We all know sleep is as important as food and water for us to function normally. But have you ever wondered what really happens to your body with the lack of sleep? Actually, A LOT! Lack of sleep can be damaging to our body. Just think about it. How did you feel on days when you got very little shut-eye? It’s worse than being hungry if you ask me.
Continue reading the article to know how our body reacts to not getting enough sleep. But before we dive into it, let’s also discuss how much sleep we need.
How Many Hours Should You Sleep
Though the number of hours may vary according to each age group, if you are past your school age, you need to sleep for an average of 8 hours every day (1).
Why You Shouldn’t Compromise On Your Sleep
Here’s what happens to your body when you don’t get enough sleep:
You Run The Risk Of Getting Ill
If you are not getting enough sleep, your immune system will go weak. This can put you at a higher risk of getting sick. So if you don’t want to fall ill very often, it’s wise to give your body the rest it needs (2).
You May Get Cancer
According to AASM’s sleep statement, lack of sleep is associated with higher chances of prostate cancer, breast cancer, and colorectal cancer. People who are working overnight or doing the night shift will have to take the brunt of the big-C. So, make sure you hit the bed early and get at least 8 hours of sleep (3).
You Become Forgetful
If you miss out on enough sleep, you start to forget stuff. And research indicates that it can take a toll on your memory and learning ability as well. Your brain won’t be able to lock in new information or process things properly without enough sleep (4).
It Will Affect Your Libido
Your libido will take a hit if you lack proper sleep. A study showed a decrease in the testosterone levels of young men who didn’t get enough sleep over a period of 1 week. The men also reported having an overall decline in mood and vigor. The sexual hormone levels got reduced by 10-15% in men who got 5 or fewer hours of sleep (5).
You Will Be More Prone To Accidents
Be careful if you’re driving while sleep-deprived. According to the National Sleep Foundation, the chances of a person being involved in a car accident is higher if they are surviving on 6 or fewer hours of sleep. This includes commercial drivers, business travelers, and shift workers. Basically, anyone who is working long and odd hours should think twice before taking the driver’s seat if you haven’t got enough sleep (6).
You May Put On A Few Pounds
Yes, that’s right. Not getting enough shut-eye can actually make you pack on pounds. A 3-year study was conducted to find how sleep affects weight gain. The association between sleep and weight was examined in 21,468 adults who are over the age of 20. It was found that adults who slept for less than 5 hours every night had a greater risk of weight gain and eventually becoming obese. Whereas people who got adequate sleep ran a low risk (7).
Your Skin Will Suffer
Your skin needs its beauty sleep to look good. So, if not for any of the above-listed reasons, make a habit of getting enough sleep for your looks. A study which evaluated people within the age group of 30 to 50 found that people who got very little sleep had more fine lines, uneven skin, wrinkles, and loose skin compared to others (8).
We hope now that you know all that can happen if you don’t get enough sleep, you will start prioritizing your sleep above everything else. When we talk about a healthy lifestyle, sleep often gets overlooked over diet and exercise. But the above reasons just goes to show that sleep should be definitely a priority in our life just like the others.