Sleep deprivation is one of society’s most dangerous silent killers. It is estimated that sleeping disorders affect around 50 to 70 million Americans. 70% of all Americans stated that they have trouble with sleep at least once a month, while 11% reported that they suffer from chronic sleep issues.
If you’re one of those people, you should know that your body is suffering greatly from a lack of sleep, and you will need to take action to correct the situation. Here are some of the ways in which sleep deprivation can affect the human body.
Sleep deprivation can wreak havoc on our brain’s health. It has been shown to greatly reduce our ability to think and memorize important information. Sleep is very important for memory as this is when the brain reorganizes connections and reinforces those that are the most important. Bad sleep can affect both long-term and short-term memory.
You will also struggle with problem-solving and creativity if you don’t get enough sleep. This makes good sleep essential for anyone who’s in a line of work where they have to do some mental work, or for students who want to perform to the best of their abilities.
It Can Lead to Serious Health Issues
Poor sleeping habits can affect much more than your brain. Lack of sleep can increase your chances of developing everything from irregular heartbeat to diabetes. Some of the other disorders you may develop include high blood pressure, strokes, and heart failure, just to name a few. According to estimates, 90% of people dealing with insomnia also suffer from another health issue.
With that being said, can you catch up on sleep? The answer is yes, but you may need to make significant changes to your lifestyle first and assess how much damage has been caused.
If you want to learn how you can do this, we suggest you check out Rise Science’s guide on how to correct sleeping issues. They explain the difference between long-term sleep deprivation and short-term sleep deprivation. They then give you actionable tips so you can improve the quality of your sleep and your general health.
It Affects Your Sex Drive
If your sexual performance has been suffering lately, a lot of it might have to do with your lack of sleep. Not only can it affect sexual arousal, but it can also affect mood and energy negatively, which will all have a detrimental effect on your sex life. Men with sleep apnea need to worry about this even more as it has been shown that they are more likely to have lower testosterone levels than average.
It Increases the Chance of Depression
Instead of looking for medication for depression, more people could benefit from getting the hours of sleep they need every night instead. One study found that people who suffer with insomnia are up to five times more likely to develop depression than those who sleep the recommended number of hours every night.
The worst thing about depression and insomnia is that they feed each other. Being depressed or anxious can make it harder to go to sleep, and a lack of sleep will make you feel more anxious and depressed. This is a problem that can be difficult to deal with on your own, and you might need to seek help from a mental health professional or a sleep clinic if you want to turn things around.
It Increases the Aging Process
Sleep is deeply regenerative, and not having enough sleep will end up showing on your face. We all know how much better we look when we have a good night of sleep versus when we stay up all night. This type of damage will start accumulating over time and you may end up aging much faster than you should as a result.
Lack of sleep also accelerates the brain’s aging process. This is one of the reasons why people suffering from sleep deprivation are much more likely to develop neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s as they get older.
It Could Increase Weight Gain
Very few people know this, but not getting enough sleep could actually make you gain weight. One of the reasons for this is that lack of sleep is shown to stimulate appetite, which could lead to obesity. A direct correlation has been established between lack of sleep and the production of the hormone ghrelin, which causes the hunger response.
Not only that, but lack of sleep pushes people to crave high-carb, high-fat foods. One study found that people who slept six hours per night or less were 30% more likely to develop obesity than those who slept between seven to nine hours per night.
These are all ways that poor sleep quality can affect your life and body negatively. This is why you need to make sleep a priority and do everything you can to reverse the situation starting today.