Sleeping is one of the greatest activities that we do. When we are kids, we are used to taking naps and going to bed early and we take it for granted, but when we grow up we long for a good night of sleep. Sleeping is not only enjoyable, but it is also necessary for all kinds of organisms. According to experts, about 45% of the human population doesn’t sleep the recommended time to have an amicable life.
We know that we should get 8 hours of sleep every night, but do you know the consequences if we don’t do this as a routine?
Not sleeping properly, or at all, brings us several damages in the near future, it affects our bodies and our minds. There are different stages of damage, according to how much time you have spent awake, most of them are reversible but came from a habit or the lack of it, so they are a little bit difficult to get back on track.
When our organism and systems are tired and they have to do a lot of stuff the next day, like working or studying, they are doing an extra effort to keep going on their biological and mentals tasks, so it is like we are a phone whose battery is really low and doesn’t work as well as it usually would do if it was fully charged.
That is why we feel slow and dizzy if we don’t sleep. Our brain turns off all the activities it doesn’t consider important and we can not concentrate well, it doesn’t respond quickly to our requests and lead us to have a slow performance on our daily basis due to the decrease of cognitive abilities. But when we have extra energy, it feels optimistic, motivated, and enthusiastic to do all the things we planned out for the day.
The depriving of sleep can create a lot of chronic diseases, like hypertension, and heart conditions, but also it can make us vulnerable to common infections like colds because our immune system lowers its potential.
The endocrine system is very important for us, it controls most processes in our bodies by secreting all kinds of hormones, and when something is wrong with it, it can trigger a million things that would affect our health. This system works a lot while we sleep, so when it doesn’t have the time to do its job, it works wrong.
A lot of the diseases are related to hormones. In the moment of sleep, there are a lot of secretions, like the hormones that are in charge of glucose, appetite, and metabolism, so it can directly affect our diet, leading to obesity, diabetes, and digestive system complications.
Hormones are also the ones that control our humor and moods, so it isn’t weird that you are feeling a little bit cranky if you didn’t sleep well the night before. If the lack of sleep became something daily, you will always be irritable and this would affect your normal life in all kinds of situations.
Those mood swings are mainly for the action of cortisol, the stress hormone. While we sleep, the system relieves all the tension and stress that we could have accumulated through the day. If we don’t release that tension, or if it doesn’t produce our “happy” hormones, this can end in depression and anxiety.
While more time passes, the more affected your brain will be. It would slowly damage your judgment, and sometimes in extreme cases, it can create hallucinations and blackouts. A few days without sleeping can mess up your memory, and it can become something permanent if it isn’t controlled.
Of course, proper sleeping shouldn’t be interrupted, since if the stages of sleeping are disturbed, it would lead to the same problems we mentioned before. So if you sleep two hours and then wake up, and then fall asleep again for a couple of hours, it doesn’t count. It is okay to pull an all-nighter every now and then because of work, study, or a party, but don’t make it part of your routine.
Unfournley, some people really struggle to sleep a few hours at night, because of involuntary sleep deprivation, they have some conditions like insomnia, sleepwalking, or night terrors, but as long as they get the right help and the proper treatments, they will be okay and have a normal life.
If you often skip those hours of sleep at night, justifying that you are busy, do your best to make time for total resting in a comfortable environment, let your mind repose or this would affect your entire life, your moods, your behavior, your relationships, and responsibilities.
Also, sleep medication isn’t recommendable, since it tends to create addiction and makes it impossible to live without it. Always remember that it is important for physical and mental health, so don’t postpone it.