Most adults today do not get enough sleep. There are severe consequences of sleep deprivation on the brain and body. In a recent interview with The New York Times, Elon Musk, CEO, Tesla, and SpaceX, revealed that he does not get enough sleep and it is a growing concern for him and his friends.
Responding to this statement, Ariana Huffington posted a tweet about how Musk was promoting an exhausting culture that is mechanical, and an inefficient way of utilizing human resource. Musk posted his response on Twitter at 2:30 a.m.: “I just got home from the factory. You think this is an option. It is not.”
People, even though they recognize sleep deprivation as a problem, seem to do nothing about it. They give in to their busy schedules, which takes a toll on their health.
Here is a list of 30 consequences that you could face due to not getting enough sleep of 7-9 hours each day.
1. Higher risk of cancer
Colon and breast cancers have often been linked to the lack of sleep amongst adults.
2. Skin problems
Not sleeping enough can cause rapid skin aging and lead to slower recovery from skin issues.
3. Impulsive behavior
Sleep deprivation slows down thinking and makes the person impulsive leading to unhealthy weight gain and wrong action or poorer decisions.
4. Sense of loneliness
Loneliness and sleep deprivation are a vicious cycle because the two are synergistic and one facilitates the other.
5. Memory power reduced
Lack of sleep leads to low retentive abilities and weaker short-term memory. Children have a hard time remembering words or learning a new skill.
6. Long term memory affected
Sleeping less for a long time can lead to structural changes in the brain which affect long term memory, leading to diseases of forgetfulness.
7. Alzheimer’s disease could be triggered
The beta-amyloid protein in the brain is only cleansed of while sleeping. Retention of this protein can cause loss of memory leading to severe conditions like Alzheimer’s, Dementia, etc.
8. Increased heart risks
The blood pressure tends to fluctuate when there is lack of sleep in the body. Too many fluctuations could lead to a cardiac arrest, in worse cases.
Not getting enough sleep could push a person to being irritable at the slightest of things.
10. Visual errors
Sleepiness can sometimes cause our vision to err. Hallucinations and burning of the eyes are common consequences of the same.
11. Slower reflexes
Reflexes of a person can be highly affected by inadequate sleep, leading to poor decision-making skills and irresponsibility in general.
As reflexes become slower, the person becomes clumsier, making it difficult to do even the smallest and easiest of tasks with perfection.
13. Inefficient immunity system
The immunity system depends upon the proper resting of a body. Otherwise, it will be susceptible to infections.
14. Prone to common colds
Lack of sleep makes common colds easier to attack the body, due to its non-optimum defenses.
15. Low sex drive
Not sleeping makes it difficult to perform in bed and reduces sex drive, because the testosterone is replenished and released while sleeping, and drained after long waking hours.
16. Anxiety and depression
Anxiety and depression, and overall unhappiness are signs that your body is probably not well rested. Sleeping well helps deal with these problems of the mind better.
17. Type 2 diabetes
The risk of insulin resistance increases with decreasing sleep. It also messes with your metabolism, leading to higher chances of developing type 2 diabetes, even in non-overweight people.
18. Bad general management skills
Inadequate sleep can result in bad decision making which can lead to financial or professional problems. The lifestyle can be taxing for such people.
19. Reduced attention span
Sleepy people find it difficult to concentrate for long minutes and get distracted very fast, leading to lack of focus on things.
20. Difficulty in communication
Sleeplessness can lead to difficulty in keeping track of conversations, and inability to express articulately.
21. Road accidents
Drowsy driving has been a cause for a statistically significant number of road accidents. It’s similar to drunk driving.
22. Increased urination
Body slows down urine processing when a person is asleep. But in case of sleep deprivation, this regulatory measure stops, increasing urine production in the body.
23. Muscle damage takes a long time to heal
Rest is the only way to heal damage caused to any muscles. Stressed or damaged muscles and tissues don’t get enough time to recuperate, if the person does not sleep enough.
24. Chronic pains increase
This, again, is a vicious cycle where pain causes disturbed sleep and disturbed sleep causes for pains to increase. Chronic pains often have medication which have sleep medication in it, so that the body can rest better.
25. Gastro-intestinal issues
Lack of sleep leads to problems in digestion and bowel movements; which, in turn, can eventually cause serious gastro-intestinal problems like ulcers, inflammatory bowel syndrome or inflammatory bowel disease.
Waking up in the middle of your sleep can cause you severe headaches. Also, migraines have been long associated with irregular sleeping.
27. Inflammatory conditions triggered
When the cells and tissues of the body aren’t rested enough, it can cause the body to get inflamed, causing problems like asthma, arthritis, cardiovascular dysfunctions, etc.
28. Snoring or sleep apnea
Problems like snoring and sleep apnea, caused from restrictive breathing and disturbed sleep, can sometimes lead to conditions like cardiac arrest, if not looked into.
29. Genetic dysfunction
Research showed that people deprived of sleep have genetic dysfunctions and respond slower to development.
30. Shortened life span
Not being well rested brings with it several hazards, but over time, it can lead to an early death due to lack of rest and renewability of the body cells.
Thus, one must necessarily take some time out of their schedules to sleep at least a good 7-9 hours. In addition, make sure you relax on a comfortable mattress and pillow (I’m sure Elon Must has got this covered), choose the mattress you want (you might want to check this mattress reviews guide) and start improving the quality of your sleep routine. A sound and healthy sleep, as can be seen, will lead longer and healthier lives!