Lately I have been pushing the envelope a bit too far it seems. With so much to do at home, at work and at the gym, I have taken “sleep is for the weak” to the next level.
Reaching a point where I could no longer focus and had started to see moving spots during the day, I realised it was time to take some action.
Often times, we think we can catch up on sleep later and that losing a few hours of sleep to catch up on work/hobbies/social life will be worth it in the end. But will it?
Here are some compelling facts which highlight how even minor sleep deprivation can cause serious damage to your health.
- Stress & sleep have a huge effect on our bodies and energy levels.
- Sleep deprivation hits your central nervous system hard: it interferes with your ability to concentrate and learn new things. It can negatively impact both short-term and long-term memory. It gets in the way of your decision-making process and stifles creativity. Overall cognitive function is impaired
- Your emotions are also affected, making you more likely to have a short temper and mood swings. Over time, lack of sleep and sleep disorders can contribute to the symptoms of depression.
- Lack of sleep makes you fatter. There is a 20% increase in appetite when even slightly sleep deprived.
- Sleep loss also causes the body to release too little human growth hormone. In fact, research has found that fat loss is 50% lower and muscle loss is 50% higher in people who sleep 5.5 hours a night compared to those who sleep 8 hours a night.
- Studies have shown that the eye needs at least five hours of sleep per night to properly replenish. Without enough time to revive themselves, your eyes cannot work at their full potential.
- Chronic sleep loss can lead to lackluster skin, fine lines, and dark circles under the eyes.This is due to all the excess cortisol (stress hormone) released as the body struggles to cope with less sleep.
- Research shows that stress doubles the time the body needs to recover from workouts (and hence if you are going through a stressful period in life, you need more sleep!)
Are you ready to make sleep your priority? Here are some tips to get you started: