It’s not surprise that how well and how much you sleep can have a big impact on your health. We spend about 1/3 of our lives sleeping, and the effects of that sleep carry over into your waking life, too. The number one sleep-related health problem that people face is a lack of sleep. Whether it’s due to insomnia, trouble sleeping soundly, or a busy schedule that doesn’t allow for sleep, many people are not getting the sleep they need.
Adults need at least seven hours of sleep each night to function properly. If you don’t get seven hours on weeknights, you can’t make it up on the weekend, either. In order to stay alert and healthy, it’s crucial that you get a proper amount of sleep every night of the week. This may mean making more time in your schedule for sleep, but the results are worth it. Lack of sleep can lead to a wide variety of health problems, some of which can be severe.
For one thing, if you don’t sleep enough, you won’t be as alert and focused the next day. Sleepiness is a major factor in many car accidents. People who don’t get enough sleep are also more likely to get in an accident at home or work. When you’re tired, you just aren’t paying attention, and this makes you more accident-prone.
Not getting enough sleep can also be a factor in causing serious diseases. People who don’t get enough sleep are more likely to suffer from heart disease and other heart-related conditions. Sleep deprivation can also lead to major health problems, like stroke, high blood pressure, and diabetes. In addition, those who sleep less are more likely to be depressed. On top of all that, sleep deprivation can lead to a decreased sex drive, particularly in men.
When you don’t sleep enough one night, you may also notice that you look different the next morning. You might have puffy bags and dark circles under your eyes, making you look even more tired than you feel. In the long term, sleep deprivation can cause skin to lose its youthful appearance.
If you’re really worried about your appearance, you might be shocked to learn that not getting enough sleep can also contribute to weight gain. People who don’t get a good night’s sleep are more likely to be overweight and may have a harder time losing weight. When you don’t sleep enough, you may feel hungrier and crave high-calorie foods to satisfy you. Sleep-deprived people are also far less likely to exercise the next day, likely due to being too tired from a lack of sleep.
Sleep deprivation also affects your mental functioning. People who skip a few hours of sleep each night tend to have poorer judgement. When you don’t sleep enough, your brain slows down and you can’t process information as quickly as a person who slept a full seven or eight hours. Even your memory doesn’t work as well when you’re sleep deprived. You won’t be able to remember what you did the previous day as accurately if you don’t sleep enough at night.
It’s not just a lack of sleep that you should be concerned about, either. Getting poor quality sleep can cause many of the same health problems as not getting enough sleep. If you find yourself waking up often during the night or tossing and turning in your sleep, you might need to take a look at your sleeping habits. Make sure you’re going to sleep at the same time each night, and that you have the right kind of mattress.