There are nights when you don’t want to sleep because you are having a good time partying with family and friends, then there are nights when you have to force yourself to stay awake because of work or other emergency and then there are some nights when you go to bed on time but sleep just doesn’t seem to wander anywhere near you. You spend wee hours into the night just tossing around begging your mind to please fall sleep. Whatever may be the reason for your sleepless night, the after affects are quite visible the following day such as day-time sleepiness, irritable mood, impaired focus and cognitive ability. The effects of one-off sleepless nights can be replenished much easier as compared sleep debt accumulated on account of prolonged sleepless nights.
Apart from usual behavioral issues such as being agitated, grumpy, daytime grogginess, sleep deprivation has other impacts on our body as well.
A sleep deprived person = A Drunkard: When we are extremely fatigued due to sleep deprivation our reflexes and responses are as “sharp” as a drunk person. The percentage of accidents caused on the road and at workplace due to sleep deprivation is close to the number caused due to alcohol consumption. Therefore, when you are sleepy, do not drive, ask a friend to drive you or take public transport or book a cab, but never drive as you are putting yourself and probably another person’s life at risk. Sleep deprivation impairs judgment and concentration, so it is advisable to take a leave and complete your sleep debt rather than going to work and injuring yourself and/or your workmates.
The secret to looking forever young: Sleep deprivation affects not only internal bodily function(s) but it’s effects can been seen externally as well. Prolonged sleep debt releases toxic hormones that affect the skin’s texture especially the skin on your face, neck, and hands. The skin loses it elasticity, starts sagging, gets wrinkly and the eyes look puffy with dark circles around them. So, if you find your older version looking back at you every time you look in a mirror, it is time get your sleep hygiene in check. Gradually you will start seeing your youth smiling back at you in the mirror instead of a tried, wrinkly, grumpy face.
Body’s Immune system goes berserk: Our body’s immunity is restored when we sleep; hence the first side-effect of sleep deprivation is failing immunity. People who are sleep deprived are more prone to seasonal viruses such as cold and flu and take longer to recover from them. Staying awake has an adverse impact on the appetite as well. Sleep deprivation causes uncontrollable hunger pangs especially for fatty, sugary and high calorie food. If unchecked the sleeplessness along with unhealthy dietary cycle leads to more serious physical health issues like cardiovascular problems, fluctuations in sugar and blood pressure, weight gain and psychological problems like depression, stress, anxiety.
Sleeping less will make you dumber: In sleep our sub-conscious mind helps us replay our day’s activity and allows us to find solutions to problems that seemed unsolvable. Sleep also helps consolidate memories which help recollection i.e. long-term memories are created when you are asleep. The minds capacity to memorize and recollect is impacted when its sleep deprived. You become more forgetful, unable to solve simple problems, hence end up looking incompetent in personal and professional life.
Sexual drive spirals downwards: If not the other side-effects this one should catch your attention and motivate you to get your sleeping habits in shape. A sleep deprived person is always tired, low on energy, and mentally fatigued; all this collectively affects the person’s desire and ability for physical intimacy. Sleep deprivation impacts the hormones levels that control the sexual urges in both men and women. A drop in these hormone levels causes lowered libido which is the actual cause for losing interest in sex.
Hence the sure shot way to get your professional and personal relationships on track is by creating and following a proper sleep hygiene.