We all are well aware that lack of sleep damages our health, but till to which extent only experts know. In this article, we would like to share some important facts on what happen to our body and brain when we don’t get enough sleep. According to Matthew Walker, professor of neuroscience and psychology at the University of California, Berkeley, there are important potential consequences that we shouldn’t ignore if we don’t care about our sleeping cycle.
Below are some of the potential consequences of sleep deprivation:
1. Your brain will not be able to make new memories.
Sleep deprivation or lack of sleep actually prevents your brain from being able to make new memories. The memory box of the brain shuts down if you don’t get enough sleep, and, therefore, you can’t make or create new memories.
2. You have higher chance of getting Alzheimer’s disease.
Lack of sleep will lead to an increased development of a toxic protein in the brain called beta amyloid, which is associated with Alzheimer’s disease. It is during deep sleep at night that a sewage system within the brain actually kicks in to high gear and it starts to wash away this toxic protein. So if you are not getting enough sleep, every night, more of that Alzheimer’s related protein will build up. The more protein that builds up, the greater the risk of you to develop dementia in your later life.
3. Level of testosterone goes much lower.
Another effect of sleep deprivation is on your reproductive system. Men who sleep just five to six hours a night have level of testosterone equal to that of someone ten years their senior. Lack of sleep age you by almost a decade in terms of the aspect of virility and wellness.
4. High risk for developing various cancers.
Lack of sleep impacts your immune system. If you sleep only four to five hours in one night, the critical anti-cancer fighting immune cells called natural killer cells is reduced by 70%. That’s one reason why short sleep duration predicts the risk of developing numerous forms of cancer, which includes bowel cancer, prostate cancer, and breast cancer.
5. Bad impacts on cardiovascular system.
Sleep deprivation also impacts your cardiovascular system. It is only during deep sleep at night that you receive the most wonderful form of effective blood pressure medication. If you don’t get sufficient sleep, you don’t get that reboot of the cardiovascular system, so your blood pressure rises. If you sleep six hours or less, you have a 200% increased risk of having fatal heart attack or stroke in your lifetime.
6. Daylight saving time increases heart attacks.
Daylight saving time increases heart attacks. It is said that in the spring, when we lose one hour of sleep, we see a subsequent 24% increase in heart attacks the following day.
7. Night-shift is strongly associated with carcinogen.
The World Health Organization has classified any form of night-shift work as probable carcinogen, as sleep deprivation and cancer are strongly connected.
8. Staying awake for more than 16 hours is harmful.
Optimal recycle rate of a human being or length of time we can actually last without sleep, before we start to see declining in the function of our brain or body, is 16 hours. It is said that our body as well as our mental start to deteriorate if we stay awake for more than 16 hours in a day.
9. Staying awake for longer hours damage your mental capacity.
If you stay awake for 19 or more hours, your mental capacity will become that of someone who is drunk. We need at least eight hours of sleep.
So, sleep well, everyday.