What Are the Risks of Not Getting Enough Sleep?

What Are the Risks of Not Getting Enough Sleep?

Staying up late, struggling to fall asleep, or waking periodically at night are all factors that can contribute to a severe lack of rest. We often brush it off as a rough night, guzzle some caffeine, and push through the day, promising ourselves that tomorrow will be better. Unfortunately, this can easily become our new normal, and not getting enough sleep on a regular basis can lead to a variety of health problems. 

How Much Sleep Should I Be Getting?

The average adult needs between seven and nine hours of sleep every night. It is best if you can be in bed by 10:00 pm and get the same amount of sleep each night. Your body will adjust to this routine and you will get more quality sleep than if you keep your system guessing.

What Can Happen if I’m Not Getting Enough Sleep?

There are numerous side effects of not getting enough sleep. Your body needs this down-time in order to function at its best. If you push yourself too hard without enough sleep, your body may become ill and shut down, forcing you to get some rest whether you like it or not. Some of the most significant effects of sleep deprivation can be found below.

  • Mood Swings - Sleepiness can lead to crankiness, anger, and irritability. Chronic lack of sleep can also lead to depression, anxiety, and other mental health disorders.
  • Difficulty Concentrating - A tired brain will have a harder time staying focused and alert. You will also notice a drop in creativity and problem-solving ability.
  • Impaired Memory - While you sleep, your brain is busy forming neural connections that allow you to retain information, including short- and long-term memories.
  • Weak Immune System - Your body needs plenty of sleep to build antibodies and fight disease.
  • Weight Gain - When you are tired, many things are out of balance, including your body’s ability to tell your brain it is full. You may also be more likely to seek out sugary foods as a fast source of energy.
  • Increased Likelihood of Diabetes - Sleep regulates the amount of insulin your body produces, which means a lack of sleep can lead to higher blood-sugar levels and diabetes.
  • Loss of Balance and More Accidents - Fatigue can affect coordination and reaction times, causing you to fall down more easily and affecting your driving ability. Do not attempt to drive a car when drowsy!
  • Increased Risk of Heart Disease & High Blood Pressure - Less sleep means more inflammation and increased blood pressure, which can cause heart disease, heart attacks, and strokes.
  • Low Sex Drive - Sleep deprivation also lowers your libido. For men, this is often a result of lowered testosterone levels as well.

    How to Get Better Sleep

    Fortunately, there are things you can do to help improve your quality of sleep. In addition to planning for 7-9 hours of sleep each night, you can create a consistent routine to help you fall asleep faster. You can also try turning off electronics at least one hour before going to bed, exercising more often, engaging in relaxing activities in the evening, and investing in a soft and comforting blanket to help you get more comfortable. 

    Lower Stress

    High amounts of stress can make it more difficult to sleep well, and not getting enough sleep can lead to higher levels of stress. Make sure you are doing what you can to unwind and take care of yourself both during the day and at night. Yoga and meditation are great ways to train your body and mind to relax and let go of excess stress that is weighing you down and keeping you up at night.

    Tell Your Doctor

    If you are not getting enough sleep on an ongoing basis, and it’s not from lack of trying, then it may be time to discuss the problem with your doctor. You may be suffering from a sleep disorder such as insomnia, sleep apnea, or restless leg syndrome. Even if there is no serious issue at present, your doctor may be able to make recommendations for healthy ways to improve sleep quality or fall asleep more quickly.

    Sew Sweet Minky Blankets for Better Sleep

    Creating a restful environment is essential for quality sleep, which means choosing the right blanket that will keep you feeling cozy all night long. Check out Sew Sweet Minky Designs for a soft and luxurious minky blanket to help you get a better night’s sleep. 

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