What are the health effects of sleep deprivation?
Time to stop the Netflix binge—the mind and body can suffer from the negative health effects of sleep deprivation. We all know that right? Our body naturally rebels when we don’t get enough sleep. However, most of us are unaware of what actually occurs to our bodies when we don’t get the recommended amount of sleep, which for most adults is between seven and eight hours.
Short term health effects of sleep deprivation can include impaired memory, quality of life, lack of alertness, sleepiness during the day, and even a higher chance of getting into car accidents. Missing out on only one and a half hours of sleep can alter how the body feels and executes, which can affect how we think and process information.
Our mood can also change. We may become less motivated to do normal activities such as exercising. It’s also easy to get tired throughout the day due to the lack of sleep, which may lead to accidents. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, thousands of accidents, injuries, and fatalities are caused by drowsy driving each year. Yes, you read that right. Not drunk, but drowsy.
Without enough sleep, we run the risk of developing more severe and long-lasting health issues. High blood pressure, diabetes, heart attacks, heart failure, or stroke are some of the most severe issues that are linked to long-term health effects of sleep deprivation. Obesity, depression, impaired immune system performance, and a decreased sex drive are further potential issues.
Chronic sleep deprivation might even have an impact on how we look, causing premature aging and dark circles beneath our eyes. Lack of sleep is also associated with an increase in the stress hormone cortisol in our body. Collagen, the protein that maintains smooth skin, can be broken down by cortisol. Getting too little rest may result in more crow’s feet!
For those who are suffering from sleep deprivation, please do yourself a favor and practice developing good sleeping habits. A simple routine change and sleep schedule can do wonders!