100 years ago, people would sleep nine or ten hours at night. Their schedules were more in sync with the sunlight. Now, we sleep an average of seven hours, if we’re lucky. Scientists think that we get less sleep, not because we need less, but because of technology. The blue light from our computers, televisions, indoor lighting, and phones can throw off our sleep cycles, mess up our hormones, and make it difficult for us to fall asleep.
The negative effects of sleep deprivation will catch up with you in more ways than you realize. With so much focus on what we should eat or how often we should exercise to maintain our health, sometimes we forget how important it is to sleep. Losing out on quality sleep can affect nearly every aspect of your life.
The Effects of Sleep Deprivation Can Destroy Your Good Health
In the time you spend dreaming, your body is actually doing some pretty phenomenal work. This is when your brain can declutter or defragment or whatever it is that it does, and clear away the unnecessary files from the day. It needs to reboot so that you wake alert and refreshed and ready to start a new chapter.
The long-term effects of sleep deprivation (less than 7 hours per night) leave you at risk for many health problems in the future. You may not feel too bad the next morning, but those effects add up over time. The risks to your overall health include:
- High blood pressure
- Increased risk of atherosclerosis (clogged arteries)
- Increased risk of heart attack and stroke
- Risk of diabetes
Too Little Sleep Can Cause Depression
When you don’t get enough sleep occasionally, you may feel irritable or stressed the next day. Once you get some sleep, you probably feel like yourself again. That’s a good thing. For those who fail to get enough sleep regularly, feeling better is not so easy.
Studies have made it pretty clear that your sleep habits are tied directly to your emotional and mental health. In fact, people who are kept awake from insomnia are five times more likely to develop anxiety or depression than those who sleep well at night.
Lack of Sleep Can Cause You to Gain Weight
It is not likely that you will lose weight when you’re sleeping, but you are more likely to gain weight if you don’t sleep enough. A 2015 study shows us that even losing as little as thirty minutes of sleep a day has a direct impact on your metabolism. Unfortunately, you cannot repay sleep debt.
Plus, when you sleep, your body produces the hormones that govern your appetite. People tend to eat fewer calories when they get enough sleep. If you are not sleeping enough, your appetite can go into overdrive, sugary snacks seem more appealing, and our resolve to resist temptation declines.
The Symptoms of Sleep Deprivation
The symptoms of sleep deprivation can be subtle. You may even have assumed that your symptoms are caused by other issues. Since we all have different sleep requirements, sleep deprivation can’t be determined by numbers alone. Do any of these describe you? If you are sleep deprived, you may recognize some of these warning signs.
Do any of these describe you? If so, you may be sleep deprived.
- Increased body pain or general unwellness
- Sleepiness during the day
- Problems with short-term or long-term memory
- Difficulty concentrating
- A compromised immune system
- More prone to clumsiness or accidents
- Impaired judgment
- Balance problems
- Low libido
Suggestions to Help You Fall Asleep Faster
If you can fall asleep easily and wake up less during the night, you get more sleep without having to go to bed earlier. Some of these suggestions are simple, some take a bit of resolve, but the results could be worth your effort.
- Set a sleep schedule. Get to bed and get out of bed at the same time each day (even on your days off). This will help regulate your internal clock so that you can fall asleep faster
- Establish a relaxing ritual like reading, drinking a cup of herbal tea, or taking a warm bath
- Turn off your computer, television, and phone an hour or two before bed. The blue light from the screen will signal your brain that it is still daylight
- Get more sun during the day and dim your lights in the evening to stimulate melatonin production
- Check your mattress for signs of wear. A mattress that is not supporting you correctly can interrupt your sleep cycles.
At Layla our mission is to help you get a great night’s sleep. If you aren’t getting the great sleep that you deserve, you’re gonna love Layla. Visit Layla online and check out the amazing benefits of our copper infused mattress and pillow. With copper, you’ll sleep cooler, cleaner, and well supported…guaranteed to get out of sleep debt, or your money back.