With the busy schedules each of us has in the modern world and the fast speed of our lives, it is often difficult to let yourself have a long and good sleep at night. According to Claudia Aguirre, 30% of adults and 66% of adolescents in the USA experience sleep deprivation. We tend to think that 5 or 6 hours of sleep is enough, and that a couple of cups of strong coffee in the morning will bring you back to life. In reality, such thoughts and behaviors are dangerous, as they can make serious damage to our health. Sleep deprivation is a slow and silent killer, and here is what it can do to your well-being, body, and mind.
Problems with Concentration
Sleepless nights make you less focused and increase the possibility for you to make mistakes during work or studying. Due to the lack of concentration caused by sleep deprivation, there is also a higher chance of getting into a car accident.
Troubles Memorizing Information
Have you ever stayed up late in hopes to study more? Well, it was a big mistake. Scientists from Southern Utah University say that lack of good sleep actually decreases your ability to memorize the important information. So for all the students out there: if you want to study effectively, be sure to get a fair amount of sleep at night.
Constant Tiredness and Sleepiness
Each of us has experienced this feeling at least once during the lifetime when you are dying for a nap or for some caffeine. Even several days of such condition are hardly bearable, so try to only imagine how much damage can it bring if it lasted more than a couple of days. In addition, sleep deprivation sometimes causes hallucinations, which also interfere with the working abilities. Tiredness highly affects the performance during work and studying, and it is probably not something you want.
Moodiness and Depression
When you see a grumpy person in the morning, you probably always assume than he or she did not have enough sleep the previous night. It is true that even short-term sleep deprivation highly affects your mood and makes you irritable. Not only that it damages your communication with others and can cause conflicts, but it can also lead you to serious psychological disorder, including depression. Scientists say that due to the overall tiredness caused by the lack of sleep, people become more vulnerable to the influence of depressive thoughts. It is not something you would like your life to be like, is it?
Remember these dark circles under your eyes, which appear after a couple of days of bad sleep? Well, long-term sleep deprivation can lead to problems, which are more serious than this. Sleeping less than 7 hours each night can cause early wrinkles and make your skin look dry and lifeless. The reason for this condition is that lack of sleep is a stressful condition for your body, and stress increases the release of the cortisol hormone. Cortisol destroys collagen, which is necessary for a good-looking skin.
High blood pressure
According to the researches, even one sleepless night can rise up your blood pressure for the entire next day. You can only imagine how much damage long-term sleep deprivation can make to the entire cardiovascular system because it does not allow the body to rest and reset its systems. Sleep gives your body the opportunity to repair itself and heal the blood vessels. Lack of sleep will make your heart suffer, and it is definitely something you would not like to do.
Higher risk of stroke
Heart diseases are not surprising in the modern world, but sleep deprivation can make them even more common. There is a correlation between the lack of sleep and the risk of stroke, so the less you sleep, the higher is the possibility for you to experience a heart disease even in a very young age. Studies showed that Americans aged 45 and over who slept less than 7 hours per night were twice as likely to get a heart disease or a stroke than those who slept 7-8 hours.
Even though it is not totally clear how these factors are connected, but sleep deprivation can make you gain weight or even cause obesity. Scientists assume that there are several reasons that may cause this condition.
- People who sleep longer have more energy to exercise, which allows them to burn more calories and stay skinnier.
- Individuals who have lack of sleep simply spend more time being awake, which allows them to eat more frequently.
- From the biological point of view, sleep deprivation imbalances the relation between hormones in your body, so people who sleep less than 7 hours per night have a bigger amount of leptin, hormone that makes them feel hungry.
Damages of the Immune System
Shortage in the amount of hours you spend asleep is dramatic for your immune system. According to the group of scientists from the Netherlands and United Kingdom, lack of sleep affects the immune system in a similar way that stress and physical exhaustion do. It makes the immune system work on its limits by forcing it to function more effectively. As a result, the immune system gets weaker. Thus, lack of sleep makes you more vulnerable to all kinds of the immune diseases.
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Risk of diabetes
As it was said earlier, sleep deprivation plays a huge role in changing the relations of different hormones, including those, which help to regulate the level of glucose. The inability of the body to maintain the necessary levels of this hormone may be one of major factors leading to type 2 diabetes. Those of you who have relatives who suffer from this disease should be especially careful to the amount of hours you sleep.
Do you know that there is a close connection between the amount of hours you sleep and the possibility for you to die sooner? A Polish scientist Jolanta Orzeł-Gryglewska researched the issue of sleep deprivation in detail, and concluded that people who sleep 6.5-7.5 hours have the lowest mortality rate among one million of respondents of both genders. Sleep better, live longer.
Sleep is a necessary component of life for every person, and lack of it can lead to crucial consequences for your physical and mental well-being. Good night sleep is a guarantee of your long, happy, and healthy life.