There is a natural system our bodies follow called the circadian rhythm. Simply put, it’s a 24-hour body clock which causes us to feel alert at certain hours, and drowsy at others. So essentially, it regulates our sleep patterns. A disregard for our body’s natural call to hit the sack, thereby falling into an erratic sleep schedule paves way for a number of health issues.
Effects of losing out on sleep
A popular strategy goes about in working people, “catching up on sleep”. Sleeping extra hours over the weekend to make up for hours skimped during the week is neither wise nor effective. This accumulated chronic sleep loss becomes counterproductive for people working in high jobs involving a lot of concentration.
Impaired judgement is one of the most common results of a bad sleep schedule. This goes on to mess with our psychology to an extent that we start believing that we can function at our optimum levels with fewer sleeping hours. Disruptive sleeping cycles have been time and again connected with various health disorders. Some of them are as follows:
While sleeping, our memories accumulate to acquire a more permanent location. This helps us to retain them, and access them again in the future. Loss of shut-eye not only leads to forgetfulness, but it also adversely impacts our ability to focus. This in turn prevents us from forming fresh memories.
Increased risk of diseases
This may come as a surprise, but regularly falling asleep at odd hours can increase our risks to major life-threatening diseases. Some of these include:
- Heart disease
- Irregular heartbeats
- High blood pressure
- Psychiatric illness
Sleeping disorders may cause Depression
Sleep and our emotional quotient have a complicated relationship. The lack of adequate sleep, eventually starts affecting the neurochemicals in our brain. Consequently, this affects our moods, emotions, reactions, and overall brain activity. When continued for a prolonged period of time, this leads to clinical depression, anxiety and several other mental illnesses. In fact, many neurological illnesses clinically show erratic sleeping patterns as a chronic symptom.
Skin Ageing & Weight Gain
If none of the above have convinced you to get your necessary number of sleeping hours, maybe this will. Dark circles are a very well-known consequence of lack of sleep. The bigger shock comes in the form of its aging effects on skin and body weight. Our skin gets its elasticity or the quality that makes it look young and supple through collagen. Lack of sleep leads to reduced collagen that makes skin look droopier due to increased wrinkles.
Another negative impact is that we tend to put on kilos by losing out on sleep. This works on many levels.
- Cells stop processing high calorie foods
- Hormones go haywire and make us feel hungrier
- Metabolism decreases
- Lower energy urges us to snack on high sugar foods for instant energy which eventually promotes further weight gain.
Overall, we can establish the consensus that lack of sleep does not bode well for either our mental or physical well-being. So, grab a pillow and ease under the covers, and maybe listen to a lullaby. Sleep Well!