Lack Of Sleep: 8 Facts To Help You Get Off The Couch And Into Bed

Lack of sleep is perhaps more serious than previously thought, new research suggests.

Do you take your sleep seriously? Not many do. In fact, very few realize how important sleep is for your health. Don’t believe me? Here are eight things you probably didn’t know about the effects of not getting enough sleep.

1. Reckless Driving? Your own lack of sleep could affect others, according to WebMD. Not getting the recommended eight hours of sleep a night can have the same effects as drinking alcohol while operating a vehicle.

2. Wrinkles. Let’s face it: no one likes looking older, but have you heard that not sleeping enough can actually make you physically age faster? Again according to WebMD, lack of sleep causes the stress hormone cortisol to go into overdrive, causing wrinkles, puffy, baggy eyes, and all the signs of an older you.

3. Growth Spurt? Maybe not. Healthline notes a lack of sleep has a major effect on growth in children. While sleeping, the brain actually releases growth hormones in children. If your kids aren’t getting enough sleep, it may potentially stunt their growth.

4. Rest in Peace. According to Metro, a study conducted at the University of Warwick showed that persons who had less than eight hours sleep per night had higher risks of dying at any time. Men were twenty one percent (21%) more likely to die while women were five percent (5%) more likely.

5. *Cough cough* If you’re not getting a solid eight hours of sleep every night, you’re putting your immediate health on the line. The immune system produces protective antibodies while you sleep at night, according to Healthline. If you’re suffering from lack of sleep, your immune system doesn’t get to do its job properly, making you more susceptible to diseases. On top of that, lack of sleep could increase your risk of getting cancer, especially breast and prostate cancer, or diabetes.

6. Depression. Lack of sleep may lead to depression. Feeling tired and sluggish can actually contribute to overall depression, as it becomes easier to succumb to any and all emotions that you may feel.

7. Say Goodbye to that Bikini Body. The amount of sleep you get each night has a direct impact on your weight-loss goals. The less sleep you get, the more you eat. Think about it: if you’re awake more often, your body has more time to think about being hungry. Lack of sleep can be a huge obesity-causing factor.

8. Drinking and Smoking and Sex, Oh My! According to Metro, people who sleep less than the recommended amount every night are more likely to drink and smoke. It also makes them less likely to be physically or sexually active. Lack of sleep may also lead to substance abuse among teens.

The next time you’re debating watching one more episode of Once Upon a Time on Netflix or going to sleep, choose sleep. Doing so just may save your life!

[Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons/ CC BY 2.0]