We all know that losing sleep isn’t good, and the effects of a poor night’s sleep are usually pretty obvious. However, we perhaps never understood until relatively recently just how much the body actually needs sleep, and the many essential bodily and mental functions which require sleep.
But what certainly is common is a desire for better sleep. There is a whole area of medicine, as well as a whole pharmaceutical and healthcare industry devoted to helping with sleep issues. When you consider the over-the-counter medications that you will see most commonly advertised and on the shelves in your local pharmacy, you’ll probably notice that there are more sleeping aids there than any other type of medicine or health product. This is evidence not only of people’s great need for sleep, but a veritable epidemic of people losing it.
The Modern World and Sleep
It’s funny, when you consider that consumer products and new services have been consistently making our lives better for decades, and yet one thing very certainly seems to be getting worse. We make more money, work fewer hours, and have the luxury of holidays, but the problem of stress and burnout hasn’t got better into the modern era. It has become worse.
Indeed, stress, overwork, and hyper-connectivity have all ensured that it is harder than ever to get away from the modern world. Furthermore, it is no surprise that this has also made it harder than ever to get to sleep. This is a veritable modern pandemic, although it’s one with no single cause. Sleep deprivation can be caused by a truly diverse number of specific factors, but they all seem to be getting more prevalent as time goes on.
And so, we have modern population that has difficulty getting to sleep. The stress and the burnout do not come from nowhere. Modern connectivity has made business and social life run much more smoothly, but it has also made it harder to get away from either.
And this is probably the cause – the effect is a generation that is sleep deprived.
Lesser-Known Effects of Sleep Deprivation
If you suffer from insomnia, it is very much in your interests to do something about that sooner rather than later. Insomnia can have acute effects, and it can have more long-term ones. The latter of these can become serious if it goes on long enough.
So, while you may be aware of the tiredness and the anxiety that comes with sleep deprivation, here are some other affects you might not be aware of:
When you sleep, your brain forms the neural connections which reinforce memories. Being sleep deprived can negatively affect both your short- and long-term memory.
Exacerbate Existing Conditions
There are many conditions which are made considerably worse if insomnia is added to the mix. ADHD symptoms, for example, are always particularly severe if the sufferer is sleep deprived. Next Level Daily, ADHD specialists producing a daily planner for the condition, say that taking care to get enough sleep is the best advice.
High Blood Pressure
It has been much reported recently that there is a link between sleep and blood pressure. The body regulates everything better when you sleep. If you get less than five hours, your risk of high blood pressure is increased.
Another effect of imbalances due to sleep deprivation is weight gain. The signals which tell your brain that you are full are disrupted when you haven’t slept.
This hardly even scratches the surface of the complications of sleep deprivation. Tough as it can be, it is always wise to plan seriously for your sleep.