Published on July 21st, 2022
Sleep is one of the most important things you can do for your overall wellness. Lack of sleep does more than leave you feeling exhausted and groggy.
Sometimes you might get less sleep than desired because you can’t seem to turn off Netflix and go to bed. You might have insomnia that makes it difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep. Or maybe you have obstructive sleep apnea where you don’t get enough oxygen, and it makes you wake up.
If that’s the case, look for treatments to help you get a better night sleep. These treatments can help with issues related to sleep disorders.
For sleep apnea, CPAP masks can offer relief and help your oxygen levels stay stable all night. For insomnia, meditation might help. You might need to talk with your doctor to see if sleeping medications might be right for you.
Consistently getting less than the recommended amount of sleep or experiencing low-quality sleep can lead to sleep deprivation.
In fact, not getting the recommended seven to nine hours of sleep each night can have huge negative results.
It impacts everything from your overall health to your mood. Keep reading to learn how poor sleep quality can affect your day-to-day.
1. Tired And Less Alert
Lack of sleep can leave you feeling tired all day. This can cause you to be less alert than your well-rested self. Not only does it make for a long day, but you’re likely less productive and engaged at work when exhausted.
It can even be dangerous, depending on the type of job you have. Working at a sawmill or as a pilot can have grave consequences if you fall asleep on the job.
2. Dangerous Behind The Wheel
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration asserts that it’s dangerous to get behind the wheel when drowsy. Exhausted drivers are the cause of thousands of accidents, injuries, and traffic fatalities a year.
If you find yourself having a hard time staying awake while driving, end your route as soon as possible.
3. Irritable And Moody
Lack of sleep can cause you to be more irritable and moody. This can lead to a myriad of issues both at work and at home. You might find yourself being short-tempered with co-workers over a small annoyance.
Fighting with your significant other might also increase if you’re more irritable than normal because of getting less sleep.
4. Less Likely To Be Active
If you’re experiencing a lack of sleep, you might decrease your social calendar and other daily activities. If you’ve been fighting to stay awake, you probably just want to take a nap when you get home.
This pattern also makes you less likely to exercise. Not only are you exhausted, but being well rested provides the energy to hit the gym and work hard.
When you don’t get enough rest, an imbalance can occur in your hormone levels of leptin and ghrelin. These hormones help with appetite, and when they take a hit due to lack of sleep, you feel more hungry.
This can lead to more overeating and weight gain. Continual lack of sleep can even change your metabolism.
6. Changes To Your Appearance
You know the tell-tale signs of a rough night of sleep — big bags under your eyes. But did you know chronically under-sleeping can have long-term effects on your appearance? You could end up with wrinkles and dark undereye circles earlier in life.
Insufficient sleep prompts your blood vessels to dilate, which is what causes those unsightly circles and puffiness around your eyes.
7. Trouble With Memory
Cognitively, not getting enough sleep can affect your memory. It can even increase your chances of developing Alzheimer’s.
Memory recall, learning, and the ability to process new information can be stunted. This can then cause work and school performance to take a hit. A good night of rest helps you perform better.
8. Depression And Anxiety
There is a correlation between depression and lack of sleep. Many people who suffer from depression also have issues with sleep.
Several of the factors mentioned earlier in this article can also lead to an increase in depression’s severity.
You might be more moody and have a harder time self-regulating. Changes in the way you look can also affect how you feel about yourself.
9. Decreased Libido
When you’re exhausted and cranky, love-making is probably not the first thought on your mind. You might get into a fight with your partner, and that can kill the mood due to increased relationship stress.
Sleep apnea can also reduce your libido, especially as it lowers testosterone levels. If you’re not getting the quality sleep you need, it’s less likely you’ll want to spend time between the sheets for other activities.
10. Weakened Immune System
If you feel exhausted, then so do your body’s systems. Not getting enough sleep can lower your production of white blood cells.
If you’re wiped out, you could be more likely to get sick when exposed to a virus. And when your body is tired, it also has a harder time fighting off illness and healing itself.
You do all kinds of things to stay healthy. Don’t forget one of the most important things you can do for your body — get enough sleep.
From your mood to your health and your appearance, it all starts with quality sleep. Get your recommended eight hours of shuteye each night to help prevent these issues.