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Sleep Deprivation: How it can Damage Your Body and Mind
Getting enough sleep is essential to both your body and your mind. If you don’t get enough sleep, you might not notice the effects – if you only miss one night of getting the right amount.
But go more than one night of not getting enough sleep and your body and your mind start to pay a price for it. Of course, the first thing you’ll notice is that you’re feeling tired and sleepy.
Sleep acts as a restoration period for the body and mind. It restores and replenishes the body, heals aching muscles and can soothe aches and pains. Without the right amount of sleep, we run our energy level into a deficit.
Sleep deprivation then beings to show up in three ways: mentally, emotionally and physically. Mentally, the brain becomes affected with a lack of sleep and this shows up in trouble remembering even simple tasks.
It causes you to begin to forget important data. You might have trouble following what you’re supposed to do at work or what’s going on with your family. As the sleep deprivation continues, you’ll lose more cognitive ability.
When you’re driving, you’ll react slower to traffic signals, the moves of other vehicles and you’ll be at increased risk of causing or being unable to avoid an accident. You won’t be able to concentrate or pay attention.
You’ll become disoriented and if the sleep deprivation isn’t stopped. You may begin to experience hallucinations. You’ll make more mistakes, and if others are depending on you at work or home, those mistakes could have serious repercussions. You may start to experience short-term memory loss.
Sleep deprivation shows up emotionally, too. You may become irritable even for no reason. You may be angry and take that out on others. You can experience anxiety and depression.
Studies have shown that getting enough sleep is closely tied with emotional well-being. Sleep deprivation can cause you to engage in behavior you wouldn’t normally do, like taking foolish risks with your safety or engaging in heated fights with others.
Another way that sleep deprivation wreaks havoc is in the body. You will become clumsy and less coordinated. You may start to drop things without warning. You’ll experience muscle aches, pains and spasms.
A lack of sleep that’s caused by a sleep disorder can cause painful charley horses to occur. With a loss of sleep, your blood pressure begins to climb and your stress level mounts. Your organs can become affected.
You’ll put on weight – and sleep deprivation elevates your chance of having a stroke, heart attack or developing diabetes. Because sleep deprivation weakens your immune system, you can lose the ability to fight off even a simple virus.
Not getting enough sleep can cause muscle weakness, eye problems, slurred speech and an inability to communicate. If you’re experiencing sleep deprivation, don’t wait until you begin experiencing severe symptoms to seek a solution.