We all know that horrible feeling that comes from lack of sleep. We’re grumpy, sluggish, foggy and completely uninterested in whatever we’re doing that particular day. However, it may come as a surprise to learn that lack of sleep can have an enormous impact on your life and not a positive one.
Here’s six reasons why you should get between 8 hours’ sleep a night.
1. Sleep Deprivation Can Cause Serious Health Problems
Sleep disorders and chronic sleep loss can put you at risk for:
- Heart disease
- Heart attack
- Heart failure
- Irregular heartbeat
- High blood pressure
According to some estimates, 90 percent of people with insomnia (sleep disorder characterized by trouble falling and staying asleep) will also have another health condition.
2. Lack Of Sleep Can Cause Depression
This happens over time with chronic lack of sleep, lack of sleep. In a 2005 Sleep in America poll, people who were diagnosed with depression or anxiety were more likely to sleep less than six hours at night.
The most common sleep disorder, insomnia, has the strongest link to depression. In a 2007 study of 10,000 people, those with insomnia were five times as likely to develop depression as those without.
Insomnia and depression feed on each other. Sleep loss often aggravates the symptoms of depression, and depression can make it more difficult to fall asleep.
3. Lack Of Sleep Can Lead To Weight Gain
Lack of sleep can increase hunger, increase your appetite and even be linked to obesity. A study in 2004 showed that those who got less than 6 hours’sleep a night were 30% more like to become obese compared to those who got 8-9 hours’.
Ghrelin is the chemical that stimulates appetite and Leptin is the chemical that suppresses it. Recent research shows lack of sleep causes the body to increase the production of Ghrelin and decrease the production of Leptin.
Hanger caused by lack of sleeptriggers cravings for high-fat foods, making it even more likely you’ll gain weight.
4. Lack Of Sleep Can Age Your Skin
We’re all familiar to the puffy, red eyes and sallow skin look that comes from a few missed or bad nights of sleep. For those who suffer from chronic sleep loss they can expect to get dark circles and fine lines around the eyes and lackluster skin too. This all happens because the body produces more of the stress hormone, cortisol, when you’re tired. In excess amounts cortisol can break down collagen in your skin. (That’s the stuff that keeps your face smooth and elastic.)
5. Lack Of Sleep Can Harm Your Productivity
We all find it hard to work when we’re tired but could you imagine working never having a good night’s sleep or no sleep at all?
Lack of sleep causes us to lose concentration and interest in tasks very quickly. Our ability to focus is nearly non-existent and resilience doesn’t seem to show up at all.
This can have a serious impact on productivity and quality of work. This will lead to an increase in stress levels, being nagged at by co-workers for making mistakes, which will subsequently lead to you not liking your job. This in turn will also have a negative impact on your productivity.
6. Sleepiness Causes Accidents
It’s hard to believe that lack of sleep can cause serious and sometimes fatal accidents. Lack of sleep is a huge public safety hazard on the roads, hence the laws outlining how many hours you can drive before you’re legally required to take a break.
According to research done by ‘The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents’ (RoSPA) up to 20 percent of accidents involving automobiles were caused by driver fatigue and also accounted for up to 25 percent of all fatal and serious accidents.
Drowsiness can slow reaction time as much as that of a drunk driver. Those who suffer from sleep disorders, such as those with chronic sleep loss, are 6-15 times more likely to be involved in a road traffic accident than those who don’t.
Studies also show that sleep loss and poor quality sleep can also lead to accidents and injuries at work and on the job. In one study, workers who complained about excessive daytime sleepiness had significantly more work related accidents and they also had more sick days per accident.
It’s extremely important to get a sufficient amount of sleep every night. If you suffer from lack of sleep or can’t sleep properly you should consult your doctor to see if they can help. You’ll be amazed how much of a difference sleep can make to your life and you’ll wonder how you ever functioned without it. So make sure you try and get those 8hours a night!
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