In today’s fast pace life, everybody is busy working day and night without looking at time just to earn more and more money, while others are wasting their priceless time in socializing online as well as offline, enjoying late night parties, discs etc. But in this race we are giving our priceless sleeping time to other activities, because that is being misunderstood as “not so important” activity. But, today or tomorrow this (self-considered*) extra time, if not utilized properly in sleeping will take a toll on your health.
I don’t understand why you are doing so? How could somebody give his/her time to anything else which is meant for sleeping (conditions – unless you have some really urgent work either personal or professional). Taking a good night sleep is ideally as important as breathing and eating food. We don’t feel so because in the absence of the above mentioned two we feel instant side effects but in case of sleep the side effects are equal harmful but takes some time to show up.
Do you even know what all goes inside your body when you sleep? Your mind releases hormones that check for the deficiency of anything in any part of body and try and fulfill it, in children sleeping time is growth time – growth hormones are released by mind during sleep, our body parts and organs need proper rest to be able to work as per your requirement. On the same hand if we don’t sleep properly for proper time all these activities are hindered which further lead to a number of consequences.
Ideally sleeping time defined for a grown individual is 6 – 8 hours. So I’ll recommend you to go with 8 hours (safer side). Because I know if you’ll make 8 hours of sleep your goal, even then half of you will end up with 6 hours at least.
Let me start off by showing you the consequences of not completing proper sleep. This may give you a shock and force you more than my appeal.
- Decreases Performance:
This might not come as a surprise for you and you all might have experienced this earlier also that the night when you haven’t had good sleep you are not able to perform as usual the next day. It has been scientifically proven that if you do not sleep for a minimum of 6 hours then you will not be able to perform at the same level as you usually do because the nervous system doesn’t respond well in this case and as a result alertness decreases. It has been found that a mere one and a half hour of reduction in sleep for just one night could bring you performance and alertness down to as much as 32%. That means if yesterday you were able to write a 100 line of code and if you haven’t slept well last night then today you’ll be able to write just 68 line code at max. That’s why athletes are always recommended to take good night sleep before their main event or match as less sleep also affects the degree of alertness. Furthermore, in the absence of proper functioning of brain/nervous system, one may become a victim of road accident.
- Increases Risk of Strokes:
Even if you are not a heart patient, you are not obese and you don’t have any family history of same, even then improper sleep may bring you at risk of getting stroke. Studies have shown that, anybody who sleeps less than 6 hours a night often is 5 times more prone to the symptoms of stroke when compared to someone who is sleeping well. In absence of proper sleep immunity power of body decreases that means more bad cholesterol gets oxidized by free radicals which led to accumulation of fat on arteries that hinders the flow of blood and finally a situation arises where blood flow to critical organs becomes weak or nil and the person gets stroke.
- Kills Sex Drive:
Specialists have found that being sleep deprived for longer duration could lead to lower libidos in both men and women followed by less interest in sex. If you haven’t slept properly you will be low on energy, feel lethargic and mind will be full of tension, all these factors are responsible for poor sex drive. Not just this, it has also been seen that if less sleep or improper sleep is continued for longer duration it may make you impotent. Yes, it has been found that men who tend to sleep for less than 6 hours have reduced levels of testosterone production during night. Because during sleep, our body releases the hormones that maintains sexual desire and produces testosterone. Also it provides our sexual organs with the nutrient they are running deficient in. Thus, all system gets disturbed and as a result you are not able to perform when required.
- Weakens Immune System:
You all must be aware of the warfare tactics of old times where war use to happen only during day times. In such situations the fighters use to come back and recover and heal in the night and use to go with the new fighters (replacing the dead ones) again the next day in battlefield. Similar is the situation of our body and immune system. Protective antibodies that together make an immune system fights with bacteria, virus and disease causing foreign bodies throughout and during sleep our body produces more protective antibodies and heals the existing ones to fight against infections. Studies have shown that those who sleep less than 6 hours are more prone to cold, flu and even chronic diseases as fatal as diabetes and cancer.
- Causes Obesity:
Apart from the common causes of weight gain like over eating and lack of physical activity, lacking sleep is yet again one of the dominating factor that may lead to obesity. During sleep, a number of hormonal changes takes place in our body. Our body secrets a number of hormones; leptin – that control the activities such as conveying brain that enough quantity of food we have had (feeling of fulfillment), and ghrelin – the appetite stimulant. If you don’t sleep properly then production of these hormones is hindered. In lack of which we eat more and keep carving for more. Which ultimately results in increased intake of food. Plus, in the absence of proper sleep, body keeps feeling tired, so the amount of physical activity also decreases. Ultimately we become obese and get surrounded by a number of other diseases related to obesity also, like diabetes, heart attacks etc.
- Skin Ailments:
This one is specially for the women. You might be aware of this, that lack of sleep causes dark circles. But, let me tell you that just dark circles are not it, you may get prone to acne, uneven complexion, skin darkening and other skin related problems also if you do not sleep well. This happens because while sleeping our skin cells rejuvenate, nourish and reduces the melanin impact that is caused by exposure to sun. But, if you don’t sleep well, your skin won’t be able to replenish the nutrients it is lacking (even if available in body), it won’t be able to fight the bacteria that causes acne or several other diseases, the melanin produces won’t get back in cells and if it continues for longer duration then the complexion starts getting darker. And how can we forget dark circles, they’ll increase the area of coverage also.
I guess these six consequences are enough to give you that required shock. And still if you are not impressed then just for you kind information let me tell you that sleep deprivation shortens your life span, makes you prone to cancer, diabetes and a number of other diseases that could make your life worse than death. Those six are early stage consequences and some of you might have observed or started observing those. So, try and understand it’s the time, where you should start giving proper time to sleep as well.
If you are now ready to leave other stuffs and want to sleep properly but you are not able to get sleep, then check out my other article on the measures you can take while sleep and foods that help combat insomnia.
Keep posting your queries and suggestions, I’ll be more than happy to help you out.
Practice Healthy..!! Stay Healthy…!!
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