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15 Hair-Raising Consequences of Sleep Deprivation

15 Hair-Raising Consequences of Sleep Deprivation

We live in a time when sleep is just a substitute of coffee for people who have too much free time on their hands. We all try to squeeze as many things into our daily schedule as possible. Theoretically, we all know that we need more sleep, but there are so many matters that require our urgent presence. But it turns out that we might be doing ourselves a grave disservice.

It’s time to face the cold and cruel reality and recognize sleep deprivation as the archenemy of our well-being. Raise your pillows! This is your wake-up call (pun so absolutely intended).

Let’s take a look at what will happen if you neglect your sleep:

1. You will be ugly.

Shocking, isn’t it?! Well, not really. I can bet that you’ve never heard anyone complimenting your swollen eyelids, pale skin and droopy corners of the mouth. And that’s precisely what scientists from Karolinska Institute in Stockholm have confirmed in their study titled Cues of Fatigue: Effects of Sleep Deprivation on Facial Appearance.

Ten participants of the study were kept awake for 31 hours. Subsequently, their before and after pictures were assessed by 40 observers. The verdict was, of course, unanimous. All of the participants were perceived as less health, sadder, and more fatigued after the 31-hour period of sleeplessness.

2. You will be drunk.

You might not be literally drunk, but it has been estimated that “17 hours of sustained wakefulness was equivalent to driving with a blood alcohol content of 0.05%.” (Drowsy Driving Prevention by Siobhan Kuhar, MD, PhD, DABSM).

Sleepiness has comparable impact on our mind to alcohol (minus fun factor of course)–it decreases awareness, impairs judgment and slows reaction time.

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Sleep deprivation makes you drunk

    3. You will be less innovative.

    Are you planning to create a next big thing in the likes of Twitter or Facebook? There is a slim chance that you’ll succeed while suffering from sleep deprivation.

    Research conducted on a military personnel who were kept awake for two days revealed significantly reduced ability to come up with ideas about given topics [May, J., Kline, P. (1987) Measuring the effects on cognitive abilities of sleep loss during continuous operations. British Journal of Psychology].

    4. Your resting blood pressure will increase.

    There is a growing body of research confirming that sleep deprivation leads to increased blood pressure (Fujikawa et al., 2009). What’s more, for people with hypertension as little as even half a night of sleep can lead to the same result (Lusardi et al., 1996).

    5. You will be dumber.

    I think that we all have experienced it at some point in our lives–even small amounts of sleeplessness affect our cognitive functions.

    study conducted in 2004 showed that those deprived of sleep for 24 hours have trouble remembering, and difficulty concentrating. So say goodbye to proper reasoning and your problem-solving skills! What’s more, even one night of sleep loss will reduce your ability to distinguish between relevant and irrelevant information.

    6. You will get sick.

    During sleep, the immune system produces cytokines–proteins which combat various types of viruses. Their number increases when your body needs protection from bacteria.

    Sleep deprivation means that we are more prone to disease and virus attacks as the level of cytokines drop (Susan Zafarlotfi, PhD, clinical director, Institute for Sleep and Wake Disorders, Hackensack University Medical Center, N.J.).

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    You will get sick

      7. You will look old.

      That’s right. You can spend all you want on magical beauty products but it won’t help you if you’re sleep deprived.

      Why?

      Stress increases the production of a hormone called cortisol, which increases sebum secretion and contributes to the attacks of acne. Sleep plays a key role in the process of skin regeneration. While you sleep, stress hormones return to normal levels and give cells time to repair and regenerate.

      The study included premenopausal women, aged 30-49 years, half of whom were classified as having poor quality sleep. Several tests have confirmed that the dermal tissue of sleep deprived women have twice as many internal indicators of aging, such as wrinkles, blemishes, low level of firmness and elasticity (Effects of Sleep Quality on Skin Aging and Function, University Hospitals Case Medical Center)

      8. You will kill your sex drive.

      If your libido drops, it is possible that you are not getting enough sleep. Fatigue, depleted energy and increased tension are usual culprits. But for men with sleep apnea another factor comes into play.

      A study published in 2002 (Lavie, P. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism; vol 87: pp 3394-3398.) suggests that men suffering from this condition have abnormally low levels of testosterone.

      How to kill your libido

        9. You will get fat.

        I know it’s a bit depressing, but it turns out that losing sleep can make you gain weight.

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        The fact that people who sleep more are less likely to be overweight has been confirmed by many studies (Stephanie M. Greer, Andrea N. Goldstein, Matthew P. Walker. The impact of sleep deprivation on food desire in the human brain. Nature Communications, 2013; 4 DOI: 10.1038/ncomms3259). Research has shown that people who sleep less than four hours a day are more likely to be obese by an average of 73% than the ones who sleep normally.

