One’s health is like a three-legged stool, with the first two legs being diet and exercise and the third—most important—being sleep. Whether you have a sleep disorder or you’re not getting enough sleep because of lifestyle choices, research has shown that a lack of sleep can eventually lead to medical and psychological problems such as cancer, dementia, diabetes, obesity, depression, and so much more. But don’t worry, there are ways to help you get to sleep faster, sleep longer, and wake up refreshed each morning so you can avoid all the shocking issues this article is about to reveal.
As a society, we are so sleep deprived that when we lose JUST one hour of sleep, it completely sidelines us. In fact, there have been studies done both in the US and UK that after daylight savings time, there’s about a 10 percent increase in automobile accidents. Now imagine, losing an hour of sleep because you had to stay up writing a paper, or you had to finish that last chapter, or you started the movie too late, or for some other reason you just had to stay up. Then keep in mind that you’re not the only one putting off sleep because everyone does it. Now think about how the next day you’re waking up groggy and getting in behind the wheel…and how all those other people are doing the same. Scary, I know.
Here are the 6 shocking truths behind not getting enough sleep…
Despite what many might think, a lack of sleep doesn’t only make underlying conditions worse, it can also have a direct effect on one’s health, causing issues when there weren’t any before. For example, if you’re suffering from sleep deprivation and not getting enough quality sleep, that can lead to obesity, metabolic problems like diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. Plus, inadequate sleep destroys your immune system, making you more susceptible to viruses.
Essentially, become exposed to a virus while sleep deprived, you’re more likely to catch it. But don’t worry, there are ways to help you improve sleep. Keep reading…
The more research there is, the more it’s beginning to look like quality sleep at the recommended hours is important in preventing or delaying the onset of dementia. Not only that, for those without cognitive problems, there is a lot of evidence that your sleep is required for two aspects of memory:
Essentially, our memory is connected to how well we sleep, so finding a way to sleep better is extremely important because there’s more…
Some of the initial impacts of sleep deprivation involve positive emotions—for someone who is sleep deprived, it’s hard for them to relate or identify positive emotions. Basically, they don’t show positive emotion in their faces and they’re unable to recognize happy emotions on other people’s faces. For them, a positive look on someone’s face can appear neutral, and a neutral look is often interpreted as a negative look. The sleep-deprived brain may not be as capable of detecting positive emotions as a more rested brain, and people with tired brains don’t tolerate disappointment.
All that said, it’s clear that sleep is a major factor in keeping us happy, which means finding a way to improve our sleep is crucial for happier and better days.
As little as one night of sleep disruption can result in a person having what’s called microsleeps the next day. Essentially, a person begins to fall into mini-snooze sessions throughout the day which last about 30 seconds. During that time people are completely blind—they’re not processing any information—and yet people’s eyes remain open. Now, imagine having that happen behind the wheel.
Don’t let yourself suffer through microsleeps. Finding a way to sleep better is the only way because microsleeps aren’t the worst of it.
Losing a night’s worth of sleep can cause delirium—an abrupt change in the brain— that causes mental confusion and emotional disruption. When people are required to sleep under conditions involving too much light, or too much sound occurring all day and night, they can develop delirium. When this occurs too often, it’s fairly common for people to develop insomnia.
This is why prioritizing sleep is a must because it gets even worse.
Seeing things that aren’t there can be a side effect of chronic sleep deprivation. When people are sleepy and performing a task, it’s possible that when sleep deprived they may see something flicker in their peripheral vision, or they may think they see blinking lights, but not be sure. These are all instances where the brain isn’t interpreting information clearly.
As you can see, sleep is extremely important for our mental health and if you haven’t found a way to improve your sleep, you should.
It may not kill you directly, but there’s no denying that lack of sleep causes other factors that can very well lead to your death.
Everything we know about sleep loss is harmful. That said, don’t worry, most of the effects sleep deprivation causes can be mended when you sleep.
It’s possible to recover from sleep deprivation by sleeping more.
You can start by developing a strong sleep routine. Make sure you’re going to sleep at a time that allows you to get the recommended hours of sleep (7-8). This will help get your body on a consistent sleep schedule. Now you might be thinking…but I can’t just fall asleep.
If that’s the case, you might want to think about investing in a weighted blanket. They’ve been proven to help improve sleep by encouraging the body to relax and fall asleep quicker and sleep longer.
Keep in mind that the longer you’ve been awake, the longer it will take to get back on track—just 1 hour of sleep loss requires 4 days to recover. That said, you shouldn’t allow sleep deprivation to fester. Taking control of your sleep and starting your sleep recovery journey should start now.
Start with a weighted blanket.
Weighted blankets have been considered a good investment as a home therapy tool. They provide similar benefits to deep pressure therapy and have shown positive results for several conditions including autism, ADHD, and anxiety. But most of all, they can calm the restless body, reduce feelings of anxiety and improve sleep so that you’re happier throughout the day.
In the end, if you want to get to sleep faster, sleep longer and wake up refreshed in the morning, the weighted blanket may be the way—invest in your happiness and get one today.