Save Your Sleep – 10 Short & Long Term Effects of Sleep Deprivation

Sleep serves as the charger for the body. Although we are at rest, our bodies are working for us throughout. Detoxification, relaxing and recovery are all taking place while we sleep. 

Given the hustle that today time demands, sleep deprivation has not only become common, and it has also become the new normal. The less you sleep, the harder you become the modern social norm that is subconsciously eating away your health.

The number of hours you sleep is attributed to hard work. However, this may seem attractive to many. On the contrary, it leaves a detrimental effect and, in fact, deadly consequences. Prolonged sleep deprivation can cause death. 

Sleep deprivation has immediate and long-lasting effects like Feeling cranky, Daytime sleepiness, Inattentiveness during meetings, Hunger pangs, etc.

Do you sleep late almost every other day? Late-night sleep can attribute to poor health conditions.

Apart from the noticeable changes, lack of sleep affects our body’s normal functioning in several ways. The effects can be both short-term and long-term. 

Short term effects are seen within a span of a few days.

  1. Mood changes– irritability and reduced motivation are the first signs. An increased sense of tiredness naturally causes one to be more irritable and unhappy in general.
  2. Attention span and focus– lack of sleep naturally makes one susceptible to day time drowsiness. It leads to a lack of focus, and the consequences can be deadly. Being unable to focus while driving or dealing with hazardous equipment or substances, one is not only a threat to themselves but others around them as well. When one cannot focus and is susceptible to daytime drowsiness, it can lead to fatal consequences like accidents placing many in danger. 
  3. Appetite changes– digestion and the hormones regulating appetite are directly linked to the biological clock. When you go haywire with your sleep, these get affected as well. Increased appetite or rather hunger pangs, stress eating, becomes a habit when the sleep cycle is messed. 
  4. Lethargy– this one is not a surprise. When not well-rested, our bodies go into the energy-saving mode, and a sense of fatigue and lethargy takes over. It primarily affects your mental health, wherein your mind is not in a position to think creatively.
  5. Physical attributes – dull skin, fatigue and dark circles are just some of the visible sleep deprivation attributes. Puffiness of the face, especially the eyes, are noticeable. 

One starts to experience microsleep when they go through prolonged sleep deprivation. It is one of the causes of road accidents. It is estimated that about 16% of the accidents are due to the driver experiencing drowsiness. 

Long term effects– These are mostly psychological and physiological.

  1. Mental Health Effects – The mental health effects are, by far, the most difficult to control or improve. From anxiety to paranoia, depression and even suicidal thoughts, it can wreak havoc in your personal life. 
  2. Physiological effects – these are several. The long term physiological aftermaths that sleep deprivation can have are deadly. Right from the immune system to digestive to endocrine, sleep deprivation can be devastating. 
  3. Hormonal disorders – loss of sleep can cause alterations in your hormonal levels. It affects both men and women. Obesity, decreased fertility, issues in conceiving and the most significant risk- type 2 diabetes.  
  4. Immune system – the havoc caused by sleep lowers your immune system due to all the other systemic disorders. 
  5. Circulatory and respiratory system – heart diseases, including high blood pressure, stroke, result from long-term sleep deprivation. Sleep apnoea, snoring, and respiratory issues occur as well. 

As in many matters, sleeping consistently every day for 7 to 8 hours is key to your well-being, physical and mental health. 

A day or two of lessened sleep is nothing to worry about. However, when extended, you are calling for destruction to your mental and physical well-being. 

As sleep is essential for your body, investing in the right mattress is vital for a restful sleep. Companies like Magniflex manufactures mattress, which allows your body to breathe and helps maintain the body temperature throughout the night you to have an undisturbed sleep. 

Food, air, and water may be essential to survival, but all these become inadequate for one’s overall well-being without sleep or decreased sleep. So the next time, indulge in your 8-hour sleep guilt-free as, after all, it is indeed a matter of life and death.