Sleep deprivation refers to lack or loss of sleep which results in people feeling groggy, grumpy and cranky.
In today’s modern society, lack of sleep is affecting more of us every single day. Although adjusting sleep schedules, drinking your camomile tea, shutting off all of your electronic devices, downloading the best sleep apps and so on are ways in which to enhance and promote a healthy bedroom routine, sometimes the sleep gods will still say no! We have all experienced nights of tossing and turning, and missing out on the precious 7-9 hours of sleep time does more than make us feel tired and sleepy. Not only does it impact us mentally, but physically too!
Science has in fact linked poor sleep with various mental health problems – to weakened immune systems, weight gain, weight loss and memory loss, which is a common problem among all of us when we don’t get enough shut eye.
Effects of Sleep Deprivation
Mood Changes – This is one that we are all familiar with, and it’s a common experience. For many of us, sleep deprivation can dramatically change our mood, make us quick tempered and more emotional. Ultimately, without the right amount of sleep, it makes it more difficult to do simple tasks and leads to frustration when we are unable to do them to the best of our ability. A study was produced to prove this thanks to Zlatan Krizan.
“Sleep restricted individuals showed a trend towards increased anger and distress. Essentially. Reversing their ability to adapt to frustrating conditions over time.”
Increase in Blood Pressure – You can increase your blood pressure if you sleep less than 5 hours a night. Sleep helps the blood regulate stress hormones and takes care of the nervous system so that it remains happy and healthy. Chronic sleep deprivation leads to high blood pressure, or the risk of developing it, as your body needs sleep, and time, in order to regulate vital hormones in your body.
Risk of Heart Disease – Due to high blood pressure, this increases the risk of heart disease. The higher levels of chemicals linked to inflammation, the more likely you are to develop heart disease.
Risk of Diabetes – People who do not get enough sleep often have higher blood sugar levels. In return this increases the risk for type 2 diabetes. The lack of sleep deeply impacts your body’s release of insulin which is a blood sugar lowering hormone.
Weak Immune System – Your body essentially protects you while you sleep. While you’re getting rest, the body is working hard to keep your immune system strong, but too little sleep weakens your systems. When you’re exposed to germs, like a common cold, or a simple bug, your immune systems defences will struggle to fight it.
Difficulty Concentrating – Being drowsy, and dreaming about taking a nap at 2pm in the afternoon underneath your desk at work, is not the kind of life you deserve to live. Your concentration levels, problem solving skills, and creativity take a hit when you don’t get enough rest. This also leads to more accidents and potential injuries. It’s important that you take your sleep very seriously to avoid issues like ones listed throughout this article.
Is Memory Loss Linked to Sleep Deprivation?
Keeping your memory sharp, requires the right amount of sleep. In 2009, researchers found that brain events which are called “sharp wave ripples” are in fact, responsible for consolidating memory. These ripples are able to transfer information from the hippocampus to the neocortex of the brain – this is where long term memories are stored to retrieve for later dates. Ripples, however, occur mostly during deep sleep. Our brains help us form connections and retain new information, but with little to no sleep, it has a big impact on short term and long term memory.
At some level, memory loss is linked to sleep deprivation if you do experience lack of sleep. There are many reasons in which you suffer from lack of sleep. Maybe you have difficulty switching off, you have sleep apnea that you’re not fully aware of, or you simply need to adapt and promote a healthier lifestyle. It’s possible to gain a better nights sleep and reduce the risk of mental and physical problems. We have a range of articles designed to tackle sleep deprivation. You can try aromatherapy, or giving your room a makeover to maximise your bedroom environment for sleep and more, all of which can be viewed by visiting our blog!
Of course, if you are getting the right amount of sleep and you’re experiencing memory loss, we strongly advise and recommend that you see a doctor.