10 Alarming Health Problems Caused by Sleep Deprivation
Are you among the millions of people worldwide who suffer from sleep deprivation? Unaddressed, lack of sleep can seriously affect your health. There are a lot of internal and external factors that affect a person’s sleeping habits. These include work, computers, stress, sleeping environment, obesity, diabetes, and hereditary ailments like narcolepsy and sleep apnea. All these factors can work alone or together to negatively impact your health. But what exactly are the negative health effects of lack of sleep? Read on to understand the health problems caused by sleep deprivation so you can effectively resolve them.
Concentration is key to being productive at work. Skimp on your sleep and you will be too tired to focus on what you’re doing. The simple act of walking up and down the stairs already requires a lot of processing. To stay alert, focused, and performing your best, you really need to be mindful of your sleeping habits. Your fatigue will only worsen if you constantly miss sleep whether to beat a deadline or to “relax” late at night by watching reruns of your favorite series. Sleep deprivation can and will wreak havoc on your motor skills, impairing your ability to concentrate.
Micro-sleeping is one of the potentially fatal effects of sleep deprivation. Micro-sleeping is when you nod off for a few seconds without you even knowing. Because you’re body is too tired, your brain “forces” your body to shut down to compensate for lost sleep. Micro-sleeping is your brain’s natural way to get the rest your body needs. It’s involved in a lot of fatal car accidents. Remember that whenever you feel overly sleepy while driving, it’s safer to pull over and rest for a moment until you feel more alert to drive again.
Weakened Immune System
Poor sleep weakens your immune system. Failing to sleep properly has significant health issues in terms of your body’s ability to ward off infections. For example, you may find it harder to cure a common cold. Health researchers have found that people who sleep less than seven hours are likely to develop a cold than those who sleep for eight hours or more a night. When you sleep, your body produces immune boosters to protect itself from getting sick. Lack of sleep lowers your body’s defenses, making your more vulnerable to pesky viruses.
Have you woken up feeling a bit off? It could be that you had poor sleep the night before. Sleep-deprived people are likely to have their emotions out of control. This could lead to long-term depression, which is a serious health issue. Things that normally don’t affect you such as your workload and traffic may provoke anger, sadness or anxiety. Lift your mood by sleeping well the night before.
Blotchy Skin, Dull Complexion
Sometimes, no amount of Instagram filter or makeup can hide tired-looking and blotchy skin. It’s called beauty sleep for a good reason. When you sleep, your skin repairs damaged cells. Insufficient sleep disrupts this process. Good quality sleep is essential if you want to look radiant and healthy. If done for longer periods, sleep deprivation makes you prone to more breakouts and causes a haggard-looking appearance.
Can’t remember the name of the person you’ve just talked to? Or where you put your car keys? Before you panic, ask yourself first if you had a decent sleep last night. When you’re experiencing tiredness due to insufficient sleep, your brain is not fully attentive to remember important details. This results in being forgetful or mild memory loss. Get regular, sufficient sleep to keep your nervous system vigilant and clear.
If you’re struggling to manage work and home, poor sleep could be the reason. Good sleep is important to carry out smart decisions. Essential functions like problem-solving and time management are supported by sleep. You tend to act irrationally when you’re exhausted. This could come at a cost not just for your work and family, but also for your health. For a good sleep each night, create an ambiance conducive to sleep. Things, like keeping room temperature to around 65 degrees Fahrenheit and investing in a foam mattress and memory foam, can do wonders for your sleep.
Regular sleep disruptions can get in the way of conceiving a baby. For women, getting too little sleep leads to a higher level of cortisol, the stress hormone that may have a negative effect on their ability to reproduce. Men, on the other hand, can suffer from lower testosterone levels in the absence of quality sleep.
Unwanted Weight Gain
Unwanted weight gain is one of the most unattractive health effects of sleep deprivation, which can lead to obesity. Lack of sleep makes you hungry because your body craves food to make itself feel more awake. Poor sleep also slows down your metabolism, making it hard for your body to burn those fried foods and sweets.
Increased Risk of Heart Disease
Long-standing sleep problems are associated with increased heart rate and blood pressure. This puts an extra strain on your heart, which could lead to a heart attack. Sleep plays a vital role in your cardiovascular health. When you get sufficient sleep, your body is able to repair your blood vessels and heart. For people with existing hypertension, one night of bad sleep can cause elevated blood pressure all throughout the next day.
Given the serious health repercussions of sleep deprivation, it’s important that you try your best to get sufficient sleep each night. Combating sleep deprivation begins when you’re aware of the problems. Improve your sleep based on your own needs so you can be healthy and productive.