Many underestimate the power of sleep. It is vital to one’s health, this should be prioritised just like eating healthy to maintain a functioning body.
Sleep deprivation, or other known terms are insufficient sleep or sleeplessness, is simply explained as not having enough sleep. To be sleep deprived can vary from person to person. The impact of continuous lack of sleep can lead to excessive daytime sleepiness known as microsleeping, emotional inbalances, decrease in job performance, decreased perception of quality of life and weight gain.
How to recognise you are sleep deprived?
- The obvious one – yawning
- Fatigue – body feeling weak, exhausted and tired
- Mood swings such as being snappy, irrational, irritable, depressed
- Poorer concentration – finding it hard to focus and learn new concepts
- Lack of motivation and feeling not-bothered
- Eating more carbohydrates
- Reduced sex drive
Important facts to understand
- Body weight gain can be caused by a lack of sleep. There are 2 hormones in the body, known as leptin and ghrelin. These control the feelings of hunger, satiety or fullness.
- Greater risk of type 2 diabetes due to the release of insulin, this causes an increase in fat storage.
- Lack of sleeping has impacted the attention/reaction speeds of those in vital roles such as driving, flying an aeroplane, train drivers and so on.
- It prevents the body from strengthening the immune system to fight infection. This can result in longer recovery from illness and an increase in chronic illness.
- Insufficient sleep can affect the growth hormones and testosterone in men, resulting in an impact on gaining muscle mass and sex drive.
- Adults have mastered how to function somewhat with sleep deprivation however children and young adults are most vulnerable to the negative effects of sleep deprivation
- Sleep disorder is a commonly undiagnosed
- Sleeplessness reduces normal functioning of attention and the ability to focus
- Lack of reduces emotional functioning, such as reduced positive thinking, decrease in problem-solving, reduced impulse control, intolerance and reduced empathy toward others.
- Sleeplessness increases the feelings of self-worth, failure, low self-esteem, lower job performance, conflicting situations, and poorer quality of life.