability to Manage Stress
Feeling stressed out? Are you getting enough sleep?
Don’t be surprised because sleep deprivation wears down our normal ability to handle daily aggravations and challenges, such as normal rush hour traffic.
Running short on sleep seems to lower the threshold for “stress perception”. When you’re tired, even simple routines can make you feel crushing.
Causes Decreased Hopefulness and Sociability
Needless to mention, lack of sleep makes one less hopeful, less cheerful and dis-interested in communicating or socializing with anyone.
Actually this could also be the reason for issues in personal relationships.
Results in Increased risk of Death
There is risk beyond the sleep-deprivation-related death. A study examined the impact of short sleep on mortality and found that men who slept for less than six hours of sleep a night were four times more likely to die over a 14-year period. As sleep deprivation and heart diseases are very much considered to be on same pace and cause of each other.
This is an attempt to caution you about something critical you are going easy on. Sleep is important for you to be able to function not only for a day but lifetime, more than you think.
Finally, I conclude by saying that try and get comfortable with a sound seven hour snooze daily. Kindly, follow the chart below showing sufficient amount of sleep required for different age groups for a good health.
So how many hours are you sleeping at night? and what health problems are you facing due to sleep deprivation? Please let us know in the comments section below.
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