Quality sleep is very vital to your well-being. Good quality sleep helps you to wake up energized, as opposed to thrashing and turning around in bed for eight hours. The human body uses this rest period to heal itself and restore its chemical balance. This World Sleep Day let’s examine what lack of sleep can do to your body.
Here are 10 things that sleep deprivation can do to the human body:
#1 Affects your immune system
Not getting enough rest can weaken your immune system’s defenses against viruses that cause common flu and cold. The probability of contracting these diseases increase when you are exposed to the germs.
#2 Trouble with concentration
Your concentration, creativity, and problem-solving skills take a backseat when you are sleep deprived. It impairs your judgment and makes it more difficult to focus and pay attention to get things done.
#3 Memory issues
During sleep, your brain forms new connections which will help you to process and remember new information. A lack of sleep can negatively impact long and short-term memories. It can also cause hallucinations – where you see and hear things that aren’t there.
#4 Mood changes
Lack of sleep or sleep deprivation can make you emotional, quick-tempered, and moody. Chronic sleep deprivation, lasting over a period of time, can lead to anxiety and depression. This could escalate to suicide thoughts as well.
#5 High blood pressure
Sleeping less than five hours a day can increase the risk of high blood pressure. This happens because the human body loses the ability to regulate stress hormones. Obstructive sleep apnea, a treatable sleep disorder in which you repeatedly stop and start breathing during sleep, can also contribute to high blood pressure.
#6 Weight gain
Not hitting enough Zs can wreak havoc on the hormones that regulate hunger. Sleep deprivation reduces leptin, the hormone that suppresses appetite and encourages the body to expend energy. Also, not being able to sleep can cause you to take up late night binging to while away time.
#7 Low sex drive
Not getting enough shut-eye can take a toll on your sex life. The effects of lack of sleep like low energy, and fatigue will lower the libido. It will also the level of testosterone in men leaving no desire for a tumble in the sheets.
#8 Poor balance
Lack of sleep can have an impact on your balance and coordination as well. It makes you more prone to falls and other accidents.
#9 Risk of diabetes and heart disease
People who do not get good sleep have a higher blood sugar level. They also face an increased risk of type-2 diabetes because, the lack of sleep affects the release of the blood sugar-regulating hormone – insulin. Likewise, increased blood pressure and higher levels of chemicals in the body are linked to inflammation, which plays a major role in cardiovascular diseases.
#10 Risk of early death
Scientists have claimed that people who sleep less than 6 hours a day have an increased risk of premature death. Interestingly, sleeping for more than 9 hours is also linked to an early death. Less sleep contributes to the deterioration of health status.
Tips for Getting a Good Night’s Sleep
😴 Go to bed and wake up at the same time each day.
😴 Exercise every day for 20-30 minutes but make sure to do it a few hours before going to bed.
😴 Avoid having caffeine, nicotine, or alcoholic beverages late in the day or right before bed.
😴 Taking a warm bath before bed will help you to relax and fall asleep faster. Try reading or another relaxing routine.
😴 Create a space that is dedicated to sleeping. Avoid bright lights and loud sounds, keep the room at a comfortable temperature.
😴 Do not watch TV or use digital devices right before sleep, as it will make it harder to fall asleep.
😴 If you can’t get to sleep at once, tire yourself out doing something else like reading or listening to music.
😴 If you have trouble falling asleep for a long period or if you feel unusually tired during the day, see a doctor.
😴 Do not worry. Most sleep disorders can be treated effectively.