When you don’t get enough sleep night after night, you may develop bigger problems than feeling a little groggy the next morning…
According to an article on WebMD, there are at least 10 downsides to not getting your full quota of replenishing REM’s each night.
This post just lists the highlights from the article…click on the link at the end to see the full article from the original WebMD source.
1.) Accidents Happen
Sleep deprivation is said to have contributed to some of recent history’s biggest disasters such as Three Mile Island, the Exxon Valdez spill and Chernobyl among others. Lack of sleep is also a safety hazard on the road. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates fatigue is a factor in some 100,000 auto crashes every year in the USA. And workers who complain they often feel sleepy on the job tend to have more accidents.
Lack of sleep can mess with your cognitive processes in a number of ways. Critical daytime skills including alertness, attention, focus, and problem solving can all take a nose-dive when you’re sleep deprived. Plus, a good night’s sleep supposedly helps you store away what you learned that day so you can recall it later.
3.) Health Problems
Chronic loss of sleep can put you at risk for things like heart ailments, high blood pressure, stroke, diabetes and numerous other health problems. Also, studies show people who are diagnosed with insomnia, are much more likely to have other serious health issues.
4.) Lower Libido
Studies show lack of sleep can lower your sex drive – both for men and women. Lack of energy and increased tension may be to blame. Men with sleep apnea get another strike against them because they secrete lower amounts of testosterone during their irregular sleep cycles.
Sleep problems can contribute to depression. In one poll, people who were diagnosed with the disease were more likely to sleep less – often getting fewer than 6 hours of sleep per night. Insomnia has been linked strongly to depression. Insomnia sufferers were five times more likely to also develop depression.
6.) Skin Damage
Most everyone knows sallow skin and bags under the eyes are among the aftereffects of occasional sleep loss. But chronic loss of sleep can do more serious skin damage such as causing fine lines, dull skin and dark circles under the eyes. Lack of sleep can also cause of a build of cortisol in your bloodstream which can destroy collagen – the protein that helps keep your skin plump and elastic. And when you get good sleep, you release growth hormones which help repair skin tissue.
Having trouble remembering things? Maybe you’re not getting enough sleep. Research in 2009 showed that long-term memories are more likely to be stored away when you reach deep levels of sleep. Gettin more quality sleep each night may help you recall info when you really need it.
8.) Weight Gain
Sleep loss can increase your appetite during the day, and possibly make you eat more than you normally would. In a 2004 study, participants who got less than six hours of sleep each night were 30% more likely to gain so much extra weight they met the criteria for obesity. And not only will loss of sleep make you eat more, you’re more likely to crave high-carb, high-fat foods.
9.) Risk of Death
A 20-year British study with 10,000+ participants looked at the correlation between sleep patterns and mortality. The investigators revealed that those study participants who cut their sleep time down to five hours or less per night were twice as likely to die from a cardiovascular disease.
10.) Impaired Judgment
Sleep loss can affect how you interpret events, lowering your chances you will be able to evaluate new situations quickly and accurately, and then be able to respond appropriately. One example: if you think you’re functioning just fine every day with less sleep, you’re probably demonstrating poor judgment. In fact, researchers testing poor sleepers have proven sleep deprivation can often result in impaired job performance.