You Probably Need More Sleep: How a Lack of Sleep Effects your Health

You Probably Need More Sleep: How a Lack of Sleep Effects your Health

by Katie Miller

Life Saver, AMC

posted on Mar 24, 2015, at 9:48 pm

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FEELING SLEEPY? Fatigue can unfortunately result in many more negative consequences that impact your health than you think.

funny illustration of woman in bad can't sleep1. Sleep Deprivation hurts your cognition

Did you know that a lack of sleep could negatively affect your neurocognitive abilities? When one does not get an adequate amount of sleep, he or she will experience daytime sleepiness. This leads to an overall decreased level of motivation and performance during daily activities.

Sleep deprivation studies have frequently proved that sleep loss negatively effects mood, motor function and cognitive performance. The cognitive functions especially susceptible include attention, working memory and higher-level thinking. More recent studies have also stated that sleep deprivation can cause neurocognitive deficits that increase and accumulate over time.

According to a recent article by The Sleep Judge, when we’re caught in the cycle of sleep loss, our brains begin to fritz. The amygdala, the part of our brains that control emotion, goes haywire and reacts in ways we don’t normally do. A recent study pinned the results of two groups against each other; one that was kept awake for over 35 hours and the other who was well rested. The results were what you’d expect; the deprived group were far more irritable and less happy.

2. Sleep loss harms your heart

Sleep deprivation can ultimately harm any aspect of your health, but chronic sleep loss has an especially heavy impact on heart health. According to WebMD, sleep loss can put one at risk for several heart health issues such as heart disease, heart attacks, irregular heartbeat, high blood pressure, diabetes, and much more.

According to a study published by Hypertension, sleep deprivation results in increased resting blood pressure and decreased sympathetic muscle nerve activity.

3. Fatigue makes you depressed

One of the long-term negative health effects of sleepiness can actually make you
depressed. The symptoms of depression, which include anger, recklessness, feelings of hopelessness, and much more, are exacerbated by chronic sleep deprivation.

According to a study reported by the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, depression is the most common psychiatric disorder associated with insomnia. The report also found that several other studies have proven a strong relationship between sleep alterations and depression.


4. Sleepiness impacts memory

Didn’t get your 8 hours but still tried to take an exam or have a productive day at work? Had a difficult time remembering or learning new material?

Sleep is absolutely essential for a sharp mind. Consolidating memories, the process in which memories become stable, is specifically impacted by a lack of sleep. Without sufficient sleep time, the brain simply cannot understand or recall new information.


5. Tiredness damages your metabolic system

Are you feeling tired or are you feeling hungry? While this question might seem simple to answer, it’s unfortunately not the case. Sleepiness can actually be confused with hunger. Find yourself reaching for that extra cookie or bag of chips in the afternoon? Your appetite could use a rest!

According to Science, current research suggests that a lack of sleep can cause alterations in glucose metabolism, increased appetite, and a general decrease in energy expenditure.

So, catch some ZZZs tonight! Sleep is crucial for your health.

We want to know: Are you sleep deprived?

About Katie

Katie Miller is a senior writer for NHCPS and is based in California. She is currently pursuing her dream to be a doula. She also enjoys modeling.
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