Sleep Deprivation and Your Health
These days, most people run into the issue of there not being enough hours in a day to accomplish everything that needs doing. Between commuting to work, work, keeping house, and the responsibilities of family, many people rarely find time to have even a moment to themselves. What do you do to get more hours out of the day to accomplish those extra tasks or to get an hour to do something leisurely? Chances are you sleep less than you should. It may seem like no big deal to cut out an hour or two of your sleep time, but in reality, it really is a big deal. When you are sleep deprived, you not only feel the negative effects on your body but also your mind.
The negative effects are more severe than you might think. Here are 8 reasons why you should stop depriving yourself of sleep.
If you’re sleep deprived, your focus isn’t at it’s best. When you’re dragging through the day you are nowhere near as alert or focused as you should be. Would you want your pilot or surgeon performing their duties when they’re sleep deprived? Probably not! When you’re missing a lot of sleep, you run the risk of losing focus and overestimating your abilities.
2. Impaired Memory
If you’re thinking of cramming for that next exam you may want to consider getting a good night’s sleep instead of pulling an all-nighter. Here’s why. When you reach a deep sleep, it creates connections between cells. REM helps in memory formation as well. Don’t skip sleep before an exam!
When you are tired, you have a lower threshold when it comes to dealing with everyday stress. Often, activities that are quite routine seem as if they are overwhelming. Simply walking the dog or going to the market can feel as though you are about to climb Mt. Everest.
Studies have shown that sleep deprivation can also have a serious impact on our creative thinking. Impaired innovation and creativity can be very detrimental in many jobs. Another reason why getting the proper amount of sleep is very important. Your cognitive process needs it!
5. Lower Sociability and Optimism
No matter how you slice it, no one is ever a ray of sunshine on little to no sleep. We can get downright mean if we don’t have enough sleep. Sleep deprivation can cause some people to get hostile, feel hopeless, and very unfriendly.
Physical Health Problems
6. Blood Pressure
Quite a few studies have shown that being deprived of sleep will increase your blood pressure. Even losing as much as half of a night’s worth of sleep will raise your blood pressure. Especially if you have hypertension or pre-hypertension.
7. Cardiac Morbidity
Sleep deprivation can also put you at risk for a heart attack! If you already run the risk of cardiovascular disease then you need to take your night’s sleep a lot more seriously than you may already be doing.
8. Increased Appetite
When you get too little sleep, you’re essentially running on empty. However, when you’re sleep deprived it enhances the pleasure response in the brain. This causes you to want to eat a lot more. There is current research that is studying the lack of sleep in individuals with risk of obesity.
The bottom line? If you want to stay happy and healthy, sleep is the best medicine! Take care of your brain and your body by getting the proper amount of sleep. If you feel that you’re not getting the rest that you’re needing or if you have trouble falling or staying asleep, then you should talk to your doctor about getting the help that you deserve. Sleep deprivation is not something to be taken lightly or ignore. Serious illness and even hospitalization can occur if you are suffering from lack of sleep.