This Is What Happens To Your Body When You Don’t Sleep Enough
By getting enough sleep, we are being more productive, healthier, and we definitely feel a lot better. However, we still find it hard to make time for everything we need to do in the day, so we end up staying up late or waking up early to finish our responsibilities.
The National Sleep Foundation released a revised sleep recommendation report, that shows how much sleep we need based on age.
The new recommendations are:
- Older adults, 65+ years: 7-8 hours
- Adults, 26-64 years: 7-9 hours
- Young adults, 18-25 years: 7-9 hours
- Teenagers, 14-17 years: 8-10 hours
- School-age children, 6-13 years: 9-11 hours
- Preschool children, 3-5 years: 10-13 hours
- Toddlers, 1-2 years: 11-14 hours
- Infants, 4-11 months: 12-15 hours
- Newborns, 0-3 months: 14-17 hours
Of course, there are times when getting a good night sleep isn’t an option. So what happens to our body when we aren’t getting the recommended amount of sleep?
A team of Norwegian neuroscientists have set out to answer this question. After doing numerous observations of sleep-deprived groups in a controlled environment, they have discovered that sleep deficiency can change the white matter in our brains. And according to other studies it can interfere with our genes, as well.
On the positive side, our bodies are good at repairing themselves. By getting enough amount of sleep, following a night of poor sleep, our bodies can repair the change in the brain’s white matter. However, a chronic state of sleep deprivation can result with long-term effects.
WHAT HAPPENS TO YOUR BODY WHEN YOU DON’T SLEEP ENOUGH
Our brains aren’t the only thing that suffers when we don’t sleep. Here are 8 additional ways a sleep deficiency can affect us.
1. WE GET SICK.
Studies have discovered that there is a direct link between sleep and our immune systems. When we have a lack of sleep, it’s more difficult for our bodies for fighting off the illnesses.
2. WE HAVE A HARD TIME THINKING.
According to a study by Experimental Brain Research, a lack of sleep leads to poor decision-making, diminished reasoning and problem-solving skills and slower reaction times when faced with specific tasks.
3. WE GAIN WEIGHT.
A three-year-long study conducted of over 21,000 adults evaluated the relationship between sleep and weight. It discovered that people who slept on average of less than 5 hours a night were not just more likely to gain weight, but had a rick of becoming obese as well.
4. WE PHYSICALLY AGE QUICKER.
A study of the sleep habits and skin condition of people between the ages of 30 and 50 showed that those who were not getting a proper sleep saw the effects in their skin. They noticed more wrinkles, fine lines, age spots and a lack of elasticity in the skin.
5. WE HURT OUR HEART.
When we don’t sleep enough, it can also have a negative impact on the health of the heart. A recent analysis by the European Heart Journal says that by not sleeping we increase the risk of coronary heart disease and stroke.
6. WE ARE MORE AT RISK FOR CANCER.
The American Academy of Sleep Medicine released a statement connecting the lack of sleep with higher rates of certain types of cancers, including breast, prostate, and colorectal cancers. It showed that people who were getting more than a 7 hours sleep per night had the lowest mortality rates in the group.
7. WE HAVE LESS SEX.
According to a study published by The Journal of the American Medical Association, men who slept less than 5 hours per night over a 1-week time period had lower testosterone levels than their proper-sleeping counterparts. Specifically, it reduced sex hormone levels by about 15%. In addition, with every night of less sleep their appetite for sex continued to decline.
8. WE EASILY FORGET THINGS.
Researchers have found that our brain consolidates things when we sleep, which makes it easier to recall. By not sleeping, our brain can’t do its job, therefore our memory suffers.
Getting a proper sleep, doesn’t just mean to look good or even to feel refreshed, even though they are benefits to a good night sleep. It’s safe to say that proper sleep can save your life. So, next time think twice before your next binge-watching session on Netflix and choose a better, healthier option instead.