9 Dangers Of Sleep Deprivation You Need to Know
Written by: Lindsay Sibson
“BITE ME.” This silly 90’s slang phrase is precisely how I feel when I am super tired.
I’m a nice person. Happy, too.
I smile and laugh and think life is a grand adventure!
UNTIL I am tired. Then it takes all of my effort just to keep it together long enough until I can reunite with my bed.
Sleep deprivation can do some strange, evil and unwelcoming things to your mind and body, some things you may not even realize!
WHY Is Sleep So Important?
When you sleep, your body is busy working to prepare all of your systems for the next day! From repairing cells and tissues to giving your mind a well needed rest, SLEEP is just as important as breathing and eating.
Just one week of not enough sleep can alter the activity of your genes and negatively influence all aspects of your health (immunity, stress, inflammation, mental and emotional). It even impacts your coordination and decision-making abilities.
Here are 9 hidden health hazards of not getting enough sleep:
1. Impaired Cognition: Lack of sleep leaves your brain exhausted. Your memory, concentration levels and ability to think and process information will all be negatively impacted by skimping on sleep.
2. Higher Levels Of Anxiety: Lack of sleep intensifies the brain’s anticipatory reactions, which increases your feelings or worry and nervousness.
3. Higher Levels Of Depression: Not sleeping enough decreases your levels of neurotransmitters, which regulate your mood. Therefore, your emotions and temperament becomes impaired and can lead to mood swings and outbursts.
4. Higher Risk of Stroke: Sleep plays a crucial role in repairing your body’s blood vessels and heart. Lack of sleep negatively affects your cardiovascular health, which increases the risk of restricting blood flow to the brain.
5. Unhealthy Cravings: Sleep helps maintain a healthy balance of hormones. When you skip on catching zzzz’s your ghrelin (feeling hungry) levels increase while leptin (feeling full) levels decrease.
6. Higher Risk Of Diabetes: Sleep deprivation triggers your stress response, leading to a rise of your stress hormones cortisol and norepinephrine. These hormones are linked with insulin resistance.
7. Increased Risk Of Breast Cancer: Late night exposure to light is linked to reduced melatonin production, which disrupts estrogen production. Too much estrogen in your body promotes the growth of breast cancer.
8. Higher Risk Of Injury: When you disrupt your natural body clock and sleep schedule, it leads to poor white blood cell health. As a result, your physical stress response is weakened.
9. Higher Risk Of Hypertension: Sleep helps your body regulate stress hormones. When you only sleep between 5-6 hours a night, these stress hormones become unregulated. Thus, lack of sleep increases your risk of having high blood pressure.
HOW Can You Get BETTER Sleep?
Follow these 3 tips:
1. 4-7-8 Breath Technique: Developed by Dr. Andrew Weil, this method helps you tap into calming your mind through your lungs. Breathe in 4 seconds, hold your breath for 7 seconds, slowly exhale for 8 seconds. Watch this video to learn more.
2. Step Away From Technology: Turn off the TV, tablet, cell phone etc. AT LEAST 1 hour before bed. Dim the lights in your bedroom, maybe read a book to get yourself ready for a great night of sleep.
3. Rub Your Feet: Your feet are packed with reflexology points! Reflexology relaxes your mind and is great to utilize to get a good night’s sleep. Pay close attention to your big toe and give it a good rub. Follow these guidelines for your nightly foot massage.
Share this post with your friends and family who you want to get a great night of sleep TONIGHT. Sweet dreaming!
Lindsay Sibson turned her lifelong dream of traveling the world into a reality when she first stepped on a plan in April of 2014. With the simple intention of learning more about this beautiful world, she stepped away from corporate America to explore an alternative lifestyle of long term international travel, volunteering, blogging and pursuing a blissfully happy and fulfilling way of life.
Lindsay documents her journey in hopes of empowering others to find their passion, reignite their spark and freshen their outlook on life. Connect with her on her website and follow her travels on Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/_traveloholic_).
Through her blog, Lindsay documents her journey in hopes of empowering others to find their passion, reignite their spark and freshen their outlook on life.
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