Lack of Quality Sleep and its Effects

By Dr. Sachin Singh | 29th Oct 2021

Lack of Quality Sleep and its Effects

Late-night sleep or lack of quality sleep can lead to various interim to lethal health issues, let’s check them one by one

Side Effects of lack of sleep

1. Not getting good sleep can cause death

People who have irregular sleep patterns or schedules or take inadequate rest on a regular basis have a higher mortality rate than those who sleep better on a regular basis. Most notably, patients who take inadequate sleep or late night sleep have a significantly higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease.

2. Fatigue leads to accidents

Studies claim that driving while suffering from sleep loss is just as dangerous as driving inebriated. Serious accidents are very often linked to a poor sleep schedule and fatigue as the reaction time is impacted greatly.

Not only accidents on the road, but not having quality sleep can also lead to a higher risk of injuries or accidents on the job or at home. You are not focused enough and accidents are inevitable.

3. Sleep deprivation leads to health issues

The risk of developing several chronic diseases increases when people do not get better sleep. It is estimated that 90 per cent of people who suffer from insomnia also suffer from another chronic health condition that can be lethal. Some of the common chronic diseases which increase due to lack of sleep include:

  • Diabetes
  • Stroke
  • Heart disease
  • Heart failure
  • Heart attack
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • High blood pressure

4. A lack of sleep causes depression

Deprived of better sleep a person significantly shows symptoms of depression. Insomnia is frequently linked to depression, with one frequently leading to the other. Late-night sleep often welcomes a lot of overthinking which triggers depressing nodes and leads to more late-night sleep in the coming nights.

5. Sleep hurts the learning process

Quality sleep is essential to the cognitive processes associated with learning. A lack of sleep brings down alertness and attention span that makes it easier to take in information. A lack of attention also inhibits a person’s ability to reason and solve problems effectively, which means that jaded people cannot learn at an effective level.

Skills that we learn during the daytime are converted into memories during the night. Even if you learn a significant amount during the day, you will not be able to remember it if you do not get quality sleep to allow your body to store this knowledge in the long-term area in the brain.

6. Lack of sleep impairs judgment

When you do not get quality sleep it can limit your ability to accurately interpret things, which makes it difficult to react rationally to situations you are experiencing or make smart, good decisions. 

7. Skin is damaged by lack of sleep

Even one night of missed sleep causes puffy eyes and sallow skin. If someone continues to maintain a schedule that promotes sleep loss, the damage might become permanent. Dark circles under the eyes, sallow skin and fine lines over the face can become permanent.

The elasticity of the skin is also compromised over time when a person does get quality sleep. Persistent fatigue leads to tremendous stress which causes the body to produce more cortisol, which breaks down the protein in the skin that keeps it elastic and smooth.

8. Gaining weight is more likely when you lack sleep

A better sleep schedule helps your body maintain a regular and healthy appetite.  Lessening your sleeping period increases the production of the hormone ghrelin which stimulates hunger and decreases the production of leptin which suppresses hunger. Allowing it so increases the likelihood of overeating, which can lead to obesity eventually. Studies indicate people who sleep less than seven hours a day are 30% more likely to be obese than those who get nine hours of sleep or more.

9. Lack of sleep affects your sex drive

Both men and women suffering from a lack of quality sleep were examined and it was concluded that most of them had lower libidos and a lowered sex drive.  Not getting better sleep, leads to a person having low energy and more tension buildup in the body which limits the desire for sexual intercourse. Men who suffer from sleep apnea are also likely to have lower testosterone levels which can lower libido.

10. Fatigue causes forgetfulness

Brain events known as “sharp wave ripples” are used to help consolidate memory, which makes things you have learned easy to access and recall. These brain events also transfer short-term information into the neocortex and hippocampus where they can become long-term knowledge. This transference occurs at the strongest rate during the deepest part of the sleep cycle, so cutting out a lot of deep sleep can hurt long-term memory, which can lead to excessive forgetfulness.

The above reasons are more than enough to consider having quality sleep regularly.

How to get good sleep?

We have here shortlisted some good sleeping tips, which will help you sleep better at night.

1. Stick to a sleep schedule

The key to getting a night of better sleep is to always check your sleep time. Spare no more than eight hours for sleep. The advised amount of sleep for a healthy adult is a minimum of seven hours. Also, don’t make it a habit of having a late-night sleep.

Make a habit of hitting the hay and waking up at the same time every day. Try to minimize the difference in your sleep schedule on weeknights and weekends. Being consistent fortifies your body’s sleep-wake cycle.

Sometimes, when the stress overpowers us, we get it hard to fall asleep or sleep better.

If one doesn’t fall asleep within maybe 20 minutes or so, they should leave the bedroom and do something relaxing. Reading or listening to soothing music. Call it a day, chill, and get yourself a good sleep.

2. Pay attention to what you intake.

People often have disrupted eating habits and wonder how to get quality sleep?

Don’t go to bed on an unfilled or overfilled belly. Particularly, avoid heavy or large meals too close to hours of bedtime. Similarly, being hungry may keep your mind active. Eventually, your discomfort will keep you awake.

Nicotine, caffeine, and alcohol may also not allow you to sleep better. The stimulating effects of nicotine and caffeine take hours to diminish and can hinder better sleep. Although alcohol might make you feel slothy, it disrupts sleep later in the night. 

3. Create a restful environment

Create a space that is perfect for sleeping. Particularly, this means cool, dark, and quiet. Exposure to light challenges quality sleep. Avoid prolonged screen timings just before bedtime. Consider using room-darkening shades, eye pads, earplugs, a ventilator, or other devices to create a well-ventilated environment that will help you sleep better.

Doing relaxing activities before bedtime, i.e. Bathing or using relaxation techniques, might aid you to sleep better.

4. Limit daytime naps to get good sleep at night

Long day-time naps hamper night-time sleep. If you want to sleep better, avoid naps of more than 45 minutes. Don’t take naps late during the day.

5. Indulge more in physical activities.

One of the most advised sleeping tips is to exercise regularly, physical activities help you sleep better. Waking up early and exercising helps drain the energy and gradually you feel depleted and sleepy. However, Avoid being active too close to bedtime.

Spending time outdoors every day might be helpful, too.

6. Manage stress

Think later, sleep better!

Try resolving your problems or concerns before bedtime, this will help to overcome the lack of quality sleep. Make a note of all the tasks you left unfinished before your bedtime and work on them the next day.

Stress management helps a lot. Start with basics, get organized, set priorities, and delegate tasks. Meditation eases anxiety and helps you sleep better.

So, it is time to stop wondering how to overcome the lack of quality sleep and get quality sleep and to start implementing the above sleeping tips for sound and quality sleep.

Sleep better!

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