Why You Need Your Sleep: It’s Not Only Healthier, It’s Downright Dangerous To Skimp On Sleep
We’ve all had those foggy mornings when we’ve not gotten quite enough sleep the night before. Worse still are the dreary, endless afternoons, the smell of the fifth pot of coffee of the day burning down to black tar, the warm afternoon sunlight making your cubicle feel like you’re moving in amber.
We’ve all snapped at a co-worker or a loved one, or felt our brains just weren’t firing on all cylinders when we’re sleep deprived, but the consequences of lack of sleep can run far deeper–and into more dangerous territory than that. here are few reasons to make sure you get all the snooze time you need.
• Accidents will happen – A recent study showed that drowsy driving can be as big a safety hazard on the road as drunk driving, and for the young and invincible, the problem is worse. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, fatigue is a cause in 100,000 auto crashes and 1,550 crash-related deaths every year in the U.S.–and people under 25 years old are the most susceptible.
• Dumb and dumber – It’s no illusion: sleep deprivation really does make you dumber. Without proper rest, your cognitive functions are affected, impairing your attention, alertness, ability to concentrate and problem-solving skills. Also, part of the reason for sleep is for our brains to “consolidate” memories created that day in our minds. Without enough sleep, this critical function is shortchanged, and you can’t remember as well what you learned.
• Serious health problems – Some 90 percent of people who are insomniacs have some other serious health condition. Sleep deprivation has been linked to heart disease, heart attacks, heart failure, irregular heartbeat, high blood pressure, stroke and diabetes to name a few.
• No sexy-time – Sleep deprivation has been shown to kill the sex drive in both men and women. A lack of energy and increased tension could be the culprits, both of which are taken care of with a good nights’ sleep.
• Depression – Lack of sleep has been linked time and again to depression. In a 2005 Sleep in America poll, the people who were diagnosed with depression or anxiety were the ones most likely to sleep less than six hours a night.
• The skin you’re in – Missing out on much-needed sleep also ages your skin. You may think those bags under your eyes are temporary, but studies show that chronic sleep deprivation can give you permanent features like lines, dark circles, and sallow skin. lack of sleep releases the stress hormone cortisol, which can break down collagen, the protein that keeps your skin youthful and elastic.
So despite the drive to do more, faster and better every day, isn’t it worth it in the long run to get some sleep?