Who isn’t guilty of being cranky, snappy, and just a total grouch when they’re sleep deprived? Studies have shown that if you’re not getting enough zzz's, you’re at more likely to be depressed and stressed out. Lack of sleep also throws your hormones out of whack, leading to several health concerns like diabetes and obesity. To sum it up, when you’re well-rested, you’re more likely to function like a well-oiled machine. If not, you may feel like a weary mess who wishes to abandon all responsibilities and just wants to lie down on the floor.
Lack of sleep lowers immunity
If you’re a bad sleeper, you could be more prone to catching infections like a common cold and viral flu. Consistent sleep strengthens immunity because it is the period when your body is resting and repairing itself. Studies have found that at night, the production of cytokines (read: messenger molecules) is amped up. These protein cells reduce inflammation, promote healing, and recovery of the body.
Lack of sleep ages skin prematurely
All beauty lovers, take note. Sleep deprivation can lead to dull skin, puffiness and signs of ageing like fine lines and wrinkles. It also hampers the ability of the skin to heal and repair itself (think sun damage, acne and more). Seriously, getting enough rest is as essential as applying your sunscreen!
Lack of sleep affects your mental health
This one is a no-brainer. Sleep affects the way you cope with the minor stressors of life and lack of it can definitely leave you feeling overwhelmed and upset. Feelings of anxiety will be higher if you’re dealing with insomnia, and worrying about that will also prevent you from sleeping well. A vicious cycle, isn’t it? Studies have also found that people with sleep difficulties are twice as likely to develop depression over the years as compared to people who sleep well.
This may seem like a real horror but worrying about your sleep cycle won’t do you any favours. Counter it by making simple changes to your lifestyle. Commit to a specific time every day to hit the sack, and stick to it as much as possible. Take a warm shower before bed, dim the lights, and maybe read a book to calm your mind.
Lack of sleep decreases your problem-solving skills
Ever felt like your problems feel less tricky after sleeping on them? Studies have shown that you tend to find more creative solutions to your woes if you step away from them for a while. If you like, write down all your problems in a journal. Tell yourself you will tackle them tomorrow and that you’re just putting them away for a while.
Lack of sleep disturbs memory
One of the most important functions of sleep is to give your brain some time to process and record new memories that you’ve made in the day. When your sleep is disturbed, it can cause low concentration, forgetfulness and the inability to absorb new information. Waking up well-rested and alert goes a long way in helping you to recall new information.