Why Lack of Sleep is Bad for You

April 5, 2022

Sleep is critical for living a healthy life. Of course, everyone must get some sleep, but it plays a more significant role in day-to-day function than just getting you by. Those who exercise frequently or follow diets can struggle despite all their hard work because of lack of sleep, and those who are already stressed and overworked will likely find it harder to manage the daily grind. Sleep plays a role in who you are during the day.

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What Happens Without Sleep

Reduced Memory

Sleep is needed for the brain to function correctly. Although it may seem like you’re okay, your memory is likely at a disadvantage the day after not getting adequate sleep. This impaired memory can have a more prolonged effect as it could impair learning or slow down productivity.

\Alertness

After not sleeping well, the brain is not as focused. Even losing a little sleep can affect the ability to pay attention and react to the world around you adequately. Lack of alertness can make the day harder as trouble results from missed details.

Car Accidents

Car accidents are much more likely without good sleep, and being tired can lead to impaired driving, which results in accidents. Whether it’s missing a stop sign or forgetting to put on a seatbelt, driving after not sleeping is extremely dangerous.

Quality of Life

Without getting sleep, the body and mind will be sleepy throughout the day. Sleepiness will result in the urge to nap, keep your eyes closed or not participate in everyday activities leading to a “zombie” like state from needing to sleep, and preventing you from doing or even wanting to accomplish what you need to.

Relationship Trouble

Being sleepy can lead to emotional distress. The body and mind are fatigued, which will lead to more negative thoughts and feelings. This state is prime for arguments and can put stress on relationships for no reason. 

How Much Is Needed

There are various recommendations for sleep for different age groups, but generally, 7 hours is average. Without getting close to 7 hours of sleep a night, the body is dealing with one or more negative side effects. Here is the breakdown of studies to confirm how much sleep is needed per age group. While these results are average, other factors may require more or less sleep.

  • Newborns 14-17 hours
  • Infants 12-15 hours
  • Toddlers 11-14 hours
  • Preschool 10-13 hours
  • School-age children (6-13) 9-11 hours
  • Teenagers 8-10 hours
  • Young Adults 7-9 hours
  • Adults 7-9 hours
  • Seniors 7-8 hours 

How To Improve Sleep

Prioritize

Sleep should be prioritized, and good sleep should be seen as necessary every night and should be part of a routine. Sleep can help the body function properly and, in a way, works like a prescription. It can help keep the body and mind healthy and prevent injury.

Screen Time

Before bed, don’t look at phones, tablets, or other screens. It is best to cut away from electronic devices an hour before bed to help calm the mind. Looking at electronics can provide new stimuli such as emails or new stories that can push the mind into being more alert.

Go Back To Sleep

Many people stir and wake up in the middle of the night. When this occurs, it is best to not look at the clock or any electronic devices. Looking at the time will force the mind to be alert enough to count how many hours it is until morning and how many hours have already passed. Simply going back to bed with as little stimulation as possible will result in the best chance at regaining sleep.

Wake Time

Waking up at the same time every day can improve sleep, and it will get the body into a rhythm where it knows when to be awake and when to expect rest. This rhythm will make the body feel more relaxed and tired at bedtime and alert and energized in the morning. 

Sleep Is Important

Sleep shouldn’t be neglected. Taking these little steps can help improve sleep and get into a better routine. Try working at getting optimal sleep based on recommendations to optimize health.

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