How Lack Of Sleep Affects Your Overall Health

How Does Lack of Sleep Affect Health

Many people have different sleeping patterns, much more hours of sleeping. With the demands for time in the modern world devoted to career, family, school, extra-curricular activities, leisure, entertainment,  sleep slips  last in the list of priority for time. It’s like saying “I’ll just sleep when I’m too tired” or “When I have all the activities ahead of me, I don’t really think about sleep.” So, why bother thinking of putting time to your sleep? Is there any negative effects of not sleeping enough or of having an erratic sleep pattern. These series of articles will challenge you to rethink what value you put in your sleep and rest.

There are various effects of not having enough sleep. It can not only alter your mood, judgement, memory  but also overall physical condition. A lot of researches prove, lack of sleep over a long period of time can reduce a person’s life span.  It cannot be overstated, sleep is very important.  Knowing the risks associated to poor sleeping habits are complicated but one thing is certain many medical complications are related to it. It is highly recommend that a person sleeps not lesser than eight hours a day. Cutting it down to five or less have big implications. Over a period of time it can trigger serious health problems. Health problems for people who lack sleep include obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, hypertension, and common colds among others. These diseases are of course interlinked with other factors such as exercise and diet. The hormone activity in the body becomes problematic with inadequate sleep and metabolic processes, appetite regulation and even stress response are primarily affected.

The reason behind this is simple, when we sleep our body does some repair work. For instance, during sleep the cells and tissues rest and undergo repair. Muscle growth and protein synthesis also takes place during sleep.  So, better get some sleep after reading this article.

How does of lack of sleep affect memory

It maybe had to believe but your brain’s most active time is when you’re asleep. Yes, that’s true the retention of the things you have learned can only be effectively processed and used if you have adequate time for sleeping. No wonder, if you didn’t have much sleep, you can’t barely remember what lesson you had in your class yesterday. How is this so? Researchers say this is because lack of sleep can have a bad effect on your learning processes. The three learning processes are acquisition, consolidation and recall.

Acquisition is the process when actual information gets into the brain. Consolidation happens when the brain processes the information received so that the information becomes part of memory. Lastly, recall is the process of how the brain gets the stored information and make use of it. When a person lacks sleep, acquisition and recall are most heavily affected. Almost anybody can prove this theory. Try studying a lesson or two after a sleepless night. At the end of two hours, you may have read through the pages of the book but retention doesn’t come easily.  It simply means the brain’s ability to get information has been temporarily impaired due to lack of sleep. Another significant impairment lack of sleep has is on consolidation. Poor sleepers can have difficulty remembering facts and procedures!  Now you know why after several days of work overtime you can hardly remember the  capital of your country or who the current president is!

So, no matter how busy your schedule gets, take time to sleep. Minimize unnecessary activities that can hamper your time for rest. It will not only make you more productive but you can better retain a healthier quality of life. It might be a great transition for you if you have reduced sleep as another activity but you have to remember its vital for your overall physical and psychological well-being.

How does of lack of sleep affect emotions

Inadequate sleep also has immediate side effects. After sleeping less than eight hours every day for one week, you might not immediately gain pounds or have diabetes. Yet, there are more not so subtle effects of lack of sleep to you or anybody who hasn’t slept well – moodiness. This can range from irritability, short-temperedness, or increased vulnerability to stress. According to researchers from the University of Pennsylvania, subjects in their study who have 5 hours or less of sleep a night for a week have been noticed to feel angry, stressed, sad, and mentally exhausted. When these same persons, had normal sleep, their emotions also went back to normal. There are also more long-term consequences of less sleep to a person’s mood and even psyche.

Studies show that there is a major link to lack of sleep and psychological problems such as anxiety, and depression. Many psychologists agree and found out that people who suffer from insomnia or chronic insomnia are likely to have major depression. The first symptom of depression is usually difficulty in sleeping. One study showed that 15-20 percent of persons with insomnia develop major depression.  Depression can also be coupled with anxiety whether panic disorder or other forms of anxiety attack. In turn, anxiety causes agitation and arousal to increase which makes sleep for a person more difficult.

On the other hand, sleeping problems can also be genetic so it’s worth looking through the history of your family.  A study from University of Pittsburgh suggests abnormal sleeping patterns of parents can be passed on to their children.  Their children can have an increased risk of insomnia and increased risk of suicidal behavior as well.  The teenagers of parents having sleep disorders in this research have been found to have two times more insomnia, fatigue, depression, anxiety and thoughts of suicide.