Sleepless Side Effects
The Effects of Sleep Deprivation
While most people don’t think twice about losing sleep or developing poor sleep habits, the effects of sleeplessness can be devastating to your personal and professional life, causing, among other things:
- Lack of motivation
- Weight gain and slower metabolism
- Irritability, moodiness, and depression
- Lack of creativity and problem solving
- Inability to cope with stress—especially emotional stress
- Frequent colds and sickness
- Lack of concentration, memory, and inability to learn
- Difficulty making decisions
- Increased risk of heart disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure
Some Common Myths about Sleep
Myth: Getting just one less hour of sleep per night won’t affect your ability to function during the day.
Truth: You may not be noticeably sleepy during the day. But even slightly less sleep can affect your ability to think properly and respond quickly and can compromise your cardiovascular health, energy balance, and ability to fight infections.
Myth: Your body adjusts quickly to different sleep schedules.
Truth: Most people can reset their biological clocks, but only with appropriately timed cues, and even then, by one to two hours each day at best. Consequently, it can take more than a week for your biological clock to adjust after traveling across several time zones or switching to the night shift.
Myth: Extra sleep alone at night can cure your excessive daytime fatigue.
Truth: Not only is the quantity of sleep important but also the quality. Some people sleep eight or nine hours a night but don’t feel well rested when they wake up because they aren’t sleeping well.
Myth: You can make up for lost sleep during the week by sleeping more on the weekends.
Truth: Although this sleeping pattern will help pay back part of a sleep debt, it will not completely make up for the lack of it. Also, sleeping later on the weekends can affect your biological clock. You may actually have a harder going to sleep at the right time on Sunday and getting up on Monday.