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6 Surprising Effects of Lack of Sleep

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6 Surprising effects of lack of sleep

If you have not been sleeping regularly and for the recommended amount of time, you may have a problem. Lack of sleep has been linked to several health and developmental challenges.  Constantly missing your bed time and sleeping only for a few hours a night can make you foggy, grumpy, and less productive. But, did you know sleep deprivation can have some severe consequences too?

Here are the top effects of lack of sleep

1- Sleep deprivation can kill your sex drive

6 Surprising effects of lack of sleep

Experts suggest that sleep deprivation can affect libido for both men and women. People who sleep less than the recommended minimums were less likely to show a normal level of interest in sex. Some factors, which could be attributed to their lack of sleep, have been noted as the key reasons behind this. They include sleepiness, low energy levels and a higher proneness to errors of judgment.

2- Lack of sleep could cause depression

6 Surprising effects of lack of sleep

6 Surprising effects of lack of sleep

Lack of sleep has repeatedly been linked with depression and other mental health problems. Different studies suggest a relationship between insomnia and depression. While it is considered one of the first signs of the condition, it also aggravates the symptoms. People with insomnia also stand a significantly higher risk of facing depression.

3- It ages your skin quicker

Have you ever experienced puffy eyes and sallow skin after one or two nights with very little sleep? The effect on your skin is significantly more severe over time. You may develop dark circles and loose, damaged skin over time, thanks to the action of cortisol. By failing to get enough sleep, your body will secrete the stress hormone cortisol, which breaks down the elastic collagen in your skin. You will also deprive yourself of important growth hormones which are released during deep sleep.

4- Sleep loss causes impaired judgment and brain function

Sleep will affect various cognitive functions such as learning and thinking. By getting less sleep, you could limit your capacity for problem solving and reasoning. You will also be less alert, which may affect your ability to pay attention and learn. Sleep deprivation will also affect your ability to store memory, with this being a key brain function during your sleep cycle.

Your ability to make sound judgment will also be impaired by sleep deprivation. You will be prone to rash judgment and poor decisions without the right quality and quantity of sleep. Poor sleepers are notorious for their poor judgment on sleep matters over time. If you get less sleep than recommended for a long time, your body may be less likely to show the effects of sleep deprivation. While this may suggest adaptability, your alertness, judgment and performance levels will continue to decline.

5- Sleep deprivation will affect your overall health

Sleep deprivation is a major risk factor for certain conditions. If you are not sleeping well, you run a higher risk of heart attack and other heart conditions. You could also be more likely to experience heart failure, an irregular heartbeat, diabetes, stroke and high blood pressure. The correlation between sleep deprivation and poor health can be seen in people with insomnia. Research suggests they are more likely to have another health condition than regular sleepers. Sleep deprivation also increases craving for food with high fat and carbohydrate content, which may raise the risk of obesity.

  • It could increase the risk of death

Alongside the higher risk of cardiovascular diseases, persistent lack of sleep can increase the risk of death. Studies point to up to a 50% increase in the risk of heart conditions, with similarly higher figures for other major diseases.

6- How technology can help you sleep better

6 Surprising effects of lack of sleep

6 Surprising effects of lack of sleep

Technology is not all bad when it comes to affecting your sleeping habits. Many people are often distracted from a good night’s rest by their phone, television and computer screens. By managing the use of these devices, as well as developing and sticking to a secure sleep routine, you can leverage them to your advantage.

Trends in hardware and software development suggest a change of attitude towards tools to help people sleep better.  There are a few handy gadgets and applications that could help make your night better instead of cutting it short.

  • Using sleep apps

Sleep apps are a popular choice for both iOS and Android users. They provide different experiences to help every individual enjoy a more fulfilling night. Meditation apps such as Headspace, Calm and Happier offer soothing dream and soundscapes to help maintain an uninterrupted sleep cycle. Some options may even feature voiceovers and stories for a great experience. Apps such as Sleep Cycle can help you track your sleeping patterns to help improve general sleep. The specific app even features an alarm designed to wake you up during a light sleep phase to make sure you start your day feeling refreshed.

  • Using sleep gadgets

Sleep apps lack the output of sleep gadgets, which have fared very well. Gadgets offer the ability to monitor ad enhance every part of your sleep cycle. Some, such as the Dream Headband, can track your breathing, heart rate and brain activity. White noise machines will enhance your sleep environment, and allow you to fall asleep quicker. Comfortable wireless sound cancelation ear buds can come in handy when looking to minimize noise. Aside from sound machines, you could even consider special sleep-enhancing neon lighting. High end sheets and beddings, such as the Smart Duvet Breeze, will enhance airflow and comfort without compromising on warmth for a great night’s rest. Sleep tracking mats and mattresses could overhaul your sleeping experience and help you monitor your sleep vitals.  Some options can be high end, so you need to research your options thoroughly before visiting your mattress depot to shape up your bedroom.

Final word

Sleep deprivation is dangerous in the short and long term. Failing to get enough sleep can have knock-on effects that may lead to serious consequences. There are other significant effects of poor sleeping habits that we may not have covered. For instance, many drivers who may have been sleep deprived have caused accidents as a result of sleepiness. Getting enough sleep, and doing it consistently, will help you maintain great health as well as protect others around you.

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