Most of us know that we should be aiming for eight hours of sleep per night but there are probably not many of us that manage this every night. If we do not get enough sleep then we will feel tired the next day but if lack of sleep occurs on a regular basis then it can cause more serious problems. Some of the effects of lack of sleep that you may not know about are described in more detail below.
It Can Lead To Accidents
Lack of sleep can cause lack of concentration and this can cause accidents. You may injure yourself and also others so you should never drive or operate machinery if you feel like you may fall asleep.
It Can Affect Your Intelligence
You need to get enough sleep to be able to think clearly and to learn new things. If you are not able to concentrate due to lack of sleep then you are not able to learn effectively.
It Can Cause Serious Diseases
Lack of sleep can lead to a number of very serious health conditions including diabetes, irregular heartbeat and heart disease. It is believed that as many as 90% of people who suffer from insomnia also suffer from another health condition that has a profound effect on their life.
It Can Age The Skin
The dark circles that you get under your eyes when you have not got enough sleep can become permanent with a constant lack of sleep. Lack of sleep also slows down the production of collagen which gives skin its elasticity. This means that you will be more likely to get fine lines and wrinkles.
It Can Make You Gain Weight
The peptides that regulate appetite can also be affected by lack of sleep. This causes weight gain in two ways. It encourages the body to produce more of the peptides that stimulate hunger and less of those that signal to your brain that you are full. Lack of sleep also makes it more likely that you will crave food that is high in fat and high in carbohydrates and eating these types of foods can also cause weight gain.
It Can Affect Your Memory
Memories are consolidated by events that occur in the brain that are known as sharp wave ripples. These ripples occur the most when you are in a deep sleep and so lack of sleep can affect both short term and long term memory.
It Can Affect Your Ability To Make Judgements
If your ability to make judgements is impaired due to lack of sleep then this can affect almost every aspect of your life in one way or another. However it is also possible that your judgement regarding the amount of sleep you have been getting will also be impaired. This means that you may not be able to recognize the signs that you are not getting the amount of sleep that you need. If you are concerned about the amount of sleep that you are getting then it may be worth investing in a sleep monitor.