Sleep is a restorative and vital function of the human body. It refuels your body at the end of each day and allows major necessary biological functions to take place each night. Without it, your health and quality of life suffer, and it’s only a matter of time before you experience a serious injury, or worse.
There are many factors that can impact sleep quality and duration. Stress is probably the biggest culprit, in addition to anxiety, health problems, poor diet, lack of time, or even your bed. If you suspect the reason for your sleep deprivation may be more physical, consider buying a new mattress to upgrade your sleep situation.
Commit to getting consistent sleep by developing an understanding of these common effects of sleep deprivation on your body.
Without sleep, our mental clarity suffers. This, in turn, impacts our performance at work, our ability to communicate, and our relationships. Another extremely dangerous side effect of a lack of focus caused by sleep deprivation happens on a larger scale – so many car and transportation accidents occur due to sleep deprivation each year. Keep yourself safe by getting enough sleep each night.
When you don’t get enough sleep, your mood takes a nosedive. You become irritable, grumpy, restless, negative and unmotivated. Furthermore, chronic sleep deprivation can lead to depression and anxiety. Do not underestimate the role of sleep in your mental health and mindset.
Sleep deprivation can lead to unhealthy eating habits as well as weight gain. There are two hormones in the body, leptin, and grehlin, which primarily control feelings of hunger and satiety (or fullness.) They help inform the mind when you are full and satisfied, or when you are hungry. When you don’t get enough sleep, these hormones get off-balance and are not able to properly signal the brain that you are full. Because of this, you’re more likely to overindulge, which over time may lead to weight gain.
In addition, sleep deprivation can have an even more serious impact on your dietary wellness. Lack of sleep affects the body’s release of insulin, a blood-sugar-lowering hormone, which means that people who chronically don’t get enough sleep have higher blood sugar levels and develop an increased risk for diabetes.
Negative impact on appearance
You may be all-too-familiar with the “bags” or dark circles that appear under your eyes when you don’t get enough sleep. But there are many other ways that your appearance can be negatively affected by sleep deprivation. Without enough sleep, your skin becomes dull – without proper overnight restoration, your skin cells aren’t able to get the time and fuel they need to regenerate, or slough off dead cells.
Not getting enough sleep can also mess with the moisture levels in your skin, which leads to dryness, potential breakouts and the appearance of fine lines. This lack of moisture can also affect your eyes, which causes them to appear dull, and may also prompt the redness that leaves you reaching for eye-drops.
In addition, according to sleep experts, “your brain also gets rid of 60 percent more toxins when you get the proper amount of sleep.” Fewer toxins means a healthier body and an equally healthy appearance.
Weakened immune system
Another danger of sleep deprivation is that it actually weakens your immune systems and leaves you much more susceptible to diseases and infections. When you don’t get enough sleep, your body doesn’t receive the time it needs to restore your immune system at the end of each day. So if you become exposed to germs, even for the common cold, your body is less likely to be able to fight them off as it would be when you are well-rested.
Sleep deprivation also has a considerable effect on your coordination. Activities that normally come easily, such as working out, playing sports, or anything that involves balance, become much harder when you don’t get enough sleep. Your body needs sleep to be able to perform at optimal levels, which is why sleep is highly valued by professional athletes and competitors.
To stave off all of these issues, you should aim for at least seven hours of sleep every night, which is the recommended amount for average adults. Individual sleep requirements will vary from person to person, with children and young adults requiring 8-12 hours, and older adults requiring slightly less, but seven is a good rule of thumb for all age groups.
Photo is pixabay creative commons
Guest Author Bio
Trevor is a freelance content writer and a recovering addict & alcoholic who’s been clean and sober for over 5 years. Since his recovery began, he has enjoyed using his talent for words to help spread treatment resources, addiction awareness, and general health knowledge. In his free time, you can find him working with recovering addicts or outside enjoying about any type of fitness activity imaginable.