If you’ve ever had insomnia, you know how frustrating it is not being able to fall asleep. Plus, all the pressure — you need to be up soon for work and really want to sleep more than just a few hours. Aside from the exhaustion factor, there are many things that happen when you don’t get enough sleep.
If you’re not sleeping enough, you’re not alone: According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM), approximately one-third of American adults aren’t sleeping enough either. Mattress company Reverie, too, recently surveyed 1,000 Americans and found that more than half of adults (57 percent) surveyed feel they don’t sleep enough and wish they got more sleep (58 percent).
“When you don't get enough sleep, you build up ‘sleep debt,’ which is essentially the pressure in your body from all the healing and resetting that didn’t get to happen due to the lack of sleep time,” Dr. Benjamin Smarr, National Institutes of Health postdoctoral fellow at UC Berkeley and Reverie sleep advisory board member, tells Bustle. “The effects of sleep deprivation are quite dangerous, as it interferes with the healing and mental refreshing that good sleep provides. Sleep deprivation may seem like an inconsequential thing that one accidentally accumulates, but it is a pervasive and widespread public health problem that needs to be taken much more seriously than it is.”
Whether you have trouble falling asleep or wake up in the middle of the night, wide awake, there are several ways it can influence you the next day. Below, sleep experts weigh in on what happens if you don’t sleep enough.