If you haven’t seen more than five hours of sleep a night in years, you need to reassess your sleeping pattern. Sleep is important and may even take precedence over other things, including work. Of course, new parents may have to endure lack of sleep for a while, but after the baby sleeps through the night, there’s no reason to get fewer hours of Zs. Lack of sleep or sleepiness is a prominent cause of car accidents and more importantly, trucking accidents, but there are other health hazards caused by lack of sleep.
Sleep plays a role in brain health and personality.
Many different studies show that people who have too little sleep tend to be cranky. You probably didn’t need a university medical research to tell you that. Not only does it make people more emotional and cranky, it makes them less rational too. It stimulates the Amygdala to overreact and disrupts the medial prefrontal cortex that regulates it, so even small negative stimuli become big deals to the sleep deprived.
Sleep deprivation affects the ability to learn and perform cognitive behaviors.
New memories are stored in the hippocampus, which is also negatively impacted by sleep deprivation. It impacts focus and also the decision making ability. Cognitive functioning is far more difficult after a full night out on the town that runs into the next day. Not only is it far more difficult to focus, you can’t absorb the new information as quickly, if at all. Even though you may be excited about a new job and have a tough time sleeping, for performance sake you have to make sure you get at least 8 hours a night.
Sleeplessness hits the body hard.
While you sleep, your body repairs itself and heals itself, including the heart and blood vessels. It also maintains the balance of the body’s hormone levels. Continued lack of sleep greatly increases the risk for high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, diabetes and kidney disease. It can cause weight gain, since it increases the hormone ghrelin—the one that makes you feel hungry—and reduces that amount of leptin—the one that tells your body that you’re full.
- Lack of sleep can lower your immunity. It affects the immune system negatively, leaving you more open to infections and illnesses.
- Too little sleep can affect your blood sugar levels by affecting how your body reacts to insulin.
- Too little sleep clouds your judgment and those sneaky casino owners in LasVegas know that. That’s one reason there are no clocks in casinos.
- Children and teens with too little sleep may not have healthy growth and development. When their sleep is deep enough the hormone that causes growth is released. It helps build muscle tissue and repair cells in both children and adults.