Your body needs at least seven to eight hours of good sleep so as to rest well and be able to function the next day. Not getting enough sleep for a longer period of time will take its toll on all aspects of your health, appearance, memory, as well as on your sex life and body weight goals. Sleep deprivation can have numerous side effects that can largely affect your life and your general well-being.
Here’s a list of ten of the most dangerous ones to make you realize how important it is to have a good night’s sleep:
-Accidents May Happen
Once you learn what great disasters have taken place due to sleep deprivation, you’ll definitely try to get the required amount of sleep every night. Some of them include the following:
the 1979 nuclear accident at Three Mile Island;
the 1986 nuclear meltdown at Chernobyl;
the massive Exxon Valdez oil spill.
According to research, being sleep deprived is similar to being drunk and can therefore lower reaction time similarly. In addition, lack of sleep and poor-quality sleep can both lead to accidents and injuries at work. The results of one study showed that workers who experienced excessive daytime sleepiness (EDS) were notably more prone to having accidents at work, especially repeated ones. Moreover, these workers also had a longer sick leave than others.
-It Reduces Your Cognitive Abilities (Making You Dumber)
Better sleep equals better grades. Yes! Scientists have found that a good night’s sleep leads to higher grades as sleep helps you think and learn better. Not getting enough sleep has a damaging effect on these cognitive processes, leading to poor concentration, alertness, attention, reasoning, and problem solving abilities. All this results in having trouble with learning efficiently. Therefore, make sure to have the needed amount of sleep every night, in order to perform optimally.
-Numerous Health Issues May Arise
Sleep deprivation can lead to numerous health issues, including some serious conditions and disorders such as:
high blood pressure
In addition, it has been found that approximately 90% of insomniacs, people suffering from a sleep disorder that makes falling asleep or staying asleep quite difficult for them, also have another health condition besides this one.
-Kills Sex Drive
According to sleep specialists, lack of sleep can also reduce or kill your sex drive – a very bad thing for your partner, right?
If you feel sleepy every time you and your partner start having some sexy time together, you might be sleep-deprived. In fact, it has been shown that both men and women who are not getting enough sleep have lower libidos and reduced interest in sex.
Low energy levels, sleepiness, as well as increased tension, can all result in reduced sex drive, experts explain.
-May Cause Depression
Sleep deprivation and the many sleeping disorders can play an important role when it comes to depression symptoms. According to a 2005 Sleep in America poll, people diagnosed with depression or anxiety were more likely to sleep less than six hours at night.
-It Makes You Look Older
Several nights of poor sleep can make your skin pale and your eyes puffy. Probably many of you know this already as you must have experienced it at least once. However, it turns out that chronic sleep deprivation can do a lot more than that and lead to loss of your skin shine, dark circles under your eyes, fine lines and wrinkles.
“It’s during deep sleep — what we call slow-wave sleep — that growth hormone is released,” explains sleep expert Phil Gehrman, Ph.D. “It seems to be part of normal tissue repair — patching the wear and tear of the day.”
It was in 2009 when American and French researchers found and determined that brain events known as “sharp wave ripples” are responsible for the process of memory consolidation, a process during which memories become part of long-term memory. These ripples are also responsible for transferring learned information from the hippocampus to the neocortex of the brain, where long-term memories are stored. This is where sleep has a major role, as it is during the deepest levels of sleep when sharp wave ripples mostly occur.
If your goal is to lose some excess weight, then you should definitely get your eight-hour sleep every night.
Scientists link sleep deprivation to an increase in hunger and appetite, and to some point to obesity as well. In a 2004 study, those who sleep less than six hours at night were found to be nearly 30 percent more liable to become obese than those who sleep seven to nine hours.
Lack of sleep can also largely affect your judgment. Even though many of you think that you’re functioning fine despite the small amount of sleep you get every night, this is entirely not true. As sleep experts suggest, just like alcohol, lack of sleep also “affects judgment, making it harder to assess how impaired you are when you’re tired.”
Dr. Christopher Landrigan explains that:
“The prefrontal cortex, an area near the front of the brain responsible for logical reasoning and complex thought, seems particularly vulnerable to sleep deprivation. Experts think this may explain why people typically have such a hard time recognizing their own fatigue and level of impairment. Like the drunk driver who thinks he or she is just fine to drive, the tired driver is not always the best judge of his or her ability to operate a vehicle safely.”
-It Can Be Fatal
Sleep deprivation can even be fatal, studies show. The Whitehall II Study, also known as the Stress and Health Study, researched the effects that sleep patterns have on the mortality of more than 10, 000 British civil servants over two decades. The study’s findings were published in 2007 and showed that those who reduced their amount of sleep from seven to five hours or fewer per night almost doubled their risk of death from all causes, especially the risk of death due to cardiovascular disease.
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