Sleep is a very important component to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. However, with all the busy schedules and other recreational activities, it can be difficult to maintain the recommended 7 to 9 hours. This continuation of inadequate sleep can lead to deterioration in our physical and mental functioning.

The negative effects of sleep deprivation include:

  • Issues with short- and long-term memory
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Negative mood fluctuations
  • Drowsiness that can lead to higher risk for accidents and injuries
  • Higher blood pressure
  • Weakened immune system
  • Weight gain
  • Lower sex drive
  • Higher risk of heart disease
  • Imbalance in physical functioning and coordination
  • Impulsive behavior
  • Depression
  • Paranoia
  • Suicidal ideation

Research studies show that sleep deprivation can lead to a 12 percent higher risk of early death. It also negatively impacts the following key, bodily systems: immune system, respiratory system, digestive system, cardiovascular system, and the endocrine system. It is essential to be aware of signs of sleep deprivation and implement change in daily habits. Ways to easily detect sleep deprivation are: feelings of irritation, excessive tiredness and low energy, frequent yawning, and immoderate sleepiness.

There are small changes that can be implemented in a daily routine for better sleep:

  • Setting a solid sleep and wake-up time
  • Limiting naps to 15-20 mins during the day
  • Limiting caffeine intake
  • Putting away backlit devices for the night
  • Keeping up with regular exercise
  • Drinking less liquids in the evening
  • Clearing the mind in the evening through relaxation and breathing techniques

When implementing these changes to obtain the necessary hours of sleep, the outcomes can be very beneficial and help achieve a healthier, functioning lifestyle. The body will be able to produce more protein through sleep, which helps cells repair damages. Sleep will assist in decreased levels of stress hormones and inflammation in the body, improving alertness and higher levels of energy. Holistically, adequate sleep will result in greater mental, emotional, and physical functioning.

 

Josephine Roh

Mental Health Intern

 

 

Reference:

Pietrangelo, A., & Watson, S. (2017, June). The Effects of Sleep Deprivation on Your Body. Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/health/sleep-deprivation/effects-on-body#1