        Why is that?

        Hormones. Those pesky hormones! Hunger signals in the brain are controlled by ghrelin and leptin. Ghrelin sends a signal to the brain that it’s time to eat. On the other hand, leptin, a hormone produced in adipose tissue, reduces appetite and causes the feeling of satiety. When we are tired, the level of ghrelin in our bloodstream increases while the level of leptin decreases.

        10. You will feel cold.

        Make sure you have your jumper handy. Sleep deprivation slows down your metabolism, which in turn lowers your body temperature (M Suzanne Stevens, MD, Assistant Clinical Professor, Department of Neurology, Medical and Laboratory Director of Sleep Medicine Clinic, University of Kansas: Normal Sleep, Sleep Physiology, and Sleep Deprivation).

        11. You will get depressed.

        According to statistics, patients with sleep problems are more likely to develop a wide array of mood disorders. Take your pick: Irritability? Check. Mood swings? Check. Anxiety? Double check!

        What’s more, the risk of depression among sleep deprived patients is four times higher than among healthy subjects. If the period of insomnia lasts long enough, it can even lead to suicidal thoughts (National Sleep Foundation: “Teens and Sleep,” “ABCs of ZZZZs — When you Can’t Sleep,” “2005 Adult Sleep Habits and Styles.”).

        12. You will damage your bones.

        Ok, I admit, it might be a little bit far-fetched. So far it’s been proven true among rats. In a 2012 study, researchers found changes to bone mineral density and bone marrow in these little creatures after they were kept awake for 72 days. It’s speculated that the inability to repair bone damage while being sleep deprived might be also true for us (Everson CA, Folley AE, Toth JM., Chronically inadequate sleep results in abnormal bone formation and abnormal bone marrow in rats).

        13. You will be clumsy.

        Don’t even think about showing your friends cool butterfly knife tricks after a night without proper shut-eye. According to Clete Kushida, M.D., Ph.D., director of Stanford University Center for Human Sleep Research, lack of sleep compromises our balance and depth perception, as well as dulls our reflexes. In other words, it’s bad for our  motor skills.

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        14. You will be overly emotional.

        Does the picture of this puppy brings tears to your eyes? Then get a grip on yourself, or on the pillow since it turns out that lack of sleep makes us emotionally volatile.

        One of the studies conducted among 26 participants has showed a 60% rise in the amygdala activity (compared to well-rested volunteers), which is responsible for processing fear and anxiety (Seung-Schik Yoo, Ninad Gujar, Peter Hu, Ferenc A. Jolesz and Matthew P. Walker, The human emotional brain without sleep — a prefrontal amygdala disconnect).

        You will be overly emotional

          15. You will live shorter.

          Numerous studies report that sleep deprivation causes increase in mortality even after adjusting for other medical conditions that affect sleep and death rates, such as obesity, alcohol and depression, as well as for age, race, education and body mass index.

          A 2010 study established that men who slept for less than six hours a night were four times more likely to die over a 14-year period (The Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine, Insomnia with Short Sleep Duration and Mortality).

          Time for a new resolution

          I don’t know how about you, but I solemnly swear that I’ll at least try to sleep more. It’s worth it.

          Need help? Here are some great tips to get some quality shut-eye.

          Have you noticed any of these symptoms in yourself or maybe have some interesting story to share as a warning? Let us know in the comments.

          Featured photo credit: clock black church/Dan Shirley (Fishmonk) via rgbstock.com

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          Last Updated on September 18, 2020

          How to Be More Self-Assured and Get More Done During the Week

          How to Be More Self-Assured and Get More Done During the Week

          Time is a great leveler isn’t it? We all have the same 24 hours in a day. Even if you’re self-assured, the day may never feel quite long enough.

          Why is it that some people can be so much more productive and achieve so much more in a typical day, while others struggle to achieve anything apart from feeling time crunched and overwhelmed?

          Everyone I know and work with wants to make the best use of their time. They want to learn how to be more self-assured, happier, and work less—all while growing in their career.

          How effectively we use our time—and how we actually work in our business—can make a huge difference to the amount we accomplish in a day or week. It can also make us more focused and more confident.

          Do you want to have more thinking and creative time? Do you want to spend more time working on your business rather than working at or in your business? In this article, we’ll show you how.

          Get More Done by Gaining Confidence

          What if you had a strategy for making the best use of your time that brings you more joy and allows you to focus on the biggest activities and opportunities in your business? You may find the following outline below to be helpful:

          1. Create an Exciting Vision

          If you don’t know where you’re going, how do you know when you get there?

