Sleep Deprivation Can Be Deadly, Here Is What Sleeping Less Than 7 Hours Can Do To You
By Mayukh Saha
Studies show that a third of US adults do not get their proper sleep. It’s not news that lack of sleep will cause terrible problems to your body. Adults are supposed to sleep about 7-9 hours every night, but yet they cut back on it. Some say it’s because of work, others claim it’s because of family. Elon Musk, when speaking to The New York Times claimed that he was facing issues about his well-being due to lack of sleep. When Arriana Huffington sent an open letter to Musk about the horrible work culture example that he is setting, he responded on Twitter that it was not ‘an option’.
Neurologists have often said that the shorter one slept, the shorter one’s life is. Let’s look at the impact of sleep deprivation.
1 – Cancer
2 – Skin Aging
Research claims that chronic skin problems increase with deprivation of sleep. Also, studies have found that sun damage on the skin does not heal that fast when you are not sleeping well, resulting in aging of the skin.
3 – Weight gain
People who do not sleep properly have a tendency to be attracted to high-calorie foods and find it difficult to control their cravings. It can be because of hormonal imbalances and, due to this, it can lead to obesity or a high body mass index.
4 – Loneliness
It has been found that sleep deprivation can lead to loneliness getting intensified and, therefore, people enter the vicious cycle of staying alone.
5 – Short-term Memory
Memory gets affected when you do not sleep properly. Delaying school can have a great effect on children as it showed an increase in their scores. Adults deprived of sleep had difficulty recalling words and found it hard to improve on skills.
6 – Long-Term Memory
7 – Alzheimer’s Disease
Our brain accumulates beta-amyloid protein when we are awake. This is cleansed when we sleep. The buildup of this protein has been associated with Alzheimer’s. Sleep-deprived individuals have more beta-amyloid protein in their brains than the ones who sleep properly.
8 – Heart Disease
Lack of sleep can have a negative effect on your cardiovascular health. Blood pressure spiked among people who had been awake for about 88 hours. Elevated heart rate was detected among people who slept for just 4 hours. There has been an increase in C-reactive protein concentration, which is a marker of heart disease.
9 – Irritability
There is a sense of irritability among people who are deprived of sleep because they feel more distressed.
10 – Hallucinations
Double vision, perceived dimness, and tunnel vision are some of the problems with sleep deprivation. Also, you can experience visual errors as well as outright hallucinations if you are struggling with your sleep.
11 – Reaction Time
12 – Clumsiness
Lack of sleep results in clumsiness. It was found out that surgeons had a 20-32% increase in their surgical errors after lack of sleep. Plus, sports which require precision found that sportsperson who did not have adequate sleep faltered.
13 – Impaired Immune System
14 – Cold
If you often catch the cold virus on your trips, it means you have to check your sleep timings. Lack of sleep can make you three times more vulnerable to ‘cold’ attacks.
15 – Lack of sex drive
16 – Depression
Daniel Kahneman led a classic study where he kept a log on the moods of women during their daily work routine. Differences in the income of about $60,000 had little impact but a disturbed sleep made their mood worse. Another study showed that marital happiness among women can be due to proper sleep. Now, it could be that their partners were good too, but it is probably a combination of the two.
17 – Type-2 Diabetes
Disturbed sleep can cause problems with your metabolism and this might result in insulin resistance as well as Type-2 diabetes. While studies have shown that there is a small link between the two, researchers claim that sleep can reduce risks of diabetes in adolescents.
18 – Bad Decisions
Researchers claim that bad decisions regarding finances can happen due to improper sleep. It impairs a person’s ability to take the right ‘go’ or ‘no go’ decisions. Even the Chernobyl disaster may have been because of this.
19 – Distraction
20 – Tiredness In Communication
21 – Sleepless Driving
Drunk driving and sleepless driving is not very different. Drivers who failed to have a good night’s sleep tend to fall asleep on the wheel, as per a review.
22 – Overproduction of Urine
When one sleeps well, urine production is slowed down. On the other hand, researchers found out that people can produce excess nocturnal urine if they do not sleep well. This is called nocturia and may cause a person to get up from bed again and again. Plus, it has been associated with bed-wetting in children too.
23 – Muscle Atrophy
Sleep deprivation causes hormonal changes which can affect muscle formation or healing. Plus, the body releases growth hormone to heal parts of your muscles. So, that’s why trainers want you to have a good night’s sleep.
24 – Pain Tolerance
25 – Gastrointestinal problems
If you do not have proper sleep regularly, then you might end up developing gastrointestinal problems like IBS or inflammatory bowel disease.
26 – Headaches
27 – Asthma, cardiovascular problems, and arthritis
Sleep cycles help with our cell regeneration and immune system. Disturbances of sleep schedules weaken cells to fight off inflammation and cause multiple sclerosis, arthritis, and other inflammatory conditions.
28 – Snoring
Snoring can actually be an indication of lack of sleep. It is a sleep disorder. If there is a problem with the airflow, then it can result in snoring. The problem will lead to heart diseases and obesity.
29 – Genetic disruption
A 2013 study shows that poor sleep might be a cause of genetic problems. People who sleep less than 6 hours have abnormal genetic activity in 700 genes. It also affects the immune system.
30 – Death
Sleep is essential, and now studies prove it even more. So, let’s get that good night’s sleep, shall we?
This article was sourced from Truth Theory.
Image credit: Waking Times