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Sleep Deprivation and Its Effects on the Human Body and Brain

When a person is deprived of sleep, it can make him or her grumpy or could cause a headache throughout the day. But more than suffering from these all day long, it also has other adverse effects on one’s body and brain activity.

Sleep deprivation should never be shunned and taken lightly because it can lead to more serious things. Several factors contribute to a lack of sleep. Some have a hard time sleeping because their resting environment is not conducive to good quality sleep. Others just have sleeping disorders that need to be treated. Whatever the case may be, sleep deprivation will take its toll on your mind and body.

1. Dulls your senses

One of the main things that sleep deprivation does is it dumbs people down. It greatly affects the brain’s cognitive abilities in a lot of ways. A person who has not had quality sleep is more likely to have difficulty in thinking and processing information. It also makes them perform tasks poorly.

Imagine if you’re a builder and you have a scheduled Trex fencing installation that needs to be done and you show up groggy and disoriented because you didn’t get enough sleep the night before. That could end up in a disaster and may even cause an accident just because you’re not as alert and as sharp.

2. Causes accidents

Did you know that one of the main causes of the nuclear meltdown in Chernobyl in 1986 is sleep deprivation? Yes, it’s true. But other than contributing to some of recent history’s biggest disasters, it also is one of the leading causes of road accidents and mishaps. In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration cites fatigue as the cause of 100,000 vehicular accidents and 1,550 fatalities in car crashes.

3. Serious health issues

Science has established a strong connection between lack of sleep and serious health problems. It is estimated that 90% of people who suffer from insomnia also suffer from serious health issues.

These health issues include but are not limited to:

  • high blood pressure
  • irregular heartbeat
  • diabetes
  • heart attack
  • heart disease
  • heart failure
  • stroke

4. Kills one’s sex drive

If there’s one major reason why normal men and women would want to avoid sleep deprivation at all costs is it negatively affects your sex life.

Yes. It is found that those who are sleep deprived have significantly lower libidos compared to those who are well-rested. The fatigue and lack of energy that sleeplessness brings make a person lose interest in any sexual interaction. Heaven forbid!

5. Makes your skin older

Cosmetically, one of the things that can happen to you if you don’t regularly get enough quality sleep is it makes you age faster than others. When you miss out on a few nights of good sleep, the body releases cortisol, stress hormones, which then break down your skin’s collagen. Collagen is what makes your skin smooth, elastic, and radiant.

6. Increases the risks of depression

Missing out on a good night’s sleep might not be as bad if it rarely happens. But if it becomes the norm for you, over time, this sleeping disorder contributes to symptoms of depression and anxiety. Insomniacs are five times more likely to develop depression, according to a 2007 study that involved 10,000 participants.

7. Affects weight

Lack of sleep has different effects on a person’s weight. In most cases, people who experience sleep deprivation are reported to have increased hunger which could lead to obesity if it becomes a lifestyle. Some cases, however, find that those who lack sleep lose weight faster. It might seem like a great way to lose weight but given all of its other adverse effects, we do not recommend depriving yourself of rest as a weight-loss solution.

dogs sleeping on the bed

8. Gives you poor memory

An American-French joint project in 2007 found that the brain produces certain sharp-wave ripples during sleep. These sharp-wave ripples are responsible for consolidating memories in the brain, These are also responsible for storing information in our brain’s long-term memory storage. These sharp-wave ripples only occur when a person experiences a deep level of quality sleep. Sleep deprivation negates all of that.

9. Increases the risk of death

With all the effects that lack of good quality sleep has on the body, it is a no-brainer to say that it increases the risk of death. With all the accidents it causes, the impairments, the health problems, the more that you continue to allow your body to be deprived of quality rest and sleep, you are putting yourself at risk of doubling its fatality risks, especially from cardiovascular diseases.

We all know that having a good night’s sleep is best for us. Given the effects of sleep deprivation outlined above, we hope that you take your sleep more seriously If you’re having trouble sleeping for some unexplained reason, we recommend that you see a doctor immediately to help you figure out a solution to your concern.

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