If you’ve ever spent a night of ‘sleep’ tossing and turning, you know how it makes you feel the next day – lethargic, irritable and not yourself. But missing out on adequate sleep does more than turn you into a grouch. The effects of poor sleep are all too real, and could even put your health at risk – both mentally and physically.
Have you ever met someone who claims to only sleep 4-5 hours a night? Or less? Maybe that person is you. In either case, I’m always baffled by this information because I literally cannot function without a solid 7-8 hours. Sometimes I’ll sleep as long as 10 hours a night! #ilovesleep
If you’re getting by on little sleep, here’s a fun fact: most healthy adults need between 7-9 hours of sleep each night to function at their best.
Hooray! I passed. What about you – where do you fall on the sleep spectrum? Whether it’s a jam-packed schedule, stress or insomnia, if you’re consistently sleeping less than 7 hours a night, it’s time to put sleep at the top of your priority list – especially if you care about your health.
Sleep deprivation could weaken your immune system. Do you find yourself catching common ‘bugs’ like colds, flus and infections? Or, does it take you longer to recover from illness? If so, the amount of sleep you’re getting could be the culprit. Too little sleep weakens your immune system’s defenses, making you more likely to get sick when exposed to germs. Additionally, sleep deprivation has been linked to more serious health problems like diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease.
Inadequate sleep makes it harder to think, focus and concentrate. As a writer, I am all too familiar with the term ‘writer’s block.’ But I’ll tell you one thing I know for sure – this is way worse after the nights I lay awake for hours thinking about how I’m not sleeping. That’s because lack of sleep interferes with your ability to concentrate, be creative and problem-solve. So, if your work, grades or ability to count money when paying for groceries is suffering, you might want to start going to bed a little earlier.
Trouble getting to bed at a reasonable hour? Try these tips for a wind down routine!
Not sleeping enough adds pounds. I hate to say it, but it’s true. No matter how hard you’re working in the gym or how #onpoint your diet is, you could gain weight if you’re not sleeping enough. Why? Sleep deprivation can cause chemical imbalances in your brain, including those that send signals of fullness. As a result, people with poor sleeping habits are more likely to overindulge even on a full stomach.
Lack of sleep could cause memory issues. I’ll never forget the time my husband and I were shopping together and I couldn’t remember his cell phone number. I can’t be sure if lack of sleep was to blame, but it definitely could be! That’s because over time, lack of sleep causes memory problems. During sleep, the brain forms connections that help us process and remember information. Keep your memory young with good sleep! Pro tip: try some lifestyle changes.
Consistent lack of sleep could make you moody. ‘Wow, you woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning,’ is not what you want to hear at your important business meeting (or really ever). According to sleep experts, sleep deprivation can take you from Positive Polly to Negative Nancy. If the moodiness continues, this could even lead to worser issues like anxiety and depression.
Your health matters. So why not invest in it? Just like you’ve invested in healthy foods, gym memberships and medical visits, invest in long-term physical and mental health with a Sleep Number® bed!