7 Scary Things That Happen To Your Body When You Don't Get Enough Sleep
Sleep is just about the most important thing there is. Like, actually one of the most important parts of being a healthy, functioning human. No lie. Science is proving that without a doubt, missing out on those precious hours of horizontal you time, is dangerous. So what happens when you don't get enough sleep?
Missing out on those precious Zs affects your mind, body, and soul in many ways, some immediate and some more long-term. Way before science backed this up, people were already painfully aware that not getting enough sleep drives you hell cray. Even bloomin Shakespeare was on about it:
"Sleep that knits up the ravell'd sleave of care, the death of each day's life, sore labour's bath, balm of hurt minds, great nature's second course, chief nourisher in life's feast."
Yes mate, you know that's right. But did old Shakey know about all the weird stuff that happens to your body when you don't get enough sleep? Probably not, but then science came along to keep the world in touch with all the stuff we are doing or not doing that is driving us mad/making us ill/shortening our lives. Gosh, science can seriously harsh your vibe, but still it's important to find out. OK, hit me with the weird stuff, science. I'm ready for this.
1. Reduced Sex Drive
Oh HELL no, what? Had to start with a hard hitter, this is the truth y'all.
According to the NHS website, research suggests that, "men and women who don't get enough quality sleep have lower libidos and less of an interest in sex."
Eff that to high heaven and back. As if enough drama in your life isn't already affecting how you get yours, add this to the mix along with life's other stresses and pressures.
So maybe, if your sex drive is not at its usual speed or has completely stalled in every sense of the word, you might need to up the ante sleep wise. Time to rush out and buy lots of lavender scented everything so you can relax and can get that libido back.
2. Poor Skin Health
Turns out that whole "beauty sleep" thang is no joke. In a recent study done by the guys over at Bensons For Beds, not getting enough sleep really really affects your skin.
Using a Visia machine, which is a machine designed to measure the quality and health of a person's skin, the study showed the dramatic effect of not getting your 40 winks in. With participants asked to sleep for a mere six hours every night over a five day period, the effects were clear pretty quickly. FML, where do I get one of these Visia machines.
3. Increased Risk Of Diabetes
If you're gaining weight and not sure why, your sleep might be the answer. A study done by The Endocrine Society found that even 30 minutes less than the daily advised amount of sleep increases your risk of obesity and, by proxy, insulin resistance. Insulin resistance can also lead to type 2 diabetes.
Now make sure and get into bed good and early tonight.
Illness is so gross. Whether it's a blocked up nose, going to the loo too much, not going to the loo enough or whatever is ailing you, illness sucks a whole bunch. Whatever illness has your flag flying at half mast when it should be flying high, the feeling of being sick as a dog is not something I would wish on even the most skullduggerous of individuals.
Science Daily published the findings of a sleep study done by University of Washington Health Sciences which investigated the affect of sleep deprivation on the immune system. The experiment saw researchers take blood samples from 11 pairs of identical twins who have differing sleep patterns. One sleeping nice and regularly, the other not so well. Now, I'll give you one guess which half of the twins was proven to have decreased immune systems. You guessed it. The one getting less sleep.
5. Decreased Mental Wellbeing
Less sleep makes you feel cray and you know it. Is there anything, I mean anything, worse than not feeling mentally yourself? It's the worst and you know it.
It is like an awful vicious cycle that never ends. The more anxious/stressed/depressed you get, the less sleep you get and the worse these things get and so on and so forth. Like some sort of horrific sleepless Groundhog Day type situation, except less rom com and more psychological thriller.
In a study undertaken by famed medical journal The Lancet in 2017, researchers found that, despite lack of sleep often being described as an effect of mental illness, it may actually also be the reason for the illness itself.
6. Decreased Mental Ability
I don't need science to tell me that lack of sleep makes me dumb as a stick, forgetful, and rubbish at daily life, however it's nice to have science back me up.
"Both total and partial SD [sleep deprivation] induce adverse changes in cognitive performance. First and foremost, total SD impairs attention and working memory, but it also affects other functions, such as long-term memory and decision-making. Partial SD is found to influence attention, especially vigilance."
In terms of less shocking affects of sleep deprivation, this is up there with the least shocking of all.
How crabby are you when you are a bit short on sleep? I know I am like an actual monster, so you are not alone. Ever noticed that when you are tired, you are more likely to get upset and or fly off the handle? Turns out that is a fairly common thing! A study in The Journal Of Neuroscience found that "sleep deprivation alters emotional reactivity by triggering enhanced processing of stimuli regarded previously as neutral."
In other words, something that might not ordinarily set you off, will make you emotional AF.
With all this evidence proving that there is absolutely nothing good about not getting enough sleep, maybe you should look at different ways to help you nod off if you're struggling.
The British Sleep Council dictates that adults aged between 18 and 65 years need between seven and nine hours sleep per day. So even if you are working that night shift, you still have to try get in those precious hours in the land of nod. Believe in yourself and your ability to sleep like a sweet baby angel. Night night.