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5 Crazy & Weird Things That Happen When You Don’t Sleep Enough

5 Crazy & Weird Things That Happen When You Don’t Sleep Enough

A shortage of shut-eye can leave you feeling tired, cranky, hungry, and irritable. But it turns out, a lack of sleep can affect you in a lot of ways that go beyond triggering those basic feelings. And that’s a problem, since 53 percent of Americans are snoozing less than the recommended seven hours each night, according to the National Sleep Foundation. So what can a shortage of shut-eye cause? Only some of the crazy effects that follow.

1.  You get yourself into trouble at work

It annoys you when John makes an unusually long grunt when he yawns and stretches at his desk even when you’re well rested.  It’s no wonder you feel like strangling him when he does this when you haven’t gotten enough sleep; you get incredibly irritable on the job.  Everything takes you over the edge, and you’re ready to snap at anyone who rubs you the wrong way.  Moreover, research shows that you’re more likely to engage in deviant behavior at work compared to your well-rested co-workers.  The reason? Being sleep deprived drains glucose in the pre-frontal cortex of your brain. Basically, running on minimal sleep robs the fuel from the self-control center of the brain. This leads to an impaired ability to self regulate your actions at work. Unethical work behavior like falsifying recipes, stealing from the workplace, working slow on purpose, and gossiping about other co-workers are things you leave yourself vulnerable to when you don’t get enough shut-eye.

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2. Slowly, you get depressed

Chronic lack of sleep can lead you down a path to depression. The relationship between sleep and depressive illness is complex – depression may cause sleep problems and sleep problems may cause or contribute to depressive disorder. However,  lack of sleep or the inability to fall asleep is a red flag for depression. When sleep is disrupted or frequently inadequate it increases tension, irritability, fatigue, less exercise, and a lower level of vitality and fitness. This lends itself to depression. In fact,  in a 2007 study of 10,000 people, those with insomnia were five times as likely to develop depression as those without.

3. You overeat and get fat

You still eat the same way you ate 5 years ago when you were lean and trim.  Now, none of your jeans fit.  What happened? Lack of sleep affects your hunger and appetite hormones ghrelin and leptin.  Ghrelin is the ‘go’ hormone that tells you when to eat, and when you are sleep-deprived, you have more ghrelin. Leptin is the hormone that tells you to stop eating, and when you are sleep deprived, you have less leptin.  More ghrelin plus less leptin equals weight gain.  Referring back to your ability to regulate your actions and behavior (see number 1), it’s no wonder that people who lack sufficient sleep snack more, make poor food decisions, and overeat.  Virend Somers, a professor of medicine at the Mayo Clinic, conducted a study that showed people who slept 80 minutes less a night on average, overate about 550 calories the following day.

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4. You’re a risk behind the wheel

Lack of sleep and fatigue are responsible for some of the most recent disasters: the 1986 nuclear meltdown at Cherynbol, the Exxon Valdez oil spill, and the nuclear accident at Three Mile Island.  But further investigation of the impact of fatigue and sleepiness show that this is a real problem in our everyday lives.  In particular, behind the wheel while driving a vehicle. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration  estimates that 100,000 police-reported crashes are the direct result of driver fatigue each year. This results in an estimated 1,550 deaths, 71,000 injuries, and $12.5 billion in monetary losses. These figures probably don’t account for all “drowsy driving” incidents since it’s difficult to detect. The glaring cause of this risk is the cognitive impairment similarities between sleep deprivation and alcohol intoxication. Cognitive impairment after approximately 18 hours awake is similar to that of someone with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.05%. After about 24 hours awake, impairment is equivalent to a BAC of 0.10%, higher than the legal limit in all states.

5. Your testosterone dips

For men who are constantly fatigued, have little sexual drive, and a dwindling vitality for life low testosterone could be the issue.  What is often overlooked as the cause however, is adequate sleep.  A study in the Journal of the American Medical Association reported the effect of one week of sleep restriction in young healthy men. The 10 men who were studied, were only allowed 5 hours of sleep a night.  The study demonstrated that their testosterone levels dipped by 10-15%.  This is largely due to the fact that testosterone production is replenished during rest.

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3 simple tips to get more restful sleep

Avoid caffeine. Tea, coffee, soda and energy drinks can keep you awake for up to 12 hours.  Caffeine has a sneaky half life that lingers hours after you consume it.  If you take 200mg of caffeine at 12 noon, 10omg of caffeine lingers in your system for up 4-6 hours depending on your sensitivity.  Instead, when your mid-afternoon slump hits, try an energizing snack like nuts or yogurt.

Nest. Make your bed as comfortable as possible. Keep your sleep environment dark, cool and work-free.

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Find  a sleep schedule . About an hour before bedtime, start a nightly relaxation routine that can include reading, taking a bath or anything else that soothes you. Complete all exercise at least three hours before bedtime. Don’t look at screens before you go to sleep, which can stimulate your brain.

Featured photo credit: http://www.bigstockphoto.com/search/?contributor=evgeny%20atamanenko via bigstockphoto.com

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Last Updated on May 22, 2019

10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

There are lots of studies that show if you do some exercise in the morning, you will be in a better mood all day long. You will have more energy and you will certainly be a better colleague, friend or partner.

