While many people seem to forget about it quite often, sleep is an extremely important part of a person’s life. Not only does it allow us to rest, but also gives our bodies a possibility to relax and forget about daily troubles. And that is what helps you be productive and motivated on a daily basis. However, these are not the only reasons why you need a good night’s sleep; if you put it off for too long or sleep too few hours, the effects can be drastic.
In this article, you will learn how sleep deprivation can affect your body and mind. And while you may be familiar with fatigue and grogginess, there are other effects you may not know about, such as mood swings, weight gain, and weakened immunity. Read on, find out why it is essential to sleep well every day – and start improving your sleep habits.
1. Mood Swings
One of the most common effects of sleep deprivation is mood swings. When you don’t get enough sleep, your hormones and brain chemicals (namely serotonin) are thrown off balance. As a result, you will likely experience changes in your mood and temperament throughout the day. The worst part is that you may not even know that something is going on, as that effect can be very subtle.
It doesn’t matter if you are having a bad day or a good one; when you don’t get enough sleep, your mood can change from one moment to the next. That is why you should pay special attention to yourself if you feel very tired after waking up – it might be a sign that your body needs more sleep.
2. Weight Gain
If you are having trouble losing weight or you aren’t able to build muscles properly, it may be because of sleep deprivation. Sleep is extremely important for your body but also for your mind and emotional state. And if you are not getting enough rest at night, it can affect your motivation as well as your appetite. As a result, people who don’t get enough sleep often end up eating more junk food and work out less, which eventually leads to weight gain.
3. Poor Immune System and Increased Risk of Infections
You probably know that lack of sleep can make you sick more easily. However, did you know that it can also make you more vulnerable to certain kinds of infections? That effect can be easily explained: during sleep, your body releases proteins called cytokines, and some of them protect you from infectious.
The less you sleep, the fewer cytokines are produced – and thus, your immune system is compromised. And without a strong immune system, your body will have a harder time fighting off infections.
4. Decreased Focus and Attention Span
When you don’t get enough rest at night, your focus and attention span will suffer as well. Lack of sleep has been linked to decreased concentration and slower reaction times – your brain is unable to process all the information properly. As a result, you won’t be able to focus on what you are doing properly and react quickly to any changes happening around you.
Unfortunately, this is a very common problem among young people and students who don’t get enough sleep every night. And while some people think that they can compensate with caffeine or energy drinks, their effects will wear off soon enough.
5. Decreased Memory Capacity
Studies have shown that lack of sleep can make us more forgetful at school or work. That is because sleep deprivation affects our ability to process information and store it in our memory; our attention span is simply shorter when we aren’t getting enough sleep each night.
And while some people may feel like they don’t need much sleep because they are used to it, this is not healthy at all. The less sleep you get on a daily basis, the more forgetful you’ll get with time. One night of good sleep won’t help you with that easily – regular rest is necessary if you want to stay productive.
6. Decreased Sex Drive
Lack of sleep has been linked to sexual dysfunction in both men and women. When you don’t get enough sleep or have trouble falling asleep, you become less energetic and tenser – and that can easily lead to decreased libido. People who experience the so-called “tense tiredness” caused by lack of sleep become anxious and have problems relaxing – and all that stays in opposition to a good sexual experience.
As you have seen, sleep deprivation can have a huge impact on your body and mind. Not only does it lead to fatigue, grogginess, and decreased alertness, but it also causes mood swings, weight gain, reduced immunity, affects your focus and attention span, and even causes memory problems.
And if this is not enough to convince you to get enough sleep every night, consider the following: when you don’t get enough sleep, your health is at risk. That is because sleep deprivation can lead to heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, and stroke. So don’t forget about your sleep – it’s important for your body and mind alike. And make sure you don’t forget to have a great mattress!