10 Surprisingly Dangerous Side Effects of Sleep Deprivation (Lack of Sleep)

10 Surprisingly Dangerous Side Effects of Sleep Deprivation (Lack of Sleep)

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6. Increased Irritability

When you’re feeling tired, you’re more likely to get irritated at the smallest things. You’re more likely to go through mood swings and snap at other people including friends, family and co-workers. Irritability can affect your ability to concentrate and your relationships at work and at home. Irritability and stress are significantly correlated. Increased levels of irritability is also connected to increased levels of stress hormones in your body.

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7. Poor Quality of Life

Lack of sleep means less energy. You’ll get tired easily. And when you are tired, you basically don’t really have the energy to go anywhere or see anyone.

Unfortunately, you may have to skip out on your company’s outing or miss spending quality time with friends and family, and this can strain your relationships. Staying inside all of the time can give you a mean case of cabin fever and a lack of socialization can have a negative impact on your mental health and may even lead to depression, which is common in people who suffer from sleep deprivation.

8. Impaired Memory and Brain Function

Sleep deprivation can impair many functions of the brain, including how it processes information and how you think, make decisions and how you learn simple tasks. Remember that when we sleep, our brain weeds out unnecessary neural connections and nurture more efficient neural networks. Essentially, the brain cleans and sharpens itself when we sleep.

But when we do not, we are not giving the brain a chance to re-energize, clean, and sharpen. Consequently, a lack of sleep also impairs your memory. During the REM cycle of sleep, the brain consolidates and organizes your memories, so if you aren’t getting enough REM sleep, this can affect your ability to remember.

9. Decreased Alertness

When you’re sleepy, your mind feels foggy and it can be difficult to shake that feeling. That foggy feeling means you’re less alert – up to 32 percent less alert, according to WebMD. This can lead to a decrease in your performance at work or school.

10. Increased Risk of a Car Accident

Because a lack of sleep causes a decrease in your alertness and ability to concentrate, it also affects your ability to make decisions behind the wheel. Many car accidents are caused by drivers who fall asleep at the wheel and many more are caused by drivers who feel tired and sleepy while driving. Drowsiness can also increase your risk of accident at work, at school and even at home.

Final Thoughts

Sleep. Sleep. Sleep. If you are having difficulty sleeping, find ways to ease that difficulty. It’s not an excuse not to sleep. You have to work for it if you find it difficult to snooze off. Sleep deprivation can be dangerous. Remember that.

Sources:

The Huffington Post. (2013). 8 Scary Effects Of Getting Too Little Sleep. [online] Available at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/09/18/scary-sleep-deprivation-effects_n_2807026.html  [Accessed 15 Apr. 2017].

Mercola.com. (2017). What Happens in Your Body When You’re Sleep Deprived?. [online] Available at: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2016/03/03/sleep-deprivation-effects.aspx  [Accessed 15 Apr. 2017].

Science, L. (2015). The Spooky Effects of Sleep Deprivation. [online] Live Science. Available at: http://www.livescience.com/52592-spooky-effects-sleep-deprivation.html  [Accessed 15 Apr. 2017].

Nhs.uk. (2017). Why lack of sleep is bad for your health. [online] Available at: http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/tiredness-and-fatigue/Pages/lack-of-sleep-health-risks.aspx  [Accessed 15 Apr. 2017].

WebMD. (2017). Sleep Loss: 10 Surprising Effects. [online] WebMD. Available at: http://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/features/10-results-sleep-loss#1  [Accessed 15 Apr. 2017].

Healthline. (2017). Effects of Sleep Deprivation on the Body. [online] Available at: http://www.healthline.com/health/sleep-deprivation/effects-on-body  [Accessed 15 Apr. 2017].

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