Thursday, December 12, 2013

What happens to your body when you don't get enough sleep

How much sleep are you getting a night? 

In today's fast past and busy society, it is hard to tell if we are meeting all our biological needs. Sleep is one of those basic necessities we can't escape. When is the last time you stayed up all night for an exam, went out on the town with your friends when you had work the next morning, woke up to a crying baby, or even couldn't sleep because of those loud trains blowing their horns throughout the night. 
If you can't remember good for you, but for the majority of us it seems we have developed the same patterns of regualting our sleeping cycle. A pattern I like to call- NOT AT ALL. 

It isn't like we are purposely trying to not get enough sleep. We live in a society that expects us to burn both ends of the candle, and still get up and cook breakfast for our children in the morning. What happens to our mind and body when we find ourselves functioning on too little of sleep? Given that this morning, I woke up after only 5 hours of sleep, and  forgot my wallet and then became especially moody when one of my co-workers said something about my socks not matching, this is definitely a topic I am interested in. 

In an article I read about the effects of sleep, On Psychology Today, the writer appeared to have the exact same problems as me. He began studying and wrote a series of posts that investigate the negative effects of losing sleep at night.  If you are interested in finding out whether or not you are sleeping enough at night you should begin by taking the Stanford Sleeping Scale- it is a quick was to assess how alert you are feeling, and if you are getting enough sleep at night. 

However, if you don't feel like you are. These are the side effects attributed to lose of sleep... The evidence is a little mind blowing.

Are you Intoxicated? 
Have you ever been so fatigued, you feel like you have just chugged two bottles of wine? Things start to mush together and after the point of total cognitive incomprehension you begin to sound like slurring sally who just walked out of apple's bar. 
 Chronic sleep deprivation and irregular sleep cycles have been connected to a number of mental and medical health problems. Did you know, that if your body only gets a couple hours of sleep, a sleep deprived body can have the same symptoms as an intoxicated body. Think about drinking and driving and how dangerous to yourself and others that is. The same goes with not getting enough sleep.

The Scale 
Good morning, and rise and shine. It is time to check your daily weight, WHAT- you've seemed to have gained five pounds over night? That is something surprising, but fatigue can be correlated with increases percentages of body fat. Also, it has been said that lack of sleep can increase your heart rate and cause many health problems. Alzheimer's is also related to the consequences of losing sleep.
However, lets talking about the number one must destructive side effect of a sleepless night... YOUR MENTAL HEALTH. 

As psychologist and researcher Mark Sisson puts it, 
“One study found that skipped sleep led to a shrinking brain. Bye, bye gray matter! The heart and kidneys also take a beating as does your blood pressure. You, in fact, put yourself at continually increased risk for a whole host of lifestyle diseases, including obesity and diabetes. The logical extension of this pattern? Numerous studies link partial sleep deprivation/disruption and increased mortality risk!”

You need sleep, and sleep needs you. Don't waist another restless night thinking that you can be a productive human being without it, because it is important. 

Let's join together as conscious and healthy individuals to make a pact to tackle sleep. It's only natural. 

How long did you sleep last night?

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