What Happens If You Don’t Sleep Well

A good night’s sleep is essential to make sure all the systems in your body are replenished with the required energy for a new day. However, people are indulging in a very hectic lifestyle of late, where most people go with only 3-4 hours of sleep per night. This can have detrimental effects on the overall health and brings along a range of problems. Here’s what it could do to you:

  • Mental Instability

REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep is the first stage of sleeping and is the period where an individual often dreams. This sleep helps in boosting your memory and learning which are essential mental processes. In ways that are pretty complex, this sleep stage makes sure that your emotional health is in its topmost quality. However, disruptions that occur at this phase, can wreak havoc in the nervous system, affecting loads of neurotransmitters and hormones that impair thinking, reasoning and the fight-flight responses in stressful situations. Another major effect that insomnia could have in your life is that it can affect your psychiatric states and may, in fact, be responsible in amplifying a mental condition like depression or anxiety, even further. Memory is affected a great deal as sleep deprivation could make it difficult for you to input, process and retrieve information about your surrounding efficiently.

  • Reduced Immunity

The body’s ability to fight off illness comes down considerably when you don’t get the required amount of sleep. Immunity starts faltering eventually making the body’s defenses weak. Heart related concerns pop up when one gets more, or less, than the optimal number of sleep hours. The chances of developing a stroke shoot up. Apart from actually causing viral infections, lack of sleep could also affect your body’s capacity to cope from an existing illness. That is why, it is often advised to get more sleep when you are sick. Long term lack of sleep can cause serious health ailments like obesity, diabetes, etc.

  • Weight Gain

Sleep and weight are inversely co-related, which means if sleep goes down, weight numbers go up. This usually happens due to irregularities in the hormonal balance as less sleep affects the hormones responsible for appetite and hunger. Reasoned judgement about which foods to consume and which ones could cause damage get vague and difficult to ascertain. Another issue here is the activity one indulges in, if not sleeping. It is observed that people consume a large amount of calories in the night causing weight gain.

  • Accidents

Several innovative speed bumps are introduced onto flyovers and highways that are used as a daily commute for night-time drivers. These speed bumps are to ensure that the person driving the vehicle does not fall asleep while driving. Many accidents have been reported due to the sleep deprivation experienced by the driver, making travel a dangerous arena for everyone. Sleep deprivation has similar effects on the body as alcohol consumption does and drowsy driving could be just as perilous as drunk driving because in a state of sleep, a person is unaware of the exact course of events taking place in his/her immediate environment.

  • Relationship Stress

Insomnia or less amount of sleep could result in an overarching moodiness that could spill over onto all other sections of your life, including your intimate relationships. Sleeplessness makes you more likely to indulge in baseless conflicts that you would have avoided, had you slept well that night. When a person has not slept well, the body goes into survival mode all day, which means the basic functions required, like urination or food consumption are observed by the body, and superfluous activities like talking to your partner are often avoided. Therefore, it is essential to get at least 8-9 hours of sleep every night to help your mind attain the emotional as well as physical rest it requires.

Humans are not nocturnal beings like owls and our circadian rhythms dictate that we sleep during the night. Messing with the natural order of things is bound to have detrimental effects on your health and thus, it is essential to make sure you make time for your daily dose of 7-8 hours of sleep!


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