Even if you attend the gym regularly and stick to a healthy nutrition plan, there is a chance that you may end up having health issues influenced by a lack of sleep. In the US alone, roughly 70 million citizens suffer from disturbed sleep patterns, insomnia, or underlying sleep disorders. Many people lack this crucial “activity” due to multiple problems, including heavy workload, difficult relationships, and more.
The National Sleep Foundation claims that there is an appropriate number of hours of sleep specific to a person's age. For instance, while it’s enough for adults to sleep for at least seven hours, newborns, however, may need to sleep for up to 17 hours.
The following three factors assist with determining how much rest a person needs to avoid sleep deprivation:
So, what are the possible effects of not getting enough sleep at night? Read on to find out.
What Happens to Your Body If You Don't Sleep Enough?
Taking shut-eye away from yourself can do your body harm. These problems may have both the short-term and long-term effects of sleep deprivation.
Sleep Deprivation Can Lead to Serious Health Issues
Your body needs sleep. When a person doesn't sleep enough, their immune system weakens. In the epoch of COVID-19, this is a rather warning sign. As an individual becomes weaker, they are at risk of getting ill.
Healthcare professionals might bring up diabetes as one of the examples a lack of sleep can cause. Those who sleep less than five hours per day have higher chances of developing this disorder. In some cases, it may lead to type II diabetes, one of the worst results stemming from sleep deprivation effects. The problem is that when you don’t sleep enough the body's processing of glucose is disrupted.
Other health problems associated with sleep deprivation may include high blood pressure, the risk of heart diseases, or even heart failure.
Not Enough Sleep Can Provoke MDD
It all starts with moodiness. Moody, quick-tempered people complain about working too much or being unable to sleep enough for some reason or other. Anxiety and depression are the worst mental health disorders that can show up due to insufficient rest at night.
Insomnia has the strongest link to depression. Out of 553 adults with major depressive disorder (MDD), 54% suffer from insomnia. Some adults share that they also suffer from an anxiety disorder. At the same time, hypersomnia, which is sleeping too much, may also have the same side effects.
Chronic sleep deprivation might result in long-term problems with mood. Mostly, people with MDD or anxiety report that they sleep less than six hours per day.
Sleepless Nights Age Your Skin
Many people complaining about sleep deprivation experienced sallow skin and puffy eyes. When it gets worse, such sleep deprivation symptoms as dark circles under the eyes and lackluster skin can appear.
The problem is that a lack of sleep causes your body to start releasing an excessive amount of the stress hormone cortisol, which breaks down skin collagen, responsible for keeping skin elastic and healthy-looking. In addition, a small amount of this growth hormone may reduce muscle mass and weaken bones.
If a person with sleep disorder drinks a lot of coffee, the situation gets even worse. As far as caffeine is a diuretic, it dries out the skin.
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Sleep Deprivation Makes You a Slowpoke
The brain develops connections that assist with processing and memorizing data while an individual is sleeping. Different sleep cycles help "consolidate" memories. In case you are too tired because of sleepless nights, it may adversely impact your both long-term and short-term memory.
When the brain feels exhausted, focus and thinking decrease as well. It becomes hard to solve problems and stay creative. Vice versa, sleeping well and enough improves attention, alertness, reasoning, focus, analytical thinking, and problem-solving.
Sleep Deprivation Can Lead to Obesity
If you’re looking for ways to lose weight or just remain in shape and fit, you should not underestimate the critical role of sleep. Those who suffer from a lack of sleep may suffer from obesity. The chemicals start sending impulses to the human brain telling it that a person is off balance. Thus, even after having a nourishing meal, an individual may overindulge.
Sleep Deprivation Often Causes Road Accidents
It’s especially critical for drivers to get enough sleep. Being drowsy at the wheel may result in serious traffic incidents, injuries, and even deaths. Annually, in the United States, about 100,000 road accidents are attributed to the driver falling asleep during the ride, with more than 70,000 critical injuries and over 1,500 deaths. This issue is widespread among people under 25, which means this group lacks sleep more than others. Most of the crashes take place between midnight and 6 am, a time when many should or might be asleep.
How to Start Getting Enough Rest and Avoid Sleep Deprivation
There are several known methods to solve problems with sleep deprivation, but while some of them are harmless, others may have some adverse side effects.
Sleeping pill abuse, for example, is not the best way to normalize your sleep schedule. Sleep medications may also cause serious issues like diarrhea, headaches, constipation, loss of appetite, dry mouth, and more. So, how can you replace this option and get the rest that your body deserves?
1. Refrain from caffeine past noon or at least a few hours before going to bed
In the United States, adolescents consume 135 mg of caffeine per day on average, which is roughly eight ounces. A safe amount of caffeine to consume is around 400 mg. That is no more than four cups. Thus, caffeine is not as harmless as some people think. When consumed six hours before bed, caffeine worsens the quality of your rest, so mind your dose.
2. Go to bed at the same time each night
Having a sleep schedule is a must for everyone. A healthy sleep cycle
should not be less than 7-8 hours. Try to get up early in the morning. Consistency reinforces your body’s sleep-wake cycle. If you cannot fall asleep at night within twenty minutes, just get up and do something relaxing like reading to deal with the wakefulness.
3. Reduce the number of daytime naps
Daytime naps interfere with sleep at night. A daytime nap should not last for more than half an hour. Although a 30-minute snooze is actually a good thing that enhances brain function, longer rests can have a negative impact on health.
4. Exercise regularly
Regular exercise promotes better and healthier sleep. It tends to halve the amount of time it takes to fall asleep and add about 40 minutes of nighttime rest. If you don’t have time to attend the gym, spending some time outside will also be beneficial. Just make sure not to exercise close to bedtime.
5. Practice relaxation techniques
Meditation and yoga are two common methods of relaxing before bedtime. A relaxing massage, book reading, hot bath or shower, deep breathing, and visualization are other effective methods. Although it is recommended that a hot bath should not last for more than 1.5 hours.
Conclusion: Overcoming Lack of Sleep
Most people require at least seven hours of quality sleep at night. It’s necessary for people to function properly on a daily basis. Taking a long nap in the daytime is not the best solution as this type of rest cannot replace a night's sleep. Different factors can harm sleep, such as caffeine and a lack of physical activities. In addition to the mental effects of lack of sleep, people who don’t sleep enough are more likely to encounter physical issues and afflictions. As the immune system weakens, the chances of diabetes increase.
Exercising, breathing fresh air, using FeelZing patches, refraining from caffeine, creating a sleep schedule, practicing relaxation techniques, and other lifestyle choices and changes can help to improve sleep quality.