We all know that a lack of sleep can make us grumpy and foggy but If it becomes a chronic condition, the consequences can be very awful.
Here are 10 consequences of not getting enough sleep :
Lack of sleep leads to accidents
Serious accidents are very often linked to a poor sleep schedules and fatigue. Studies have claimed that driving while suffering from sleep loss is just as dangerous as driving drunk because your reaction times are equally impacted by both activities. People under 25 years old are especially affected by this phenomenon.
In addition to accidents on the road, a lack of sleep can also lead to a higher risk of injuries or accidents on the job or in the home. Not sleeping enough has been linked to a significant increase in repeated work accidents as well as an increased number of sick days.
Not getting enough sleep can cause death
British research studies have shown that people who have irregular sleep patterns or schedules that do not allow for adequate rest on a regular basis have a higher mortality rate than those who get enough sleep on a regular basis. Most notably, patients who suffer from a lack of sleep appear to have a significantly higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease.
It can lead to serious health problems
One of the lack of sleep effects is that it increases the risk of developing several chronic diseases. It is estimated that 90 percent of people who suffer from insomnia also suffer from another chronic health condition which can be life threatening. Some of the most common chronic diseases which increase with a lack of sleep include:
- Heart disease
- Heart failure
- Heart attack
- Irregular heartbeat
- High blood pressure
Lack of sleep lowers your sex drive
Men and women who suffered from a lack of quality sleep were studied and it was determined that most of them had lower libidos and less of an interest in having sex. A lack of sleep leads to a person having less energy and more tension in the body which inhibits the desire for sexual intercourse. Men who suffer from sleep apnea also tend to have lower testosterone levels which can lower libido.
It may trigger depression and anxiety
The most common sleep disorder, insomnia, has the strongest link to depression. In a 2007 study of 10,000 people, those with insomnia were five times as likely to develop depression as those without. In fact, insomnia is often one of the first symptoms of depression.
Insomnia and depression feed on each other. Sleep loss often aggravates the symptoms of depression, and depression can make it more difficult to fall asleep.
Aging of skin
Lack of sleep effects definitely include skin issues. Just one night of missed sleep can lead to puffy eyes and sallow skin. If a person continues to develop a constant schedule that promotes sleep loss, this damage can become permanent. Dark circles under the eyes, sallow skin and fine lines across the face can become permanent.
The elasticity of the skin can also become damaged over time when a person does not get enough sleep. Chronic fatigue leads to excessive stress which causes the body to produce more of the hormone cortisol, which breaks down the protein in the skin that keeps it elastic and smooth.
Fatigue causes forgetfulness
In 2009, American and French researchers determined that brain events called “sharp wave ripples” are responsible for consolidating memory. The ripples also transfer learned information from the hippocampus to the neocortex of the brain, where long-term memories are stored. Sharp wave ripples occur mostly during the deepest levels of sleep.
Weight gain is easier when you don't sleep well
A regular sleep schedule helps your body maintain a regular appetite and hunger schedule. This is because shortening your sleep schedule increases your production of the hormone ghrelin which stimulates hunger and decreases your production of leptin which suppresses appetite. Throwing off your appetite increases the likelihood that you will overeat, which can lead to obesity over time. Studies have shown that people who sleep less than seven hours a day are 30 percent more likely to be obese than those who get nine hours of sleep or more.
When you do not get enough sleep it can limit your ability to accurately interpret events, which can make it difficult to correctly react to situations you are experiencing or make smart, efficient decision making. Most notably, those who have not gotten enough sleep tend to make poor judgments regarding the amount of sleep they need. They believe that they are not suffering from any ill effects from the poor sleep schedule they are keeping, which leads to the problem snowballing.
Lack of sleep affects the learning process
Sleep is essential to the cognitive processes associated with learning. A lack of sleep brings down alertness and attention span that makes it easier to take in information. A lack of attention also limits a person's ability to reason and solve problem effectively, which means that people who are fatigued cannot learn at an effective level.