• Andrew Kidd

What Happens When You Don't Get Enough Sleep?

Being healthy doesn’t just mean doing one thing. For instance, just because you exercise doesn’t mean you are considered a healthy person. Several different things all incorporated together put you in a good position to be healthy and energetic and sleep is a big part of that puzzle.

Eating right and exercising aren’t enough. Sleep is incredibly important to help support eating right, your mood, self confidence and your decision making (which can be related to food as well). Sleep is a crucial part of being healthy.

How Much Sleep do we Need?

There is a window of hours for the general population (18 to 65 + years) which is 7 to 9 hours a night. Younger demographics require more sleep.

What Happens If I Don’t Get Enough Sleep?

There are plenty of things that happen and can happen as a result of not getting enough sleep or being sleep deprived. It will be glaringly obvious as you read through the negative side effect how important it is to get plenty of good sleep. Here are some of the side effect:

Drowsiness During the Day

Not getting enough rest can create the head bob. Lack of sleep can make you feel sleepy and tired throughout the day. If you feel drowsy, low on energy or yawning, it could be due to not getting enough restful deep sleep.

Memory and Learning Ability Impaired

When you don’t get enough sleep it can affect your cognitive ability to process information or to remember things. Can’t remember what you read, or what some told to you? These sorts of things happening are pretty common among individuals that are running through the day on a limited amount of sleep.

Stress on Relationships

When you don’t sleep well it can adversely affect how you respond to people around you including coworkers, your spouse, your children and your friend. If you are moody as a result of your lack of sleep you are likely to respond less than politely and have more conflicts with others.

Weight Gain

When you can’t make good decisions because of being tired, you might not make the best decision with your food choices and have less energy to want to exercise. When your diet and movement are not in check, weight gain is likely to take place.

Immune system compromised

Sleep allows for your body to restore organ function, lowers blood pressure allowing your blood vessels and your heart a chance to rest and recover. Our body repairs muscles and organs during sleep. In addition to all that, there are also chemicals that circulate in your blood that will strengthen your immune system when you sleep (which is super important).

Lack of Sleep Creates Symptoms of ADHD

Hard to believe but it’s true. Sleep deprivation symptoms are very similar to ADHD symptoms. Those with ADHD many times have problems remembering things and have a hard time concentrating.

Takes Toll on Decision Making and Reaction Time

There are countless reports of folks who are so drowsy that they don’t make the right decisions while driving or they can’t react fast enough while driving to avoid an accident. Sleep deprivation (17 to 24 hours awake) has been compared to having 2 to 4 glasses of wine in relation to the behavioral changes that start to happen.

Folks that Lack Sleep are 5 Times More Likely to Get Sick

When your body can’t fully restore itself and your immune system is weakened, it’s no wonder why folks who don’t get enough sleep find themselves getting sick more often than others.

Shortens Life Span

It only makes sense based on the aforementioned things shared that happen when you are sleep deprived. Whether it be the actual physical toll on the body because it can’t repair and rejuvenate itself or a result of an unfortunate accident that could happen due to impaired decision making or judgement.

There are some things you have little control over like your work schedule and outside commitments (like taking your kids to school and sports practices, making dinner, etc..), but you have control over what time you can shut it all down and head to bed. You have control over how much television you watch or video games you play. You have control as to how much time you spend on your phone, especially when in bed.

In the next article I will share with you how to start getting better sleep so you can function at the highest level possible physically and mentally.


Dr. A’s Habits of Health

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