The recommended 8 to 10 hours of sleep each night can feel like an eternity away with all the factors of life, but little do many know that those sleepless nights can have a huge impact on your brain and body.
Sleep deprivation affects your brain more than you think. The hippocampus is greatly impacted by lack of sleep. This part of your brain is associated with memories; when someone doesn’t get the appropriate amount of sleep, their ability to retain new memories decreases vastly.
Being able to think clearly and reaction time are also heavily influenced with the lack of sleep. This lack of focus can be detrimental to someone’s daily life by not correctly performing or having full attention on a specific task.
In addition, sleep deprivation affects your health. Your immune system is very important in keeping you healthy; when you don’t get the right amount of sleep, it gets disrupted, causing you to get sick easier.
High blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, and obesity are all associated with sleep deprivation, too. This not only increases your chances of getting all these now, it also increases your chances of receiving them later in your life.
Finally, of course, you can feel more fatigued when you lack sleep which can be associated with your lack of focus causing you to not be 100% aware.
The absence of sleep is not only harmful to you, but also to others. Drowsy driving has become a serious issue lately among many drivers. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “1 in 25 drivers (18 years and older) have admitted to falling asleep at the wheel in the last 30 days.” This goes to show that sleep deprivation is very common among drivers all across the nation and can happen to anyone anywhere.
In fact, being drowsy and being intoxicated are closely related with the impairments they both create. Like alcohol, sleep exhaustion slows reaction time, decreases awareness, and impairs judgment.
However, unlike driving under the influence of alcohol, there is no “breathalyzer” for sleepiness; therefore, there is no way to detect if a person is “too sleepy” on the road. This makes driving drowsy even more dangerous than it already is.
Sleep is a wonderful necessity that most of us take for granted. The lack of sleep can cause your brain and body to suffer significantly. Take care of yourself now, you will thank yourself later in life. In the long run, not getting enough sleep could be the difference between life and death. Sleep wisely.
For more information on sleep deprivation click: https://www.sleepassociation.org/sleep/sleep-deprivation/