Everybody has had sleep deprivation for X number of reasons: a cold, stress, a baby who doesn't sleep through the night, a Series game with 12 overtime periods... No matter what the reason for your lack of sleep, sleep deprivation can have negative consequences on your relationships with others and on your health. But what are these consequences? Polysleep has investigated the question and takes this opportunity to give you some advice to sleep better.
The causes of sleep deprivation
Why are we sleep-deprived? The reasons are as numerous as the number of series on Netflix... which means a lot! However, they all possess one thing in common: they have a negative impact on your physical and mental health.
The consequences of sleep deprivation
Lack of sleep, especially over an extended period, can have a devastating impact on your quality of life. Here are some of these negative effects.
Impact on your cognitive abilities.
When you don't get enough sleep, your concentration and ability to make decisions, no matter how insignificant, can be affected. And while this can lead to fun situations like putting the egg carton in the Tupperware cupboard, your lack of concentration can also prevent you from being alert enough to drive your car... with all the dire consequences that can ensue.
Impact on your health.
It's 6 p.m., you've slept for 4 hours and you've just come home from work with dinner to prepare. Will you have the strength to cook or will you opt to order from a restaurant instead? Chances are that junk food will win out over the duck breast with old port and shallot sauce that you’d have to prepare from scratch!
If this is an occasional situation, it's fine; but if it happens regularly (even if yep, we all know that a good old poutine with extra cheese is sooo yummy!) because you are too tired to cook, you could gain weight in excess with, as an added bonus, a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes or hypertension. Already diabetic? You might have more trouble controlling your blood sugar and that's a big no-no!
Did you know that the number of heart attacks the day after daylight-saving time transitions increases by 24 percent compared to other days? Even the slightest sleep disruption can have disastrous effects, especially if you already have a few health issues!
Impact on your mood.
Your lack of sleep might also affect your mood. Indeed, you might be more irritable towards your children, your colleagues or people driving at 60 km/h in the left lane (okay, even in the best of health it's a major irritant...), etc. If your circle of friends is shrinking and you regularly sleep less than 6 hours, your bad mood due to sleep deprivation could be the cause of it!
What can I do to catch up on sleep?
First, you sleep needs to be restful and you need one—or several—nights of quality sleep. Depending on your metabolism, and the amount of sleep you need to catch up on, you will be able to recover and be in better shape. But beware! Sleeping 16 hours a day on weekends to catch up on sleepless nights in front of your screen is not a good idea, since you might have trouble sleeping on Sunday night, so you'd go back to your screen to watch "just one more episode" and that, we all know, is a downward spiral without end…
To enjoy a good night's sleep, it is also important to have a comfortable bed, such as a foam mattress. That way, you're giving yourself every chance to benefit from a restful sleep. If you wake up feeling stiff for no reason or spend the night trying to find a comfortable sleeping position, it may be a sign that you need to change your mattress soon. Your health, as well as your mood—and the mood of those around you—will thank you!
In a nutshell
Sleep deprivation impacts:
Your cognitive abilities,
Your metabolism (and your health),
Put all the odds in your favor and get enough sleep, not to mention comfortable sleep!
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