It’s no secret that Americans are a sleep-deprived bunch of workaholics. Many have been conditioned to wear their sleep deprivation like a badge of honor, but getting by on six or fewer hours of sleep each night is nothing to be proud of. In fact, it sets the stage for some serious health effects, like an increased risk of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes.
There are also a few other surprising side effects of poor sleep that you might not have heard of before, including the following.
Multiple studies have been conducted to evaluate the effects of poor sleep on immune function. Researchers have concluded that the body has an undesirable cellular response to lack of sleep. This response mimics the immune system response to toxic levels of stress. In other words, when you don’t get enough snoozes, you’re more likely to contract cold and flu viruses. If your sleep deprivation is chronic, you could be at a higher risk of more serious, long-term diseases like cancer.
Lack of sleep can also cause aesthetic issues. After a long night of tossing and turning, you’ll notice that your skin looks sallow and your eye area looks puffy. If you frequently fail to get your beauty sleep, it will take a heavier toll on your skin health. You’ll notice dark circles under your eyes, dull skin, and even fine lines.
This is because sleep is essential for the release of human growth hormone, which triggers the production of collagen. Collagen is an essential protein your skin needs for resiliency and youthful beauty. Adding to the problem is the fact that sleep deprivation triggers the release of the hormone cortisol. Cortisol can break down existing collagen.
You probably already know that your brain feels a little sluggish after a restless night. But did you know that it can also impair your judgment regarding sleep deprivation? After not sleeping enough for multiple nights or weeks, some people start to think that they’ve simply gotten accustomed to it, and that their bodies have adapted to getting by on less sleep. But this isn’t possible. What actually happens is that a sleep deprived person is simply no longer capable of accurately assessing their level of impairment.
It’s harder to stick to your New Year’s resolution to lose weight when you aren’t getting enough sleep. This is partially because it’s harder to get motivated to work out when you can’t stop yawning, and partially because sleep deprivation disrupts the hormones that regulate appetite.
One of the best things you can do to get a better night’s sleep is to use the right mattress. There’s no standard solution: Your perfect mattress might not be what’s best for others. That’s why the sleep specialists at Mattress World Northwest in Portland, Oregon are dedicated to getting to know each of our customers so that we can make customized recommendations. Visit one of our conveniently-located Portland mattress stores today!