Not getting enough sleep can have a definite impact on your life. Whether it’s from insomnia, sleep apnea, Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS), or another sleep disorder, the danger of sleep deprivation is undeniable, manifesting in both minor and major ways and creating problems for your work, school, and day-to-day activities.
Your body requires a certain amount of sleep in order to function properly and if it doesn’t get enough, it will naturally try to find ways to reconcile the problem. For many, a solution isn’t always easy to find.
Many people don’t even recognize they have a problem to begin with, failing to note the subtle symptoms and then, not taking the time to investigate the possible causes. If your body doesn’t get a sufficient amount of sleep, the effects can begin with fatigue and overall drowsiness.
You may feel tired during the day, which could ultimately impact your physical and mental health. For older people, sleep deprivation typically means that restorative sleep is lacking so their bodies aren’t recharging properly for the next day. This pattern accumulates until it becomes a true medical condition that requires attention.
Another physical effect that a lack of sleep can result in is weight change – in particular, weight gain. One of the benefits of quality sleep is that your hormone levels are regulated.
But if you suffer from sleep deprivation, then your hormone levels grow to be imbalanced and as a result, some of your psychological processes – such as appetite – also change. You may feel hungry when you’re not – or in some cases, not full when you are.
Chronic sleeplessness can also lead to depression, irritability, and impatience. Unfortunately, emotional frustration is one symptom that people may feel they don’t need to address.
Some may even fail to see how their mood swings and emotional outbursts or breakdowns are linked to sleep, choosing to assign the blame elsewhere and focusing attention away from the real cause: a lack of sleep.
The dangers of sleep deprivation to one’s physical and emotional well-being range from slurred speech and anger to a slow breakdown of the body’s immune system, making you susceptible to injury, the common cold, and more.
Have you ever driven your car while drowsy? The inherent danger is obvious. And while it may be a dramatic example, it’s also one that’s all too common – a powerful illustration of how important it is to get enough sleep.
Proper sleep is a vital component to being healthy and it needs to be treated with the same concern and care that your other healthcare issues receive. The consequences of ignoring your sleep deprivation could be harmful to yourself or another person, depending on the circumstances.