          You want to be more productive and spend more time getting the right stuff done. Well, you need to create a compelling and exciting vision of your future.

          What does this future look like? How will you feel when you get there?

          Creating a new vision, especially one that is a lot bigger than where you are right now, has a way of igniting your passion. It may be something that feels hard to achieve, but every step you take towards that bigger vision will certainly build your confidence.

          Create a vision board to feel more self-assured.

            Commitment to this vision, and accomplishing continual daily progress depends on your ability to look at any situation you’re faced with or currently in, feel self-assured, and see something bigger ahead.

            Also, when you know where you’re headed, you will instinctively start to see all the new opportunities and connections that will get you there.

            Make a vision map to get you started on the path to better productivity. This doesn’t have to be fully actualized, but you should know at least what direction you are heading.

            2. Build a Strategic Plan

            Once you have your future vision mapped out, the next step is to build a strategic plan to get you there.

            Your future vision may be for 3 years or 5 years, or you may choose a longer time frame. Any timeframe over 3 years may feel like a long way away.

            You may wonder how you are ever going to feel confident and motivated on this bigger future years from now when you feel as though you have so much to accomplish today.

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            The first step is to decide on some specific goals for the next 12 months. Don’t list too many or you may begin to feel overwhelmed.

            The magic number for me and my clients is usually five annual goals.

            These are big goals that will create massive change in your business and life and bridge your current situation to your bigger future; accomplishing these goals one by one will help to increase your confidence on a daily basis.

            3. Get on Goal Planning

            Get yourself a piece of blank paper and a pen and divide the paper into 4 columns: A, B, C, and D.

            Ask yourself the question: What is great in my business and life right now? Write these things down in Column A. This might be a couple of things, five things, ten things, whatever feels right to you.

            Then ask yourself: What things are happening right now that I don’t want in my future? Write these things down in Column B.

            This is your opportunity to take a step back and look at the things that are simply not working. You may list people that are bringing you down or projects that you don’t want to work on any more. Maybe you’ll include a service offering that’s going nowhere. It could be the people you’re working with, or it could be your pricing.

            Now, let’s look at your personal strengths. Write down everything that you’re great at in Column C.

            These could be things that you’re doing right now and having success with. It could also be things you know you’re awesome at but you’re not spending enough time on.

            Column D is for your biggest opportunities. Is there a new service/product you could offer your ideal customers? Is there a new innovation you could bring to market? Just take some time out and really think and list these things in Column D.

            Once you’ve analyzed everything you’ve written down, take some time to really think about what goals you want to set for your business and life in the next 12 months.

            4. Set Outcomes to Build Confidence

            You now have your goals, and you’ll feel self-assured and raring to go. They are written down and you’re committed to achieving them. You feel self-assured and motivated.

            But how do you ensure that you stay on the correct course to achieve these goals?

            Managing and juggling day-to-day projects can get in the way. Dealing with problems can get in the way. Staying on top of orders, managing cash flow, and handling day-to-day stuff can move your ship off course.

            You want to be productive and achieve your goals, but you also need to ensure the day and week runs smoothly.

            One way to ensure this happens is to set 90 Day Outcome Goals; within those Outcome Goals, put some specific process goals that need to be undertaken.

            Let’s say you want to get 10 more speaking jobs in the next 90 days, and you know that you typically convert 50% of opportunities.

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            Therefore, your process goal needs to be to have 20 conversations in the next 90 Days to deliver the 10 new pieces of work. You will then work out who you can have those conversations with.

            It’s smart to overshoot, so you will more easily hit your target. This is a clear plan to work through because with every win, your confidence will grow.

            5. Completely Commit to Your Success

            If you are not truly committed to achieving your goals, then chances are that you won’t reach them.

            Motivation can only take you so far. It is the intentional commitment[1] and emotional investment in your future success that will move you forward.

            Think back to any time that you really committed to achieving something. There must have been a reason you actually achieved what you set out to achieve. What motivated you?

            Were you fully invested? Why did it matter? Did you have to be really courageous to achieve it?

            How did it feel when you achieved it? What difference did it make?

            When have you felt truly self-assured? When you are committed to something, then you are propelled into action. Your mindset is focused, and your body follows; you want to get it done.

            And, when you do get it done, your confidence goes through the roof. You feel a level of certainty in achieving the goal you set out to accomplish.

            6. Focus on Your Strengths

            To feel self-assured and build up the confidence needed to achieve our biggest goals, we need to focus on our strengths.

            What are you best at? What are your unique skills? You want to spend as much time as you can working in the areas that you’re great at.

