If you consider food, water and fresh air to be the vital necessities of a good well being, then think again.
Without proper sleep, one cannot live a healthy life or perform well when awake. Our body clock maintains the dynamics of circadian rhythm of the body which is required for normal mental and physical health.
It tells us when our body is ready to sleep and wakes us up alert and refreshed. But if you are not having good quality of sleep or are sleep deprived, then this body clock is affected, resulting in unbalanced harmony of human anatomy and mind.
Having poor quality or fluctuated sleep or sleeping for lesser number of hours at night, all accounts to sleep deprivation, which is a common health hazard in today’s world.
How sleep deprivation different from Insomnia?
Well many of us might confuse between sleep deprivation and insomnia to be same, but both of these are slightly different.
While the former condition is induced either by self or due to external factors like noisy environment or sleep fluctuations due to stress etc., later is defined as the inability to have adequate sleep despite many opportunities provided.
This could be due to medicine side effects, lifestyle and other factors. Sleep deprivation is generally sleep fragmentation, meaning interrupted sleep and insomnia is when a person has difficulty falling asleep.
When a person is deprived of sleep, he or she shows decreased daytime alertness and thus affects the daily functionality. In simple words, insomnia is a condition and sleep deprivation is the outcome of it.
Surprising effects of sleep deprivation- it causes accidents
Sleep deprivation is one of the public hazards on the road and has been the cause of several road accidents.
Some of the biggest disasters of the world like nuclear accident at Chernobyl and Exxon Valdez oil spill have also been the outcomes of deadly side effects of sleep deprivation.
It is also proven that poor quality and less sleep lead to many work accidents and cause sickness, thus less production and repeated work.
People having shift work are the most affected once as their body clock is disturbed to a great extent and thus suffer with work injuries and experiments.
Sleep deprivation affects cognitive
Proper sleep plays a major role in ability of thinking and learning in a person. Lack of it can affect the cognitive processes adversely.
Improper sleep impairs concentration, alertness, reasoning and problem solving ability, attention and capability to remember things.
This is the reason why students are advised to have sufficient sleep especially during examinations, so that their mind gets enough rest and they remember and learn efficiently. Lack of sleep can actually make you dumb and you tend to forget things easily.
Sleep deprivation can affect your health very badly
According to estimates, more than 80% of the people suffering from trouble falling and staying asleep, also have other health issues like heart diseases, heart failure, high blood pressure, diabetes and obesity.
Low immunity, indigestion and irritation are other problem which affects when sleep deprived.
Prolonged sleep deprivation and also result in heart failure and death, which is the ultimate consequence of sleep deprivation, although the number of cases is very less.
Back problems, decrease in eyesight, low immunity towards diseases and loss of alertness are other problems faced by people sleep for less number of hours at night.
Improper and insufficient sleep can hamper your sex drive
Specialists say that sleep deprived women and men experience low sex drive and face issues in bed. Sleepiness, increased tension and tiredness are reasons to blame.
Men having sleep disorder report low levels of testosterone and thus depleted energy for a healthy sex.
Even women suffer from fatigue and loss of urge to enjoy sex with the partner, if they are not having complete seven hours of sleep at night on an average.
Working late nights at the office or waking up at night watching television etc. are some of the reasons which have affected the life of many couples who complain about their decreased sex drive.
Sleep deprivation contributes towards depression
With passing time, sleep deprivation and other sleep disorders can add to the symptoms of depression, anxiety and mood swings.
In a study it was found that people who were diagnosed with anxiety and depression were having a sleep of six hours or less at nights.
Out of many sleeping disorders, insomnia is considered to be the most linked with depression. In fact, insomnia is taken as the common symptom of depression.
Stress, depression and sleep deprivation kind of feed on one another. Loss of sleep can trigger depression and depression can make it difficult for a person to sleep.
Therefore, if your treat your sleep deprivation then depression and its symptoms will be cured and vice versa.
You age fast is you don’t sleep enough
Puffy eyes and sallow skin is common with people who miss sleep for few nights. But if the condition is chronic, then it can lead to dull skin, fine lines and under eye dark circles. Lack of sleep triggers the production of stress hormones inside the body which, when present in excess, breaks down the skin collagen and makes it rough and dull.
Sleep deprivation also hinders the release of growth hormone inside the body, making it weak as we grow old.
While we are asleep, our body generates various hormones which are necessary for proper growth and development of tissues and muscles.
Lack of sleep blots the hormonal balance of the body, making the wear and tear process suffer.
Sleep deprivation makes your memory dull
The sharp wave ripples, kind of brain events, are accountable for consolidating memory because of which you tend to remember things.
These events are also responsible for transferring the learned information to neocortex area of the brain where the memories are stored for a longer time. But lack of sleep can weaken these events, making you forget things.
How many times you have forgotten several important things which happened very recent? If this is what happens with you, then you are probably not sleeping well. So if you want a sharp memory, then have plenty of sleep at night.
If you lose sleep, you gain weight
Yes it is true. Studies prove that lack of sleep or poor quality of sleep affects the metabolism rate of human body, disturbs the hormonal balance and thus leads to increase in weight.
According to a survey, most of the obese people are sleep deprived at nights and feel sleepiness during day time.
While a person is sleeping the body is producing some special hormones which help in proper digestion and combustion of food.
Also certain growth hormones are also released, maintaining the hormonal harmony of the body. But if a person is having trouble in sleeping or sleeps for less than required average hours, then this chemical balance of the body is disturbed.
Even if the person eats less or exercise, but is having insufficient sleep, nobody can stop him in becoming an obese.
Thus having good amount of sleep and following a healthy schedule and balanced diet is very important for sound well being.
Sleep deprivation impairs your judgment about sleep
Lack of sleep can affect your ability to make judgments. You may not assess the situation correctly and act in an apt way, if you are sleep deprived.
You are not only able to take decision or act promptly to situations but are likely to misjudge your sleeping pattern and thus think that less sleep is fine for your health.
Many people think that if they sleep less, they will have more time to work and perform but it is not right.
On contrary to it, your work performance will suffer and you will land up having health issues and concentration problems.
Your mental alertness and ability to judge the situation will go downhill and you might land up losing your job.
You definitely don’t what to be seen sleeping in a conference room or during working hours.
Thus it is very important to realize the value of sleep in once life and health and take proper sleep on fixed time and for sufficient amount of hours.
Sleep loss can increase risks of death
Chronic sleep deprivation can lead to deaths. It is proven that lack of sleep doubles the risks of cardiovascular diseases, putting the person at high danger of heart failure or strokes.
If the person is not sleeping sufficiently for a long period of time, then the mind can stop working and the person can die.
There was a study done on British civil servants who slept for five hours or less at night and their chances of death increased.
This seconds the importance of sleep in a person’s life. Work is important but sleep and rest are equally necessary for a normal and healthy life. So sleep well ad stay healthy and alive!