31 things that can happen to you if you don't get enough sleep

Sleep deprivation is a real problem. It not only causes severe health disorders but is also the reason for fatal road accidents across the globe. Here's what happens when you don't get enough sleep

Sleep loss has become a major issue these days. Depending upon the age, most adults require between 7 to 9 hours of sleep every day. However, most people get less than 7 hours of sleep every day, thanks to the hectic work culture these days.

While work might be important, the significance of proper sleep cannot be ignored. Sleep is not only essential for getting your body some much-needed rest after a day long’s work, but it is also vital for keeping certain types of cancers at bay. To give you a more realistic view of the problem at hand, sleep deprivation is one of the leading causes of both industrial and road accidents around the globe. Reportedly, 20% of fatal road accidents are caused due to drowsiness in the US.  These statistics are consistent in Australia as well.

So, here’s a list of 31 things that will happen to you if you don’t get enough sleep:

1) Irritability
Emotional irritability is a common side effect of sleep deprivation. Loss of sleep for a prolonged period of time also leaves a negative impact on your emotional health.

2) Mood Swings
Never trust the emotional intelligence of a man who hasn’t been sleeping well for long. Apart from being temperamental, sleep loss can also cause mood swings.

3) Faulty short-term memory
Research shows that not just in kids, but sleep deprivation also wreaks havoc on the short-term memory of adults as well. In some cases, it also affects your memory such that you are unable to remember basic tasks that you performed the day before.

4) Difficulty learning new things
Sleep deprivation affects your memory. This makes it difficult for the brain to form new connections and remember new things.

5) Aging
No one wants to look old and have a skin full of wrinkles and scars. Researchers suggest that individuals who don’t get adequate hours of sleep have a hard time recovering from the skin damage caused due to UV rays compared with people who sleep well.

6) Weight gain
Sleep deprivation causes impulse issues. People who don’t get adequate sleep have a hard time resisting food high in calories, which leads to weight gain.

7) Poor vision
Don’t be surprised if you have blurry vision after a prolonged period of staying awake. FYI sleep deprivation also causes double vision and hallucinations.

8) Increased risk of cancer
Sleep deprivation not only messes with your brain but also with your body on a cellular level. Lack of sleep has been associated with several types of cancers including prostate cancer, colorectal cancer, and breast cancer.

9) Heart diseases
Sleep deprivation is not only bad for your brain but also for your heart as it can cause coronary heart disease or even a stroke.

10) Weak immune system
Lack of sleep weakens your immune system making it less competent in warding off infections. It also makes you vulnerable to falling sick easily.

11) Cloudy judgement
Missing even one night of good sleep can cloud your judgement and cause major cognition issues. It can also affect your ability to make decisions, reason, and solve problems.

12) No sex drive
Sleep deprivation decreases your libido count and diminishes your sex drive.

13) Increases risk of diabetes
Apart from messing with your waistline, reduced sleep also messes with the insulin level in your body, making your more vulnerable to getting diabetes.

14) More prone to accidents
As mentioned earlier, sleep deprivation is one of the leading causes of accidents around the world. Reduced sleep decreases alertness and clouds judgement leading to fatal accidents.

15) Risk of getting Alzheimer’s
Researches show that lack of sleep increases the risk of a protein called beta-amyloid in the brain, which is one of the markers of Alzheimer’s disease. It also increases the risk of dementia.

16) Greater reaction time
Normally our brains take fractions of seconds to respond to any stimulus. However, lack of sleep increases your reaction time and prevents you from making decisions quickly.

17) Increased production of urine
When your body doesn’t get enough rest owing to lack of sleep, urine production in your body increases significantly. This condition is called nocturia.

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18) Lack of alertness
When your body doesn’t get enough sleep, your mind has trouble focusing and staying alert and attentive. You also get distracted easily.

19) Blurry speech
If your body doesn’t get the adequate amount of sleep for a prolonged period of time, can affect your thoughts and your ability to speak normally. Researches show that sleep-deprived people tend to use word repetitions frequently.

20) Common cold
Are you wondering why you have running nose all the time? Well, the reason is pretty simple– you are not getting enough sleep. Researches show that people who get less than 7 hours of sleep a day are more prone to common cold.

21) Muscle atrophy
Lack of proper sleep makes it difficult for your body to build new muscles and recover from old injuries or damage caused by exercise.

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22) Depression
According to a research, lack of sleep has been associated with depression. People with insomnia are twice as likely to develop depression, other people.

23) Gastrointestinal diseases
Reduced sleeping time has been associated with increased Inflammatory Bowel Disease and Crohn’s disease.

24) Migraines
Have you ever noticed why you get a terrible headache after a prolonged period of lack of sleep? Blame it on the sleep deprivation.

25) Ulcerative colitis
A 2014 study suggests that both too much and too little sleep can cause ulcerative colitis, which is an ulcer in the lining of the digestive tract.

26) More stress hormones
Our bodies react to the lack of adequate sleep by releasing stress hormone called cortisol. This not only affects your skin but also increases the risk of developing diabetes.

27) Less growth hormone
Sleep deprivation forces the body to decrease the secretion of growth hormone in the body. FYI, you need this hormone for increasing muscle mass and strengthening bones.

28) Crappy appetite
Poor sleeping habits increase our appetite, which means that you end up eating more than your body requires. This, in turn, causes obesity.

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29) Increased pain senstivity
Chronic pain decreases sleep. On the flipside, a prolonged period of sleep deprivation decreases pain threshold.

30) Risk-taking behaviour
Planning to take an important financial decision? Make sure that you are well rested. Reduced sleep tends to increase financial risk-taking behaviour in people.

31) Death
People who do not get an adequate amount of sleep consistently are likely to die sooner than the people who get adequate sleep.

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