Not Enough Sleep: Lack of sleep can often cause you to feel grumpy and drowsy. When lack of sleep becomes a consistent problem, there may be negative physical and cognitive effects. These effects can be very dangerous and harmful to normal every-day-activities.
Not Enough Sleep - Physical & Cognitive Effects: #1 Colds and Flu Increase
People who sleep less than 6 hours per night have 50% less resistance to viral infection than those getting 8 hours of sleep. Those sleeping less than 7 hours per night are 3 times more likely to get a cold than longer-sleepers.
Not Enough Sleep - Physical & Cognitive Effects: #2 Weight Gain
Lack of sleep lowers leptin levels in the brain and raises ghrelin levels in the stomach. These hormones are responsible for appetite regulation. When one is sleep deprived, they are more likely to overeat – craving carbs, sugars and junk food. People who sleep 5 hours per night have a 50% higher chance of being obese, while those who sleep 6 hours have a 23% greater risk. Less sleep is associated with an almost two-fold increase in obesity.
Not Enough Sleep - Physical & Cognitive Effects: #3 Diabetes
Not sleeping results to an overactive central nervous systems, which affects the ability of the pancreas to produce enough insulin to adequately regulate glucose levels. The current epidemic in diabetes may be connected to the epidemic in sleep deprivation.
Not Enough Sleep - Physical & Cognitive Effects: #4 Heart Disease
Not sleeping often causes the body to produce more stress hormones. Such an imbalance can lead to arteriosclerosis, which can cause heart attacks and stroke, in addition to hypertension, muscle loss, increased fat storage, loss of bone mass, and lower production of growth hormone and testosterone.
Not Enough Sleep - Physical & Cognitive Effects: #5 Cancer
Good sleep habits can be a valuable weapon in fighting cancers, citing melatonin (released during sleep) and cortisol production (involved in regulating immune system activity) as vital players in patient recovery. Night-shift workers have a 35% higher risk of colorectal cancer.
Not Enough Sleep - Physical & Cognitive Effects: #6 Ages Your Skin
Chronic sleep loss can lead to lackluster skin, fine lines, and dark circles under the eyes. When you don’t get enough sleep, your body releases more of the stress hormone cortisol. In excess amounts, cortisol can break down skin collagen, the protein that keeps skin smooth and elastic.
Not Enough Sleep - Physical & Cognitive Effects: #7 Makes You Forgetful
Brain events called “sharp wave ripples” are responsible for consolidating memory. The ripples also transfer learned information from the hippocampus to the neocortex of the brain, where long-term memories are stored. Sharp wave ripples occur mostly during the deepest levels of sleep.
Not Enough Sleep - Physical & Cognitive Effects: #8 Causes Accidents
Sleep loss is a big public safety hazard every day on the road. Drowsiness can slow reaction time as much as driving drunk. Fatigue is a cause in 100,000 auto crashes and 1,550 crash-related deaths a year in the U.S. Sleep loss and poor-quality sleep also lead to accidents and injuries on the job.
Not Enough Sleep - Physical & Cognitive Effects: #9 Impairs Cognitive Processes
Sleep plays a critical role in thinking and learning. Lack of sleep impairs attention, alertness, concentration, reasoning, and problem solving. This makes it more difficult to learn efficiently. If you don’t get enough sleep, you won’t be able to remember what you learned and experienced during the day.
Not Enough Sleep - Physical & Cognitive Effects: #10 Lowers Sex Drive
Sleep-deprived men and women report lower libidos and less interest in sex. Depleted energy, sleepiness, and increased tension may be largely to blame. Many men with sleep apnea also have low testosterone levels.