Sleep loss: How does affect your life?

Sleep deprivation can cause damage to your body in the short term. Over time, it can lead to chronic health problems and negatively impact your quality of life. There are many causes of sleep deprivation. The stresses of daily life may intrude upon our ability to sleep well, or perhaps we trade sleep for more work or play.

However, it is critically important to realize that sleep deprivation is very often due to unrecognized sleep disorders. After a typical night’s sleep, you may not feel restored and refreshed and be sleepy during the day, but be totally unaware that you are sleep-deprived or have a sleep disorder.

That’s said; let’s look at the consequences of sleep deprivation.

Sleep boosts immunity

If you seem to catch every cold and flu that’s going around, your bedtime could be to blame. Prolonged lack of sleep can disrupt your immune system, so you’re less able to fend off bugs. [1]

Memory and Thinking Problems

Sleep has important effects on our ability to think and process memories. Therefore, when we do not sleep enough, these cognitive abilities can become impaired. Sleep deprivation may lead to further problems with higher-level functions, such as planning, organization and judgment. The most common symptom of sleep deprivation relates to problems with concentration and paying attention. [2]

Increased food consumption and appetite

Research indicates that acute sleep loss enhances pleasure response processing in the brain underlying the drive to consume food. The researchers raise the question of whether chronic sleep deprivation is linked to rising levels of obesity. [3]

Poor vision

Sleep deprivation is associated with tunnel vision, double vision, and dimness. The longer you are awake, the more visual errors you’ll encounter, and the more likely you are to experience outright hallucinations. [4]

If you’re one of the chronically tired or if you view sleep as a waste of precious time, it might be time to change the way you think about sleep. You may not be aware of what your brain and body are doing during sleep, but that time is vital to your ability to function and potentially to your life.

 

 

[1] Information based on http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/tiredness-and-fatigue/Pages/lack-of-sleep-health-risks.aspx
[2] Information based on https://www.verywell.com/what-are-the-symptoms-of-sleep-deprivation-3015161
[3] Information based on https://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2013/02/13/8-effects-of-sleep-deprivation-on-your-health/
[4] Information based on https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20442067