It’s entirely frustrating when you’re tossing and turning at night, unable to sleep — or when life keeps you too busy to get adequate rest. If you’re experiencing a lack of sleep, you may begin to experience the harmful effects of sleep deprivation.
What Triggers Sleep Deprivation?
You can become sleep-deprived by staying out late with friends on the weekends or by working too hard. While it’s easy to joke about being sleep deprived, not getting enough sleep can negatively affect your body. It’s recommended that our bodies get between seven to nine hours of sleep each night. It doesn’t matter what causes poor sleep hygiene — you’ll become sleep-deprived if you don’t get enough sleep over the course of a couple of nights.
What Are the Symptoms?
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to tell you that sleep deprivation will make you feel sleepy — but what other underlying symptoms are there? If you’re sleep-deprived, you’ll be able to look in the mirror and see it for yourself. You will likely have dark circles around your eyes, and your skin will look dull. Renowned sleep expert Dr Debra Jaliman, MD, emphasizes the impact that sleep deprivation has on the skin: “Getting enough sleep helps skin restore itself. The cells regenerate, and DNA repair is also boosted during this period.” Sleep also controls the hormones in our body — so you’re more prone to acne if you aren’t getting adequate beauty sleep (it turns out there’s a reason people call it that).
While there are noticeable physical differences, you’ll begin to notice some unwelcomed physiological effects as well. You’re likely to become more irritable at things that may not have irritated you beforehand. Situations that you may typically navigate with ease could become difficult for you — or just flat-out annoying. Your body relies on sleep to regulate ghrelin and leptin, or the hormones that affect hunger. You will likely become more hungry during the day if you’re sleep deprived — which means you could gain weight or make unhealthy food choices. Here are some other symptoms worth mentioning:
- Trouble with memory
- Lack of impulse control
- Decision-making skills are off
- Trouble regulating emotions
- Unable to focus
Are There Long-Term Effects?
Sleep is essential for your body to function optimally, so adverse long-term effects occur when the body is sleep-deprived. Increased blood pressure and higher heart rates are standard for those with long-term sleep deprivation. Sleep loss is also associated with obesity, type two diabetes, and heart complications.
If you feel that you identify with the symptoms listed above, we recommend consulting your doctor to determine if you have sleep deprivation. A medical professional will be able to develop a plan with you — so you can rid yourself of the detrimental effects of sleep loss. While you’re crafting a plan with your doctor to achieve better sleep, take a look at our comfortable mattresses that will support you (literally and figuratively) while you overcome sleep deprivation.