Sleep is integral for your mind and body to recover and recharge. It allows you to stay fresh and healthy. Insufficient sleep can cause daytime sleepiness, decrease in focus, mood swings the next day and increase stress and anxiety. While these are the short-term effects, sleep deprivation has many long term consequences on your health..
How sleep deprivation impacts health
Depression and chronic anxiety. Insufficient sleep affects your mood and increases stress and anxiety levels. Lesser the sleep you get, lesser the serotonin (feel-good hormone) levels in your body. As a result, you feel unhappy. When you stay awake a lot, your brain is overworked and can get tired easily as well. Thus, prolonged sleep deprivation can cause chronic anxiety and depression.
Depression in itself is a mental health illness which carries a lot of problems for your emotional and physical well-being. In order to ensure you stay healthy, learn quick hacks on how to fall asleep faster with meditation for sleep and switch off for the day.
Weakened memory power. When you’re sleeping, you go through various sleep stages. 2 such stages are the deep sleep and REM sleep stages. Both of these stages of sleep are instrumental in consolidating, processing and securing your short and long term memories. When you aren’t sleeping enough, the brain is unable to make these connections. As a result, your memory is severely impacted. Understand how you can improve your habits for better quality sleep and improved memory .
Trouble with focus and thinking. When you sleep, your brain gets a chance to recover and strengthen itself. This happens with the strengthening of the neuron network in your brain. This occurs during the REM sleep phase which helps build creativity and improves thought processes and problem solving. With insufficient sleep, your brain does not get a chance to rest, and is unable to focus on everyday tasks and problem solving skills you need. As a result, your overall focus level dip and your creativity reduces. Increase the amount of REM sleep you get, in order to keep your focus levels going for the next day. Take a look at our focus checklist for more.
Increased risk of heart disease. Insufficient sleep leads to an increase in blood pressure, because your body doesn’t get enough rest and works on overdrive. As a result, your heart is also extra active and not resting enough. Moreover, lack of good sleep also increases cortisol levels, which constrict blood vessels, increasing the risk of heart attacks and strokes. Tweak your lifestyle in order to sleep better and you’ll enjoy its benefits.
Weakened immune system. When you sleep, sleep promoting proteins called cytokines are released by your immune system. These cytokines are important to beat an infection, inflammation and reduce stress in your body. The more you sleep, the better equipped is your body to fight illnesses. Sleep deprivation leads to a decreased production of cytokines. As a result, your immune system is weakened and you are more likely to fall sick.
Sleep deprivation is not good for you, be it in the short or long run. It’s important to understand why you’re unable to sleep well at night (binge watching Netflix is definitely a reason) and take measures to overcome it and sleep better. Basic dietary changes can work wonders too! Just like anger and stress, insufficient sleep is a problem that you need to address sooner rather than later!
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