It seems like common knowledge that our bodies need sleep to survive. Most all of us have experienced the side effects of staying up too late or trying to pull an all nighter. However, there are surprising consequences worse than drowsiness if missing sleep becomes a routine for you.
1) Weight gain
Sleep deficiency can cause you to crave carbs and fat laden foods. If you’re not getting enough energy from sleep, your body will search for it in other places. Not only can lack of sleep affect your eating habits, you also burn less calories due to lack of movement from feeling sluggish.
2) Impulse decisions
Lack of sleep can lead to self-control issues such as resisting impulses. When you lack the proper amount of sleep, it tends to affect your decision making in a negative manner.
3) Uncontrollable emotions
Not only does your sleep health affect your mood, chronic insomnia can increase your risk of anxiety or depression. Researchers found that people who only got 4.5 hours of sleep for one week felt angry, sad and stressed. When the participants returned to their normal sleep routine, they reported a significant improvement in mood. [x]
4) Always sick
During sleep, proteins known as cytokines are produced. The body relies on these proteins to fight off illness, infections, and stress. Without the proper amount of sleep, the production of cytokines decreases. Researchers found that people with less than 7 hours of sleep were 3 times more likely to develop a virus or cold than a person with 8 hours or more of sleep. [x]
5) Impaired vision
If you are continually missing sleep, your eyes will not adequately produce tears to lubricate your eyeballs which causes them to become dry and red. Without the production of tears, you could experience pain, light sensitivity, redness, or blurred vision.
6) Unusually clumsy
Poor sleep quality can affect your motor skills and reaction time causing you to be clumsier than usual. This increases your risk for injury.
Lack of sleep can affect your ability to make a decision. Not only is your decision making affected, sleep deprivation can impair other vital cognitive functions.
8) Poor memory
Receiving the proper amount of sleep can boost your ability to learn and retain information that you gather throughout the day.
9) Heart health
A recent study linked insomnia to increased risk of heart attacks and strokes. Even cardiovascular fatalities have been linked to lack of sleep. [x]
Sleep quality affects how fast your skin recovers from stressors. Researchers found that people with poor sleep quality are slower to recover from sunburns. [x] Researchers also found that poor sleep quality is associated with aging of skin, diminished skin barrier function, and lower self esteem. [x]
Maximize your sleep health
It’s recommended that adults get at least 7 hours of sleep per night. If you aren’t receiving the proper amount of sleep, it can leave you lacking in other areas of your life. It’s important to create the best possible sleep environment to ensure you’re getting the proper amount of rest without any disturbances.
Several factors can contribute to restless sleep. The very first piece of the puzzle is the right mattress. If you’ve had yours a long time, you could likely benefit from a replacement, especially if you’re consistently missing out on sleep. Providing yourself with a good mattress is an investment in your sleep health.
According to a study done by Oklahoma State University [x], a new mattress provided sleepers with significant improvements including:
- 70.8% in sleep comfort
- 62.0% in sleep quality
- 55.3% in back pain
- 50.7% in spine stiffness
Better sleep can be as simple as sleeping on a better mattress.