Depriving yourself of sleep is the worst thing you can do to yourself. Period. I'm not saying I've never done that myself, in fact, for a very long while I would only sleep as little as possible. But that was only until I hadn't realized the true horrors of it.
Missing out on good sleep for a day or two is still okay, not encouraged, but yes it's not going to give you a heart attack either. Whereas, on the other hand, chronic sleep deprivation can ruin your life more than you would imagine. And trust me when I talk about this because I have first hands experience.
Having put that out there, let's talk about the short-term and the long-term drawbacks of sleeplessness separately.Short-term effects of sleeplessness.
- increased responses to stress
- mood swings
- emotion distress/high vulnerability
- reduced quality of life
- short term memory issues
- slowed thinking process
- other problem deficits.
Effects of chronic sleep deprivation (long term)
Basically, chronic sleep deprivation is when you have either been unable to sleep for sufficient hours for a long period of time or that your quality of sleep is disturbed.
Here are the long-term effects of sleeplessness.
- high blood pressure
- heart attack
- other coronary heart diseases
- memory problems
- immunity impairment
Sleep plays a significant role in empowering both mind and body. Lack of sleep can jeopardize the health and make everyday undertakings difficult.
Sleep deprivation can multiple side effects:
1. Compromise Learning ability:
Sleep plays a critical role in thinking and learning. Lack of sleep hurts these cognitive processes, it impairs attention, alertness, concentration, reasoning, and problem-solving. This makes it more difficult to learn efficiently.
2. Lack of Sleep Ages Your Skin:
Most people have experienced sallow skin and puffy eyes after a few nights of missed sleep. But it turns out that chronic sleep loss can lead to lackluster skin, fine lines, and dark circles under the eyes.
3. Loss of muscle mass:
During the sleep cycle, a hormone called growth hormone is released that is responsible for muscle mass maintenance, sleep deprivation, as a result, leads to loss of muscle mass.
4. Losing Sleep Can Make You Gain Weight:
Lack of sleep seems to be related to an increase in hunger and appetite, The body demands more energy after not being recovered completely from a sleepless episode and tries to meet its needs through extra calories, this may cause weight gain if occurs consistently.
5. Trigger depression:
Over time, lack of sleep and sleep disorders can contribute to the symptoms of depression.
Sleep is necessary for mental peace and to remain physically fit. It is as important to us as food and water. Sleep deprivation is also known as insomnia. It is not a disorder but rather is a phase or a stage of life wherein the person gets a night of very little or inadequate sleep. Insomnia can be due to several reasons such as stress, medical illness, pain, depression etc. Getting a minimum of 8 hours of sleep is required for a person.Signs of insomnia:
- feeling sleepy
- daytime fatigue
Chronic insomnia show strong effects on;
Central nervous system: The body is controlled by the Central Nervous system. Sleep deprivation causes a lack of concentration and difficulty in learning, grasping and understanding concepts. It also causes pressure on the brain. You may feel too distracted and angry most of the time leading to mood swings. In the long run, it can cause hallucinations.
Immune system: When a person sleeps, the immune system and immunity get stronger. If a person is less immune, the chances of him/her falling ill are way higher and riskier as compared to healthy individuals.
Respiratory system: Breathing illnesses and problems especially at night cause disturbance in sleep resulting in sleep deprivation.
Digestive system: Sleep affects two hormones namely leptin and ghrelin. Leptin is related to food and informs our body when we are full. Ghrelin is an appetite stimulant. But, due to lack of sleep, leptin hormone reduces and ghrelin increases making the body always think of eating that eventually cause obesity.
Cardiovascular system: Insomnia leads to a higher risk of heart attack and stroke.
Sleep disorders and chronic sleep loss can put you at risk for:
High blood pressure.
It's a good idea to get at least 7 to 8 hours of rest each night. This will help your body get back on schedule. It can take days or weeks to recover from a bout of sleep deprivation. Just 1 hour of sleep loss requires 4 days to recover.
Don't even get started about the toxic effects of sleep deprivation. You may not realize it, but it can completely ruin your quality of life. I used to stay awake and binge watch tv series or pull an all-nighter whenever the workload got too much and it was all fun and games until later when this became a routine.
It is okay to miss out on a few hours of sleep every day, but more than that, per se 1 - 2 days at a stretch is not something I would encourage you to do. The reasons are mentioned as follows.It can decrease your concentration span and memory
Sleep and memory span has a very deep correlation with one another. You may have noticed that the days followed by sleepless nights aren't all that productive. You can't seem to focus on one thing for too long and seem to be procrastinating a lot more than usual. Yeah, that's your sleep deprivation saying high.
Sleep deprivation can put you at a greater risk of suffering from grave physical health diseases. A number of these are mentioned as follows.
- high blood pressure
- heart attack
- impairment in immunity.
- skin breakouts
Mental Health Problems
Research studies show that people who get little sleep than their actual requirement as compared to people who get a minimum of 7 - 8 hours of sleep on a daily basis are more prone to mental illnesses such as depression, anxiety and other mental health issues.
If you are maintaining your diet and exercise regularly, however, don't get at least seven hours of sleep every night, you may be undermining all of your other efforts. You may even face serious and severe side effects. Let's discuss some of the side effects of sleep deprivation:
SIDE EFFECTS OF SLEEP DEPRIVATION: Here are some of the side effects of sleep deprivation:
- Lack of alertness: Even missing as little as 1.5 hours can have an impact on how you feel. You lose alertness and enthusiasm in daily routine life.
- Excessive sleepiness during the daytime: It can make you very sleepy and exhausted during the whole day.
- Bad memory: Lack of sleep can adversely affect your ability to think, remember and process information.
- Relationship stress: It can make you feel moody and agitated and you can become more likely to have conflicts with others.
- Quality of life: You may become less likely to participate in normal daily activities or to exercise.
- Greater likelihood for car accidents: Drowsy driving accounts for thousands of crashes, injuries, and fatalities each year, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
We all know sleep loss can change your mood swings in no time. It can change you from a happy-go person to a grumpy person. Apart from this, sleep deprivation disturbs your health, memory, lifestyle and even weight loss.Here are a few serious problems that can arise from sleep loss 1. Accidents
Studies and facts have stated that sleep loss or poor quality sleep are the main reasons for accidents on roads and in working stations.
Drivers riding on highways are more prone to accidents due to the long-distance journey.2. Numbness
Sleep loss weighs in for memory problems, unable to think, learn, read, and understand things. It makes your mind numb by slowly reacting to things.3. Health disorders
People suffering from sleep deprivation are prone to;
- heart disease
- heart failure
- heart attack
- irregular heartbeat
- high B.P.
Lack of sleep makes a person go into depression. Insomnia and depression are connected. If either of the one disorder gets normal, the other disorder comes back to normal too.5. Weight gain
Loss of sleep is equal to an increase in appetite and obesity. The hormone ghrelin signals appetite. It increases considerably in people suffering from sleep loss.
Other than that, it can make you prone to health disorders and diseases such as heart attack, memory issues, high blood pressure. Overall, sleep deprivation also leads to a compromised immune system so you're overall more prone to falling prey to diseases as simple as a flu or a fever. So, if you are suffering from insomnia, make some lifestyle modifications accordingly and see a doctor even if those don't fix the issue.
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