In a society that demands productivity and time for ourselves, we often have to make choices to reduce sleep time. It’s easy to think that losing just a few hours of sleep doesn’t matter much, but over time it accumulates and forms a “sleep debt.” After days without rest, we begin to wonder, worry about trifles and even see fake things in front of us.
There are many symptoms of insomnia that affect our body and brain. Insomnia can cause a family breakdown, job failures, and even life-threatening situations.
1. Does not cope with stress
If you have been in a state of constant stress lately, most likely, what you face every day is not the main cause, but poor sleep quality. Lack of sleep impairs our ability to cope with everyday difficulties and problems, such as rush hour traffic.
Lack of sleep can lower the threshold of “perceived stress”. While sleep deprivation can increase stress, stress itself can also lead to sleep deprivation. Studies have shown that stress hormones can cause arousal, especially in middle-aged men. This may be due to excessive activity of the stress response system in the late evening hours.
According to research, people who get enough sleep during stress can often focus on work, while those who cope with stress by staying up late are more likely to focus their attention on their emotions.
2. Poor memory
If you admit to yourself that “you can’t even remember the last time you got a good night’s sleep,” then your real problem will be revealed. After a restless night, it is easy to become distracted or experience moments of forgetfulness of the elderly.
Studies have shown that deep sleep plays an important role in memory, as it facilitates connections between neurons. The less deeply you sleep, the fewer connections between neurons. Both humans and animals performed worse on sleep-deprived memory tests.
Fast sleep especially contributes to the formation and preservation of emotional memories, which, as a rule, remain for us the most vivid memories for decades.
So what’s the advice here? If you have a job that requires a good memory, you should go to bed early. For example, a student on the “last exam week” does not have to stay up all night to repeat. It’s better for them to study until they feel tired, and then get a good night’s sleep before the next test day.
3. It is impossible to concentrate
If you have to go to the office on a Monday after a rather busy weekend and pretend to be interested in a long meeting, you may be experiencing another sign of sleep deprivation — an inability to concentrate.
During the study, subjects deprived of sleep performed worse on tests requiring concentration. They underestimated the effect of lack of sleep on concentration.
These effects increase as our “sleep debt” is replenished. A person who sleeps five hours a day for a week is better at tasks that require concentration than someone who sleeps only four hours a day.
4. Increased appetite
It’s not easy for most people to control their calorie intake, but if you don’t get enough sleep, controlling cravings is almost impossible.
Lack of sleep causes a lot of problems for a person with a healthy diet. The longer you stay awake, the more time you will spend burning calories, but lack of sleep will also lead to hunger. People with insomnia have increased levels of hormones that signal to the body that it’s time to eat, in addition, the level of the hormone signaling satiety or satisfaction decreases.
Your brain digests sugar more slowly when you don’t get enough sleep. As a result, sleep-deprived people reported cravings for sweet and salty foods in addition to starches. Studies have also shown a link between sleep deprivation and obesity. People deprived of sleep are twice as likely to be obese compared to those who get enough sleep.
5. Vision problems
Vision problems caused by lack of sleep increase the risk of various risks, such as falls, car accidents, or distractions at work. After staying all night, you will feel like you are trying to escape from a blurry world. Distorted vision and difficulty concentrating are dangerous symptoms of sleep deprivation.
You may even start seeing things that aren’t really there, and it will be difficult for you to process peripheral images and images right in front of you at the same time.
Researchers suggest that this is due to the function of integrating information from other parts of the brain. When neurons don’t get regenerative sleep, they compete to perform functions that provide awareness of the world around them. When they become less efficient, they crop the corners and show you images that contain most of the information you need, but not all of it. It’s like getting 750 pieces of a 1000-piece puzzle. As these images move further and further away from reality, you will see extreme distortions.
6. Poor decision-making
This is a symptom of lack of sleep, which can have far-reaching consequences, even if you have had a good rest and your sleep debt has “disappeared”. The prefrontal cortex is involved in decision-making and promotes control, and when it is stressed from lack of sleep, your decision-making abilities are also subjected to the same stress.
Researchers believe that fast sleep helps our brain process information received during the day. This important stage of sleep also helps regenerate neurons in the brain. If you don’t go to bed at night, your brain won’t have a chance to refresh and “fix” itself, so your ability to make the right decisions will also suffer.
Studies have shown that sleep-deprived people make riskier decisions. Without sleep, you will act aggressively in the hope of short-term results. Maybe it’s betting your entire farm in a casino, buying something over budget, or even unprotected sex. When you are well-rested, you can better understand when something is in danger.
7. Reduced motor skills
Researchers have found that after a sleepless night, you, in fact, behave like a person with a small amount of alcohol. With a lack of sleep, your mouth may not be able to pronounce the words you are trying to convey. Slurred speech, slurred speech, and slurred speech are all signs of lack of sleep. You can also mess with small objects and stagger on your feet.
Sleep-deprived people have reduced activity in the temporal lobe of the cerebral cortex, the area of the brain that helps us process language. Lack of sleep also leads to slower reactions, studies have shown an effect on information processing speed in addition to accuracy (whether physical or mental). If you try to stay awake a little longer, you will no longer be fast enough or accurate enough.
8. Relationship problems
If a sleep disorder affects one family member, it affects everyone. Late sleep mixed with uncontrolled daytime sleep leads to the fact that family schedules, time spent together, and established sleep habits are wasted.
Chronic snoring or sleep apnea can also contribute to family conflicts. When one of the partners wakes up feeling unwell due to difficulty breathing at night during sleep, the other partner may also feel tired due to struggling to fall asleep. Low sex drive can also be a source of stress.
9. Medical problems
Diabetics deprived of sleep become less sensitive to insulin as a result of a decrease in the body’s ability to absorb sugar. When this happens, they may have difficulty maintaining acceptable blood sugar levels.
Lack of sleep also causes high blood pressure, low body temperature, and irregular heart rate.
The immune system begins to reduce its defenses. The number of white blood cells decreases, and the remaining white blood cells become sluggish. The mice in the study died without sleep, most likely due to a malfunction of the immune system. While your body will force you to rest before you can die from lack of sleep, sleeping less than four hours a night can increase your risk of death over the next six years.
10. Mood swings
When you are very tired but can’t fall asleep, soon you will feel crazy. Situations that you would normally be able to control suddenly become much more uncomfortable.
One study found that children who slept less than 10 hours a day were 25% more likely to behave badly. Sleep deprivation increases the level of depression, and burnout and reduces empathy. People who are already depressed or have other underlying mental disorders may be aggravated by a lack of sleep.