You know lack of sleep can make you grumpy and foggy. You may not know what it can do to your sex life, memory, health, looks and even ability to lose weight. Here are some surprising and serious effects of sleep loss.
You might feel like your emotions are out of control when you’re sleep deprived. Sleep deprivation deteriorates your interpersonal responses and makes you more agitated. You become over-reactive to emotional stimuli, so things that normally haven’t gotten you worked up in the past – a tear-jerking movies or big work deadline – may provoke anxiety, sadness, or anger. (it could also go the opposite way.).
You get sick often
Another thing that can suffer with poor sleep is your immune system. If you’re not sleeping properly there can be significant issues in terms of your body’s ability to fight off infections.
Your immune response weakens
Adults who sleep less than 6 hours a night have 4 times higher risk of catching a cold. A less immediately obvious side effect of sleep deprivation is the fact that your body won’t be able to muster its normal defenses. The immune system produces various substances – like cytokines and antibodies – to help keep foreign presences in check and nib any troubling bacteria or viruses in the bud.
When you’re tired, you don’t watch what you’re eating, you just look for all kinds of things to help you feel more awake. Lack of sleep raises levels of a biochemical ghrelin which is an appetite stimulant.
Increased diabetes risk
Those who slept 5 hours or less every night were 34% more likely to develop type 2 diabetes. Studies have suggested that people who usually sleep less than five hours a night have a increase risk of having or developing diabetes. It seems that missing out on deep sleep may lead to type 2diabetes by changing the way the body processes glucose – the high-energy carbohydrate that cells use for fuel.
Your blood pressure shoots up
One night without sleep for the hypertensive can cause elevated blood pressure all throughout the next day.
Sleep deprivation deteriorates the brain and can lead to memory loss. The reason it’s easy to forget where you put your keys is because such activities are usually done without thought or attention. When sleep deprived, you can’t focus as well and consequently, your brains can’t form memories as well as you might like. Not surprisingly, the memory problems increase the longer you stay awake.
Cancer risk increases
Lack of sleep can promote or exacerbate chronic diseases such as cancer
Sleep increases sex drive
Men and women who don’t get enough quality sleep have lower libidos and less of an interest in sex, research shows.
For men with sleep apnea, a respiratory problem that interrupts sleep, there may be another factor in the sexual slump. A study published in the Journal of CLINICAL Endocrinology & Metabolism in 2002 suggests that many men with sleep apnea also have low testosterone levels.
How much sleep do you actually need?
Older adult, 65+ years: 7 – 8 hours
Adults, 26 – 64 years: 7- 9 hours
Younger adults, 18 – 25 years: 7 – 9 hours
Teenagers, 14 – 17 years: 8 – 10 hours
School-age children, 6 – 13 years: 9-11 hours
Preschool children, 3 – 5 years: 10 – 13 hours
Toddlers, 1 – 2 years: 11 – 14 hours
Infants, 4-11months: 12 – 15 hours
Newborns, 0 – 3 months: 14 – 17 hours