Being deprived of sleep is a common event observed these days. There seems to be loads of unfinished work and just half the amount of time to finish it. This ends up in extended periods of wakefulness, or less sleep over an amount of time, just to wrap up unfinished jobs. People don't realize that by losing out on sleep, they are hampering their body function, especially the brain which carries out the function of regeneration, during sleep. Eventually, sleep deprived neurons start to malfunction, causing visible behavioral changes, and thus, begins the fallout of events due to inadequate sleep. Here is what you may have to deal with if you are not getting enough sleep...
Immediate Side Effects
- You might feel pain in different areas around your head. There might be heaviness in the head.
- Eyes might feel tired, eyelids might feel heavy and you may find it hard to focus your attention on your computer/TV.
- If you haven't slept enough, notice the changes around your eyes. Bags will be visible under your eyes, and the area may seem dark.
- You can face trouble concentrating on your work/daily chores.
Physiological Side Effects
- Lack of sleep can cause acute muscle pains. You may have experienced this offhand after a night of incomplete sleep.
- Dizziness, nausea, and headaches are well-known side effects of lack of sleep. These side effects are tangible even after two consistent nights without much sleep.
- Irritability is probably the first visible side effect of lack of sleep. It is normal for someone who hasn't slept well at night to be irritable the next day.
- Memory loss and hallucinations are also acute lack of sleep side effects. In fact, the sad part about these side effects is that when you complain about it, seldom will someone believe you, right?
- A person having sleep deprivation is much more susceptible to having type 2 diabetes as compared to someone who gets the required amount of sleep.
- In fact, it has been researched and found that the effects of lack of sleep at an acute level, resemble those of psychosis or attention deficit hyperactivity syndrome. Scary, isn't it?
Serious Side Effects
- Lack of sleep suppresses the growth hormones and leads to higher levels of reaction to stress, decreases sex drive, affects immune system, moods, etc. This means that an individual starts losing his/her self-control.
- Sleep deprivation and psychosis have been closely linked by many studies. A person suffering from sleep deprivation is very much susceptible to being psychotic; and I don't mean this in an exaggerated manner.
- Fallout of lack of sleep rules over our healing abilities. Yes, lack of adequate rapid eye movement (REM) and non-rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep causes a slag in our ability in healing wounds. It also affects the immune system; hence, making it tougher to fight away diseases.
- This side effect is something that almost everyone may have noticed. If you have not slept at night, you will find it difficult to perform your activities the next day. Lack of sleep causes impairment of abilities. This is what makes you clumsy or "butterfingered" the next day.
- It has also been found that a side effect of sleep deprivation that has been under the radar for a while now, is obesity. So, not only is healthy eating required to avoid obesity, but also adequate sleep.
- All these side effects begin to show after some time of sleep deprivation. One night without proper sleep will not make you obese; however, a regular lifestyle around it will.
- Research also states that people who sleep for less than 7 hours a day, double their risk of death, especially due to cardiovascular diseases.
The ill effects of sleep deprivation are definitely scary. That is why they say "early to bed and early to rise, makes you healthy, wealthy and wise". Well, all I can say is that make sure you sleep for about 7-9 hours every day, and you would be away from any of the side effects outlined above.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a medical expert.