Sleep deprivation effects can impact your body, mind, and life in a number of different ways and in varying severities. Though it is obvious that we can feel tired and cranky when we haven’t had the rest we need, the truth is that the results can be much deeper and can be much longer lasting than bags under the eyes, yawning, and being a bit short tempered.
Depending on how long it has been happening, sleep deprivation effects can lead to weight fluctuations, heart disease, or even hallucinations.
Though many people may believe that they are getting enough rest every night, important research is repeatedly showing that approximately 80 percent of people are not receiving the minimum number of hours that is recommended for their age, gender, and health. Studies indicate that a healthy adult should be receiving between seven and a half to nine hours of sleep every night in order to ensure that the body and mind function at their best.
The following are some of the most common sleep deprivation effects:
- High blood pressure (hypertension) – individuals who sleep fewer than six hours each night have an increased risk of higher blood pressure. This is because sleeping gives the heart a rest as it will usually beat at a slower rate for a good length of time. However, when the number of hours of sleep are reduced, then the heart needs to work longer without the break that it needs. When the sleep deprivation effects occur over many nights – such as weeks or months – the overall daily blood pressure can suffer and it can lead to overall poorer heart health
- Lowered Immune System – without allowing your body to rest and rejuvenate, your immune system function will suffer. Studies have shown that fewer than six hours of rest every night will lead to a reduced response from that critical function of the body.
- Fluctuations in weight – one of the most difficult sleep deprivation effects to notice by the sufferer is weight fluctuations. However, studies show that people who have six hours or fewer of rest every night have a 27 percent greater likelihood of being overweight than people who have achieved nine hours per night.
- Memory loss – when you aren’t well rested, your brain doesn’t function as well as it should. Therefore, one of the sleep deprivation effects is to become more forgetful, to struggle to remember birthdays and due dates, as well as conversations and details that have been shared with you.