The Effects of Sleep Deprivation and the Impact of Your Daily Activites
Most people suffer from sleep deprivation at some point in their lives; maybe you’ve got a presentation or work interview coming up and you’re a little stressed out; or maybe you are feeling unwell. There are a lot of external factors that can cause you to lose an hour’s sleep every so often. It becomes a major problem when it happens regularly and several hours sleep are lost over the course of a week.
There are two types of effect from lack of sleep: – immediate and long term. Immediate effects may take the form of speech slurring or lack of co-ordination. You may need a little longer to wake up in the morning or you’ve just got to have a cup of coffee before you can get motivated to do anything. Or you could find yourself relying heavily on the alarm clock to wake you.
Other immediate effects include lethargy and lack of energy. Bad headaches and eyes aching are also common symptoms. You might put it down to the amount of alcohol you consumed the night before but in reality it is probably caused by a lack of quality sleep.
More serious side effects include sudden drowsiness, especially if you are driving or operating machinery. Many fatal accidents are caused by a driver falling asleep at the wheel of his vehicle. Sudden mood swings are also more evident; getting angry over the slightest little thing, crying at nothing or maybe even suffering from hyperactivity.
The long term effects of sleep deprivation are the most serious of all. In order for our bodies to function normally, the average person requires between seven and nine hours of quality sleep every night. During this time, our hearts slow down and rest but our brains continue to work, healing our bodies. Another process takes place whilst we are asleep – Our bodies process blood sugars and a protein hormone called Leptin. This is responsible for regulating our appetites and metabolism. If the body is not rested, this process cannot take place effectively, leading to fluctuations in weight. This in turn can lead to diabetes.
Another serious effect is on your heart. Like us, the heart needs a rest period. If it doesn’t get one it too becomes tired. Having your heart at work constantly can lead to high blood pressure, heart disease and a very high risk of a heart attack. In short, sleep deprivation can be a killer. Literally.