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World Sleep Day is observed every year on 13 March. Organised by the World Sleep Day Committee of the World Sleep Society, formerly World Association of Sleep Medicine, World Sleep Day was first observed in the year 2008.
The day is observed with the aim to celebrate the benefits of good and healthy sleep and also to raise awareness on the burden of sleep problems and the associated medical, educational and social aspects. In addition, World Sleep Day also focuses on promoting the prevention and management of sleep disorders .
Adequate sleep is as important as having nutritious food when it comes to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. The way poor lifestyle habits, untimely meals and lack of exercise cause many diseases, lack of enough sleep can also cause serious health problems. Individuals need at least six hours of sleep every day for the mind to function properly and for the body to remain healthy .
Alcohol consumption or caffeine intake on a regular basis before bedtime is among the most typical causes of sleeping difficulty . Certain medications, like thyroid replacements, some asthma medications, pain preparations, some vitamin and mineral supplements, can have a stimulating effect on you and keep you awake and result in restless sleep .
Does it take you only less than five minutes to fall asleep? If yes, it's likely that you are sleep deprived. Sleep deprivation or insufficient sleep or sleeplessness are not exclusive to the individuals who work the night shifts but also affects individuals suffering from sleep apnoea or other sleep disorders. With the modern lifestyle and work patterns, sleep deprivation has become a common problem in today's society.
Now, let's get to know the adverse effects sleep deprivation can have on your health. So, the next time you pull an all-nighter, you may think twice!
Side Effects Of Sleep Deprivation
People often compromise on their sleeping hours for the sake of work, studies, or simply for having fun. But what we do not realize is the adverse long-term effects it can have on your health.
Among the various physical effects of sleep deprivation, a very common one is obesity. It causes a reduction in the level of the hormone leptin, which actually lets the brain know that one's hunger is satiated; and to add on, it increases the production of the ghrelin hormone, which actually enhances the appetite. Also, sleep deprivation leads to an increase in the level of insulin, thus resulting in more fat storage .
2. Weak Immune System
Due to decreased production of protective cytokines and infection-fighting antibodies, your body's immune system will be compromised. During the sleep, a human body strengthens its immune system by producing more antibodies, thereby allowing protection against bacteria and toxins .
But with sleep deprivation, your body is not given the chance. Due to this, the human body becomes more vulnerable to many diseases and infections, especially the respiratory system. Problems like cold and flu can arise frequently and in some cases, sleep deprivation can lead to lung problems .
3. Exhausts The Brain
The first thing that lack of adequate sleep does is exhaust the brain by not allowing the neurons to get some rest. The lack of rest can impair the neurons function of damage repair, thereby impairing your cognitive functions .
It curbs the creative instincts, kills the ability to take quick and smart decisions and causes the person to have frequent mood swings .
4. Leads To Neurological Disorders
Sleep deprivation not only causes emotional disorders but also causes serious psychological and neurological diseases as well. These include mania, hallucinations, chronic depression, paranoia and extremely impulsive behaviour .
5. Risks Of Chronic Diseases
This is an evidence-based fact that lack of sleep, on a long-term basis, increases an individual's likelihood of getting life-threatening health issues. Health issues like high blood pressure, stroke, diabetes, etc. are highly common amongst those who don't get enough sleep .
6. Unhealthy Eating Habits
Sleep deprivation is a major reason for increased appetite. Apart from the unhealthy snacks that you try to keep you active in the sleepless night, untimely eating habits fluctuate the hormone level as well .
7. Poor Sex Life
Stress and increasing tension amongst men and women are responsible for poor libido or disturbed sex life; which can be linked to that of sleep deprivation .
8. Skin Disorders
The excessive release of cortisol due to sleep deprivation can adversely affect your skin health. Cortisol breaks down the skin protein-collagen which keeps our skin smooth. Few sleepless nights are enough to give dark circles below your eyes. Chronic sleepless conditions may cause dry skin and wrinkles irrespective of the age .
9. Heart Disorders
Cardiovascular disorders such as heart diseases and high levels of blood pressure are quite common with people who are deprived of sleep. Lack of sleep for a day is sufficient to increase blood pressure amongst patients with hypertension .
10. Impaired Memory
When your body does not get the right amount of sleep, it causes the central nervous system to become stressed. This could have dire consequences on the functionality of your brain. And studies have found that lack of sleep has led to memory impairment in a lot of people .
11. Affects Circadian Rhythm
Our body is designed to work on the day and rest on the night. Any impairment of this will affect the whole balance of the body. An unbalanced circadian rhythm will affect the proper functioning of the body .
Ways To Manage Sleep Deprivation
Sleep hygiene, also called as healthy sleeping habits are the best means to prevent yourself from being adversely affected by sleep deprivation .
- Leave electronics and work-related things out of the bedroom.
- Maintain a dark and cool atmosphere in your bedroom.
- Do not fluctuate your bedtime and wake up time.
- Avoid large meals for at least three hours before bed.
- Avoid caffeine at least eight hours before sleeping.
- Do not consume alcohol right before sleeping.