Missing out the recommended 7 to 9 hours of nightly sleep does more harm to your than you can imagine. The negative & long term effects of sleep deprivation are real. Lack of adequate sleep drains your mental abilities and puts your physical health at real risk.
The average adult should aim to get eight hours sleep every night while children need significantly more quality sleep time.
Below are some of the detrimental effect of deprived sleep.
1. Lack Of Sleep Causes Delirium
Losing sleep may cause delirium. It can make a person become completely disoriented. Patients who have been hospitalized in intensive care units can develop a condition that doctors call “ICU delirium. Doctors believe that loss of sleep is one reason people in the hospital for extended periods develop bizarre behaviour.
2. Lack Of Sleep Can Make Your Skin Age Faster.
Don’t be surprised if you wake up one day and discover you have dark circles and wan skin, it’s as a result of not getting sufficient sleep the previous night. If you continue to deprive yourself of a good sleep, you can have more permanent effects. A recent study reveals women’s skin appeared to age more quickly when they didn’t get enough sleep, this is because sleep deprivation leads to increases in cortisol, a stress hormone that degrades collagen, a skin-tightening and smoothing compound.
3. Lack Of Sleep Can Cause Accidents
It was discovered that insufficient sleep was a factor in some of the biggest disasters in recent history: the 1979 nuclear accident at Three Mile Island, the 1986 nuclear meltdown at Chernobyl, and others.
Loss of sleep is also hazardous to public safety as it can cause drowsiness which is tantamount to driving drunk. According to studies, loss of sleep and poor-quality sleep also lead to accidents and injuries on the job.
4. Lack Of Sleep Can Lead To Microsleeps
An insufficient sleep in one night can result in a person having a phenomenon called “microsleeps” the next day.
The person begins to fall into mini-snooze sessions which can last up to 30 seconds. At times the person’s eyes remain open during microsleeps but is essentially blind, even if their eyes are open. During microsleeps, the brain goes into a sleep state rapidly and uncontrollably.
This condition can be incredibly dangerous, especially if you’re behind the wheel.
5. Lack Of Sleep Can Affect Your Memory.
Persistent sleep deprivation can cause serious memory loss. While you rest, your brain and central nervous system perform functions to store memories and give room for optimal cognitive ability. Sleep deprivation can impact both short and long term recollection. A 2013 study of elderly adults confirmed “poor sleep in old age prevents the brain from storing memories.”
6. Lack of Sleep Kills Sex Drive
Sleep specialists say that sleep-deprived men and women report lower libidos and less interest in sex. Depleted energy, sleepiness and increased tension is culpable for this.
Men with sleep apnea (a respiratory problem that interrupts sleep) may have their sex drive affected too. A study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism in 2002 propounds that many men with sleep apnea also have low testosterone levels. Nearly half of the men who suffered from severe sleep apnea in the study also secreted abnormally low levels of testosterone during the night.
7. Lack of Sleep May Increase Risk of Death
In the “Whitehall II Study,” British researchers viewed how sleep patterns affected the mortality of more than 10,000 British civil servants over two decades. According to the results, published in 2007, men who had cut their sleep from seven to five hours or fewer a night nearly doubled their risk of death from all causes, especially from cardiovascular disease.
8. Loss Of Sleep Leads To Significant Weight Gain
Deprived sleep can palpably expand your waste line. Sleep deprivation causes people to have increased levels of a hunger hormone called ghrelin. Ghrelin makes people with sleep deprivation to consume about 300 calories a day.
To cover the energy cost of staying awake longer, they eat more than what is needed especially at night. These conditions can result to significant weight gain.
9. Sleep Loss Might Shrink Your Brain
Medicaldaily.com revealed in a new study, that scientists examined 147 adults who were aged 20 to 84. They analysed the link between lack of sleep and brain volume and found out that on average sleeping difficulties were associated with the rapid decline in brain volume.