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If you’ve ever suffered from sleep deprivation, you’ll no it’s no easy ride. You probably know that it’s making you feel groggy and lethargic, that it’s affecting your mood and wellbeing – but it could be doing a lot more.
Here are a few facts about what sleep deprivation can actually do to your body…
The amount of sleep you’re getting plays a critical role in thinking and learning. A lack of sleep can be detrimental to cognitive processes in many ways, impairing attention, alertness, concentration, reasoning, and problem-solving. The sleep cycle you follow can play a vital role in “consolidating” memories in the mind, so when you don’t get enough sleep, you don’t remember what you learned and experienced during the day. Losing out of sleep can make it more difficult to learn efficiently, thus making you a little “dumber” than you’re soundly sleeping pals.
Sleep disorders and chronic sleep deprivation can lead to serious health issues. According to some estimates, 90% of people with insomnia also have another health condition.
Lack of Sleep can put you at risk for:
It’s been scientifically proven that those who are sleep deprived and have trouble sleeping are more likely to suffer with a mental health disorder, such a depression. Sleep deprivation can make you depressed.
Symptoms of mental illness develop quickly from lack of sleep, and while it may not be a direct cause of depression, suffering from poor sleep habits or a sleep disorder can make it much more likely for you to develop depression when compared with those who sleep well. It’s somewhat of a vicious cycle, in that once you have developed a mental health issue, you’re likely to have trouble sleeping as a result.
Research suggests that sleep-deprived men and women are more likely to have lower libidos and less interest in sex. The lower energy levels, sleepiness and increased tension are largely to blame. In a recent study, nearly half of the men who suffered from severe sleep apnea also displayed abnormally low levels of testosterone during the night.
You’ll Die of Lack of Sleep QUICKER than you will Lack of FOOD
Crazy, right? There are a handful of documented cases of a few people lasting over 25 days without food, which is much longer than anyone has ever survived without sleep. The world record holder for staying awake is currently a 17-year-old high school student who stayed awake for 264 hours – which is only around 11 days. We say only, but that is pretty impressive. He completed the challenge for a science fair project in 1965 and while he was technically still awake at the 264th hour it’s reported he was totally dysfunctional.
It’s not going to make you an axe murderer, but it could make you a danger to society. Drowsy driving and drunk driving are equally dangerous – and lack of sleep is sure going to make you drowsy. The top cause of serious road traffic accidents is fatigue. Recent research published in the Archives of Internal Medicine found that drivers who were intoxicated or tired were at least twice as likely to cause a serious accident on the road, compared to people who were well-rested and/or sober.
It’s clear that the detrimental effects that not getting enough shut-eye can have are not only harmful to your mood and wellbeing, but actually dangerous for your health and for others.
“Every aspect of who you are as a human, every capability is degraded, impaired when you lose sleep…”
This quote is from Mark Rosekind, member of the National Transportation Safety Board as he explains what happens to your body if you’re sleep deprived. Everything from your decision-making, reaction time, situational awareness, memory, communication etc. all decrease by approximately 20 to 50 percent. If you’re having trouble sleeping, you might want to consider seeing your doctor or a specialist. You may also want to consider a luxury bed & mattress.
Tags: Lack of Sleep, Sleep Deprivation