You already know that not getting enough sleep can lead to miserable mornings and fatigue throughout the day. But do you know how sleep deprivation affects your skin, safety, and sex life?
Discover ten ways that not getting enough sleep can wreck your health, and why you really, really need to prioritizing getting those 8 hours.
1. Sleep loss impairs judgement (especially about sleep)
There's a lot of pressure to function on as little sleep as possible, especially for students and professionals. Sometimes it seems like there just aren't enough hours in the day. But while sleep-deprived people may think they're doing just fine, their performance on mental alertness test continues to decrease.
So being sleep-deprived may convince you you're fine and functioning at full capacity, when really, you aren't.
2. Adorable duck aside, it can lead to some pretty serious health problems
It turns out that 90% of people with insomnia also have another serious health problem. Chronic sleep loss increases your risk of:
High blood pressure
And those are not fun things. So get more sleep, people.
3. Drowsiness causes accidents
Here's a crazy fact: driving while tired can slow your reflexes as much as driving while drunk. Not getting enough sleep can lead to traffic accidents (and causes as many as 100,000 each year – many involving people under the age of 25), on-the-job injuries, and even catastrophes like the Chernobyl nuclear disaster and the Exxon Valez oil spill.
4. It actually makes you dumber
Sleep is vital to cognitive performance and memory storage. If you're regularly missing sleep, you'll have trouble with things like:
learning new things
focusing on tasks
5. No sleep, no sex
Research shows that sleep-deprived men and women report lower libido, and less interest in sex. This is probably due to the stress and fatigue caused by lack of sleep. Heightened anxiety caused by sleep deprivation can also lead to sexual dysfunction.
6. Sleep loss can make you sad
It turns out sleep loss and depression are intimately linked. Treating one can drastically help the other – but at the same time, problems in one can lead to problems in the other.
When you don't get enough sleep, you're at higher risk of feeling depressed – and meanwhile, the symptoms of depression can make it harder to fall asleep.
7. Lack of sleep ages your skin
The stress hormone, cortisol, is secreted in excess when your body's needs (like sleep) aren't being met. In addition to making you feel anxious and well, stressed, high levels of cortisol can break down collagen, the protein responsible for keeping skin smooth and elastic. So if you aren't getting enough sleep, you'll start to see fine lines and wrinkles much earlier in life.
8. Wait... what does lack of sleep do again?
Getting enough sleep is the number one way to keep your memory sharp! When your overtired, your body has trouble remembering things – especially since deep sleep is when long-term memories are recorded.
9. Not enough sleep = too much weight
Research shows that people who get less than 6 hours of sleep are 30% more likely to become obese. Not getting enough rest can lead to an increase in appetite and cravings for high-fat, high-carb foods like McDonalds and pizza.
10. Loss of sleep increases your risk of death
British researchers found that cutting down sleep to 5 or less hours of sleep a night nearly doubled the risk of death from all causes, particularly cardiovascular disease.
So, in summary: WE ALL NEED MORE SLEEP. If you have trouble getting to sleep at night, check out my card How To Fall Asleep In Under a Minute – it's got a research-supported technique for relaxing before bedtime that's sure to get you snoozing. :)