            Multiply your strengths. These areas are where you add the biggest value. They often bring you the biggest amount of joy, and you feel more and more confident when you are using your unique skills.

            If you think there is a specific capability you need to learn or be better at, spend more focused time in that area.

            Many of us want to do it all. We want to be good at everything. We want to offer a lot of services. But, in reality, there are some very specific things we are great at; nobody is good at everything!

            Spending more time adding value in the areas where you excel can create breakthrough results and boost confidence.

            7. Embrace the Present

            Sometimes we spend so much time thinking about the future or worrying about the past that we forget the present moment[2].

            Are you spending most of your day reacting to things, or have you taken the time to think about what your perfect day looks like?

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            We all have the opportunity to create rather than react, to decide what we do with our day. All of our future success can be created in the present moment if we just take a step back and take action.

            Sometimes, doing it now is more important than doing it perfectly. There are hidden opportunities in every moment. We need to make sure we don’t miss them if we want to feel self-assured.

            8. Calm the Whirlwind

            The day-to-day life in business and life can be hard, which leads us to feel less self-assured.

            Your mind may be full to bursting with all of the things you feel you have to do. The phrase “I don’t have time” has almost become an instant reaction by so many people when new opportunities are presented.

            There is a whirlwind happening inside our minds.

            Appointments, notifications, tasks, phone calls, errands, cash flow, staffing issues, networking, marketing all can clutter up our timeline. The sheer volume of things we feel we should do creates procrastination, stopping us from pursuing the projects and people that matter.

            Many of us feel we have to do everything within our business.

            Rather than simplifying things and doing less, we do more. We work longer, which creates a lack of energy and focus. Because of this, we lose clarity on our biggest opportunities. If you feel this way, take some well-deserved time off.

            Look at where you’re spending your time. How much of your time is being spent moving your ideas forward?

            In the next 90 days, if you could delegate or outsource more daily tasks and spend more time focusing on where you add the biggest value, what difference would it make?

            Calm the whirlwind by slowing down and doing less.

            Focus on areas that you add the biggest amount of value. By doing this, your energy levels will increase, your confidence will grow and you will have more success.

            9. Take More Time off

            This may seem counterintuitive, but taking more time off to recharge and refocus can pay huge dividends.

            If you are constantly fighting fires and caught up in the myriad of different activities that you have to do each day, then how can you move your business forward?

            You may be being pulled in difference directions without any focused time on your biggest projects. If that’s the case, then it’s almost impossible to gain any real momentum in moving your business forward and hitting your goals.

            The best way to get off that treadmill is to take more creative time out of the business.

            Could you realistically take one day off per month to work on your business? If you could, what would you do with this time?

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            Just imagine no distractions, only focused time on the strategic development and growth of your business.

            Every day off per month could have a different focus: New product innovation; Thinking about your biggest clients; Improving operations.

            Add to this a quarterly review to check in with your goals progress, and this could have a dramatic effect on where you spend your valuable time.

            10. Celebrate Wins

            Sometimes you just want to get through the day, right?

            You have so much to do. There are so many things on your task list that you just complete what you can and then start another day. But what would happen if, at the end of each day, you took some time out to look at what you’ve accomplished?

            Celebrating success keeps you motivated and helps you become more self-assured. It is not just another day. It’s a day that included things that should be celebrated.

            If you’re struggling to feel motivated, try celebrating a couple of wins each day.

            Celebrating success combined with the gratitude you have for achieving those wins will boost your confidence and inspire you for the next day.

            11. Give Yourself More Space

            When was the last time you gave yourself time to think?

            Within the hustle and bustle, it can be difficult to give yourself a little bit of space and time to just think[3].

            Imagine giving yourself just an hour a day to just let your mind wander or think about a specific thing.

            If you think about it, we can all free up an hour a day for something without really losing any efficiency or really impacting our business.

            In fact, that hour could be transformational for your business and life.

            A new idea for a product could form, or an idea for adding value to your existing clients could materialize. Perhaps you could do a check in to your ideal future and your goals. You could decide that you want to take your business in a new direction.

            Try this: Just sit alone for an hour with a notebook and let it be your creative thinking time. See what happens.

            Final Thoughts

            Ultimately, being self-assured happens when you have a clear direction.

            This, coupled with having clear goals and working in your unique skill-set, gives you the biggest opportunity to be more productive and get more of the right things done.

            The old mantra that “less is more” is right on the money. By giving yourself more time to work on your goals, you will inevitably increase your confidence; at this point, your ideal future can be anything you want it to be.

            More on How to Be Self-Assured

            Featured photo credit: Nathan Dumlao via unsplash.com

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