Not getting good-quality sleep does your body more harm than good. If you spend your nights tossing and turning in your bed, then you already know, the next day you’ll feel grumpy and groggy. Loss of sleep is a common problem that can lead to severe physical and mental issues. Sleep deprivation arises when an individual sleeps less than it’s required to be attentive and awake. Lack of sleep has been linked strongly to numerous tragic accidents involving automobiles and nuclear power plants.
Frequent poor sleep shortens your life expectancy and predisposes you to health problems: diabetes, obesity and heart disease.
Impacts of Sleep Loss on Your Body (And How to Fix It)
1. Sleep Loss Affects the Central Nervous System (CNS)
Insufficient sleep negatively affects mental abilities and emotions, compromising creativity, decision making and arousing mood swings. Rest is essential to keep the CNS—the information pathway—functioning correctly. Additionally, persistent sleep deprivation alters how your body often transmits information.
As you sleep, connections are created between nerve cells in your brain that make you recall what you have learned. Sleeplessness leaves the brain exhausted, and unable to concentrate or learn new things. While sleeping, your body releases infection-fighting chemicals like cytokines that fight bacteria and viruses. Additionally, cytokines help you relax, thus, providing your immune system extra energy needed to protect your body against infections.
Insufficient sleep will weaken your immune system against germs such as those that cause flu and common cold—you become more susceptible to infection by these germs if you are exposed.
2. Sleep Deprivation Lowers Sex Drive
According to research, men and women who get less sleep have lower libido and low sex drive. Men suffering from sleep apnea, a respiratory condition that interrupts sleep, tend to have low testosterone levels, and less urge to get intimate.
3. Insufficient Sleep Can Cause Type 2 Diabetes
Lack of sleep not only arouses your appetitive but also increases craving for high-carbohydrate and high-fat foods. Leptin and ghrelin hormones control the feelings of satiety and hunger. Sleep deprivation disrupts the balance of these hormones and stimulates the release of insulin—the hormone that increases fat storage; and weight.
4. Sleep Loss may increase the risk of death by Cardiovascular Disease
Published Studies (Whitehall II Study) by British researchers showed that people who cut their sleep from 7 to 5 hours or less almost doubled their risk to death from all causes.
Sleep affects activities that control sugar levels and blood pressure. Moreover, it helps to heal and rebuild heart vessels. Insufficient sleep leads to increased risk of cardiovascular disease.
The relationship between Sleep Deprivation and Accidents
Lack of sleep poses a significant public hazard on our roads every day. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, sleep loss is responsible for 1,550 deaths in the U.S, each year. And is linked to 100,000 vehicle crashes every year.
Loss of sleep is one of the factors responsible for many of the world accidents. The 1979 nuclear accident at 3 Mile Island, the 1986 nuclear meltdown at Chernobyl and the Exxon Valdez oil all occurred, and the reason? Sleep deprived individuals were on duty.
Catching Up On Lost Sleep
Sleep treatments are only recommended when an individual cannot sleep as a result of psychological or physical difficulties. Sleep-enhancing treatments include: stimulation control, cognitive behavior therapy, and relaxation techniques.
Despite of the numerous remedies to enhance sleep, it all boils down to sleep compensation. The surest way to compensate, if you miss out the recommended 8 hours of sleep, is getting more sleep.
To help you start your sleep compensation process, we recommend you get yourself a mattress that has an air circulation system to stabilize the temperature in any weather and 3 breathable layers — the Ecosa mattress. However, recovery won’t happen overnight, especially when you’ve had several months of sleepless nights. Since you’ll have built up a sleep debt, you will be fine, but it might take several weeks.