One psychologist at Duke University has researched the effects of exercise on depressed patients and he has come to the conclusion that exercise has a definite role in treating this condition and has an important role in preventing people from relapsing.[1] According to the New York Times, scientists have now established that exercise also boosts your brain power.[2]

In addition, there are studies from the Appalachian State University which show that blood pressure can be reduced by doing regular morning exercise.[3]

Here are 10 simple morning exercises that will help you feel great the whole day long. You can include some of them in your morning exercise routine or do them all at home without having to enrol in a gym. Consult your doctor before starting any form of exercise routine if you are new to this.

1. Cat Camel Stretch

Stretching exercises are useful for muscle toning and also preventing arthritis. They can either be dynamic or static.

Dynamic ones such as the cat camel stretch, are particularly useful for doing other exercises in the morning. They are also beneficial at other times of the day, especially after long periods of sedentary work. This one is great for spinal flexibility and is a good warm up exercise.

Kneel down on all fours. Start by rounding your back just like a camel so that your head will try to meet your pelvis. This is the camel position. Then lower and lift your head so that your lower back is arched. This is the cat position. Do these movements slowly and smoothly. About 4 or 5 times.

Here’s a video to guide you through:

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2. Go for a Walk or a Run

This is better done outside so that you can connect with nature but running inside on a treadmill is almost as good. You can time yourself and increase length and time according to your fitness program.

Always have new goals to reach. Start with brisk walking and work up to running. At my age, I am still walking!

The health benefits are considerable. You can build stronger bones and you can help to maintain your weight.

Also, you are helping your heart to stay healthy and keeping your blood pressure low.

Learn more about the benefits of running here: 8 Benefits of Running 5 Minutes Every Day You Didn’t Know

3. Jumping Jacks

Michelle Obama is a great fan of this exercise and has become “Jumper in Chief.”[4] They are great for cardiovascular health and also for toning muscles especially the calves and the deltoids.

Stand with feet together. Jump while spreading your arms and legs. Return to first position and keep going! You can start with doing these for 1 minute and then gradually build up to the number you are comfortable with. Here’s how:

4. Abductor Side Lifts

Watch the video below to see how to do this exercise. These muscles are important because you use them everyday to run, get into the car or onto and off a bicycle. They are very important also for your core stability and prevent the pelvis from tilting.[5]

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Do about 10 to 15 raises for each side like this:

5. Balancing Table Pose

This is a classic yoga pose. It benefits the spine, balance, memory and concentration.

Start with the table pose (hands and knees). Breathe in before starting each movement. As you exhale, raise your left leg parallel to the floor as you raise the right arm, also parallel to the floor. Breathe in as you lower arm and leg. Repeat for the other side. 10 repetitions on each side is a good starting point.

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    6. Leg Squats

    Not just legs are involved but also hips and knees.

    Stand with your feet a bit further out from your hips. Arms are out in front of you. Then lower yourself as if you wanted to sit down until you reach a 90 degree angle. You can go down further if you want to. Then return to the starting position. Repeat 15 times for 2 sets for beginners.

    The benefits are that these exercises help with knee stability and can benefit the leg muscles such as quadriceps, hamstrings and calves.[6]

    7. Push Ups

    You start lying down (face down) but with your body held up at arm’s length. Your hands should be in line with your shoulders. Breathe in as you lower your body. That is fairly easy. Now, as you exhale, you have to get back up to the starting position.

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    An easier version to start with is to bend your legs at the knees so you do not have to lift your whole body.

    Beginners may take up to a month to be able to do 100 push ups so you will have to start with a very small number and gradually increase it.

    This exercise is great for strengthening the chest, shoulders and the triceps. It is a great strengthening exercise for many muscle groups. In fact, most muscles from the toes to the shoulders are being used.

    8. Bicycle Crunches

    There are numerous crunch exercises targeting the abs. The bicycle crunch is a variation where you work more muscle groups. Aim for 15 to 20 reps to start off with.

    Watch the video to see how this is done correctly:

    9. Lunges

    Stand with feet shoulder width apart. Place your hand on your hips. Take one giant step forward with the right leg. Make sure the knee does not go too far forward, that is, past your toes. The left knee will go down to almost floor level. Alternate the legs as you go on.

    Try to do a set of between 8 and 12 reps for each leg. It is important to allow for a day of rest, so this exercise should be done on alternate days, especially if you are using weights.

    This exercise is great for strengthening and toning the quadriceps, glutes and hamstrings.

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    10. Bicep Curls

    You can do this sitting down so if you spend a lot of time on the phone, this is a great exercise to do.

    Choose suitable dumbbells or another household object that you can easily hold. Sit down with the dumbbell in your hand. You need to sit forward a bit so that your triceps can lean on your thigh to give you support.

    Then bring the weighted arm up to shoulder length and then down again. Exhale as you lift the weight and inhale as you lower it.

    Here’re some important notes before you start doing this exercise:

    Try to do one or two sets of about ten repetitions for each arm and then switch arms.

    These exercises are really useful for toning the arm muscles.[7] In addition, they can strengthen and tone the brachioradialis muscle located in the forearm. These are the muscles we use to pick up things when we flex the arm at the elbow so we use these muscles countless times a day.

    You may have to build in a rest day for the heavier exercises, numbers 6–10. On the rest days, you can do gentler stretching exercises and also some walking or running.

    Morning exercise is not only a great mood booster, but will help you keep your weight down and also sleep better![8] Start including one or some of these exercises in your morning routine!

    More Articles About Exercises for Beginners

    Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

    Reference

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