Think that skimping on sleep is no big deal? Time to think again.

 

skimping on sleep

 

We’ve all done it – skimped on sleep. Whether it’s because we were burning the candle at both ends, pulling an all-nighter, or just partying too long into the night, nearly all of us have experienced the immediate effects of not getting enough sleep.

But beyond the foggy brain, poor mood and excessive daytime sleepiness, what else happens to you?

Well, to put it bluntly, not getting enough sleep increases the risk of early death. Here’s why.

Impaired brain function

Not getting enough sleep reduces your attention span and ability to concentrate. It also impairs your critical thinking, interferes with your memory and slows reaction times. These factors, combined with excessive sleepiness significantly increase your risk of having a serious accident, particularly if you’re operating machinery or driving a vehicle.

Increased risk of mental health issues

Sleep deprivation can trigger mania in people with a bipolar mood disorder. It can also increase impulsive behaviours, anxiety and depression, hallucinations, paranoia and suicidal tendencies in some people.

Lower immune system

Sleep plays an important role in boosting your immune system. Lack of sleep compromises your immunity and therefore increases the risk of you becoming sick because you’re not able to fight viruses and bacteria. When you do become ill, it will take you longer to recover.

Increased risk of chronic disease

Sleep affects processes that keep your heart and blood vessels healthy, including those that affect blood sugar, blood pressure and inflammation. Lack of sleep has been shown to contribute to chronic conditions such as diabetes, heart attack and stroke.

Contributes to weight gain

Believe it or not, sleep deprivation can contribute to weight gain. That’s because sleep affects two hormones related to hunger and fullness — leptin and ghrelin. Leptin sends signals to your brain when you’ve had enough to eat. However, if you don’t get enough sleep, your brain reduces the amount of leptin and raises ghrelin – which stimulates your appetite, making you more likely to overeat. To make matters worse, lack of sleep can lead you to feel too tired to exercise, which makes it harder to maintain a healthy weight.

Stop skimping on sleep for better health

As you can see, skimping on sleep is more serious than most people think. However, you can take steps to protect your health by prioritising sleep. Health experts recommend anywhere between 7 and 9 hours of sleep each night for good health.

To ensure you sleep well each night, you should:

  • Relax before bed — engage in relaxing activities before bed such as reading, listening to music or taking a bath
  • Eat sensibly — avoid overeating before bedtime
  • Avoid alcohol and other stimulants— alcohol, tea, coffee, caffeine, nicotine and other drugs act as stimulants and will prevent you from sleeping well
  • Avoid electronics 1-2 hours before bedtime
  • Set a regular bedtime and stick to it
  • Prepare your room — ensure your bedroom is dark, well-ventilated, and at the right temperature
  • Make sure you’re sleeping on the right mattress.

At BedGuard, we’re all about getting a good night’s sleep and specialise in high-quality, waterproof mattresses to suit everyone. We even have a range of bariatric mattresses. Why not visit our friendly staff in-store or shop online today?

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