Cart is empty
Whether it’s out the door at 6am to get to the gym or having a TV box set marathon late into the night, it’s fair to say the average person is trying to cram more into their day now than ever before. This is great in terms of the fun stakes but is it at the sacrifice of less daily sleep? If this is the case then we could be in for a shock as long term sleep deprivation can have some nasty effects.
Recent research has shown to be at our optimum best we should be averaging at least 8 hours sleep a night, but the latest UK stats are recording we are nowhere near that! On average, we are getting between 6 and 7 hours at best, and a massive 14% are living off just 4 to 5 hours a night. Now, not to be the bearer of bad news, but it's not just fatigue you need to be worried about, as long term sleep deprivation can cause our bodies to start acting strangely and out of sync. Check out the symptoms below and it will having you hitting the hay before sundown!
1) Memory loss
When sleep deprived, our ability to learn and retain new information becomes impaired. Trying to recall information from literally a few hours ago can become foggy or completely forgotten, as our brain deals with the fallout due to lack of sleep. This is far from ideal if you have a responsible job where relying on your memory could be the difference between success and failure on a decision you need to make on the spot. Most of us try to battle this with caffeine fixes and, although it can help perk us up, it’s not the natural rest the brain needs to help keep those memories locked in.
2) Skin deep
We all know the secret to looking young and beautiful is perfectly flawless skin, and nothing ages us more than wrinkles. While lack of sleep will not only leave bags under your eyes short term, it will also promote the onset of wrinkly skin and no one wants that! Long term sleep deprivation will leave your body feeling stressed, meaning you will naturally produce more cortisol! This little chemical breaks down your collagen protein, and the less collagen you have, the more fine lines start appearing where you don't want them!
3) Food, Food, Food
Lack of sleep will leave you feeling hungrier more often. Your body tends to work to a natural rhythm and will release a hormone called ghrelin when it needs food replenishing energy. The hunger hormone, as it’s commonly called, will be affected by your body being out of sync and will send more messages to your brain to refuel. In simple terms, you find yourself eating more times throughout the day, but your body will feel less full! So, if you're one for watching your weight and keeping your tummy trim, you really need to keep the ghrelin under control.
4) Working Out For A Work Out
Think you can ease through your next workout or run rings round the opposition in your next sports game? If you're lacking in sleep, then think again! Not getting enough sleep will increase inflammation in your body, leaving joints and muscles feeling sore and not able to recover properly. You'll also feel achy for longer and, coupled with lack of motivation, could leave you reaching for the TV remote instead of your sports bag.
So, in a nutshell and I'll be blunt here, lack of sleep could soon leave you overweight, looking older than your years with absolutely no motivation to get down the gym and, to top it all off, your memory will be like an elephant with amnesia! Not an exciting prospect I know!
If you're having trouble sleeping, check out the article on how the right kind food can help you sleep.