New Health Guide

Lack of Sleep Effects

Oct 21, 2014

Lack of sleep can increase the likelihood of dying from cardiovascular diseases. In the worst case scenario, it may lead to serious health issues like diabetes, irregular heartbeat, high blood pressure and heart attack. Below are common symptoms of sleep deprivation, once you've identified you suffer from lack of sleep, do take treatment measures.

  1. Blurry vision and heavy eyelids; they eyes hurt and seem watery.
  2. Excessive yawning all day and feeling tired.
  3. Your skin gets affected in that it starts wrinkling, and you get dark visible circles underneath your eyes.
  4. Weight gain.
  5. Dizziness, mind disturbance, trouble understanding and speaking, headache, severe anxiety, stress and confusion.
  6. Difficulty in solving problems, thinking logically and reasoning.
  7. Constipation as well as decreased reaction time and extreme fatigue, which may lead to nightmares and hallucinations.

Lack of Sleep Effects

1. Lead to Accidents

Deprivation of sleep has over the years led to some major disasters in history. Some examples are the Three Mile Island nuclear accident that happened in 1979, or the Chernobyl nuclear meltdown in 1986 or even the massive oil spill in Exxon Valdez. Loss of sleep also causes most road accidents because drowsiness is said to cause decreased reaction time just like driving drunk does. Studies show that lack of sleep or poor sleep quality has led to injuries and accidents even at work. In a study done, a worker complained of the many accidents experienced when they lacked enough sleep.

2. Make You Dumb

Sleep has a major role when it comes to learning and thinking. Such cognitive processes are hurt by lack of sleep in a variety of ways. First, your attention, reasoning, problem solving and alertness are impaired. As a result, you are not able to do things efficiently. Secondly, the different sleep cycles also play a major role when it comes to "consolidating" memories. You risk memory loss.

3. Affect Your Judgment

Loss of sleep will also eventually affect your judgment because you will be unable to assess and interpret events accurately. People who are sleep deprived are most prone to impaired judgment. Even though studies have shown that people who go with less sleep eventually adapt to it, their mental performance and alertness is always down.

4. Make You Forgetful

If you wish to maintain your sharp memory, make sure you get enough sleep. In 2009, researchers from France and America determined that there are some brain events that are responsible for your memory consolidation. The ripples caused by the sharp wave move learned information to your neocortex from your hippocampus. It is in the neocortex that long-term memories get stored. Sharp ripples are normally caused when you are in the deepest sleep levels.

5. Cause Health Problems

Chronic loss of sleep has also been linked to health problems like heart failure, stroke, and irregular heartbeat among other conditions. There are estimates that were done which found that 90% of those suffering from insomnia also suffer from some other conditions.

6. Lead to Depression

Loss of sleep can, over time, contribute to depression symptoms. Insomnia is the most common sleep disorder, and it also has the strongest association to depression. A study in 2007 was done on ten thousand people, and it showed that people suffering from insomnia were more likely to suffer from depression than people who did not suffer from it. As a matter of fact, insomnia is one of the major depression symptoms.

7. Make You Age Faster

If you have puffy eyes and sallow skin, then you must not have had a shut eye for some time. As it turns out, if you have chronic loss of sleep you will start having fine lines on your skin, dark circles below the eyes and lackluster skin. Each time you have insufficient sleep, cortisol, a stress hormone is released. Once this hormone is in excess in your body, it breaks down your skin collagen. This is the protein responsible for keeping your skin elastic and smooth.

8. Make You Fatter

Loss of sleep can also make you fatter because it increases appetite and hunger. In a study done in 2004, it was discovered that people who has 6 hours or less of sleep each day had a 30% more likelihood of becoming obese as compared to people who had 7-9 hours of sleep daily. Less sleep is said to decrease leptin (responsible for appetite suppression) levels and elevates ghrelin (responsible for appetite and hunger stimulation) levels in your brain.

9. Affect Your Sex Life

According to sleep specialists, when you lack sufficient sleep your sex drive (whether a man or woman) decreases. This is because; loss of sleep causes increased tension, sleepiness and energy depletion. Men who suffer from sleep apnea, which is a respiratory condition that hinders sleep, have also been found to have low levels of testosterone.

10. Increase Mortality

Results posted in 2007 of a research done in Britain on effects of sleep on mortality, showed that people who had reduced their sleep time from 7 to 5 hours or less a night increased by double their risk of mortality from different causes. More specifically, sleep loss doubles your risk of mortality from different cardiovascular diseases.

How Much Sleep do You Need?

The table below is not the absolute sleep standard. The sleep guidelines below gotten from National Sleep Foundation do not show the absolute sleep standards because sleep changes as people age. There isn't a "magic number" as the sleep needs for each individual vary, but the general idea is that you should get enough sleep, but not too much.


Tips for Better Sleep

  1. Relax Your Body. Relax by drinking some hot chamomile tea. It is known to have calming effects and hot beverages increase your body temperature making you feel sleepy.
  2. Relax Your Mind. Try some relaxation techniques like aromatherapy massage or yoga for about 30 minutes each day.
  3. Improve Sleep Quality. Wear comfortable pajamas, adjusting the lighting in the bedroom and taking a hot bath or shower before going to bed.