Do you have a hard time falling asleep at night? Does it take many hours of tossing and turning in bed before it finally hits you? For many people, sleep does not come easy, and they often are only able to get a few hours each night. So when they wake up, they feel all cranky, tired, and low energy.
Not getting enough sleep has many negative side effects that can cause serious harm and damage to your vital organs. It does not only make you grumpy and groggy, but it also increases your risk of various health problems that put your heart, brain, immune system, sexual function, and others in danger.
If you manifest any of the common sleep deprivation signs below, you have to work on your sleeping pattern and consult a medical professional right away:
High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure is a widespread health problem that occurs when the force of the blood that pushes against your artery walls get too high. If not diagnosed and treated as soon as possible, it can cause a variety of diseases that involve the heart and the rest of the cardiovascular system.
Also called hypertension, it is caused by different factors, including kidney problems, thyroid problems, obstructive sleep apnea, congenital defects in the blood vessels, adrenal gland tumors, and intake of certain medications.
If you have high blood pressure, you may experience shortness of breath, headaches, and other symptoms.
If you lack sleep, your body experiences hormone imbalances that can negatively impact your appetite. One such hormone is called leptin, which facilitates the body’s appetite suppression and energy spending. Without enough sleep, the amount of leptin that your body produces decreases, so you are more likely to feel hungry and eat more, especially at night, and gain weight fast. Poor sleep also boosts your craving for foods that are high in sugar and fat.
There was a medical research study that gathered a group of adults and observed their sleeping patterns and weights. It found that participants who only slept five hours a night gained an average of two pounds in just a span of one week.
If you gain weight, your risk of obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and other health problems increases.
Low Sex Drive
Sex drive or libido is essential for a healthy and active sex life. It is facilitated by testosterone, which is the primary male sex hormone in-charge of various male sexual functions in men. Testosterone is also present in women, but in much smaller amounts, and also plays an important role in the development of different sexual traits and characteristics.
Normal testosterone levels can keep your sex drive or libido up, ensuring that you can perform satisfactorily during sexual intercourse. However, if testosterone levels decrease, your desire for sex also declines.
In order for the body to produce enough testosterone, getting enough sleep is very important. There was a study that found that men who slept around seven to eight hours a night had normal testosterone levels and good sex drive, while men who only slept four hours had significantly lower testosterone levels and reduced sex drive.
Staying up so late at night often is not good for your memory. If you are starting to have trouble remembering what your boss instructed you to do just a few minutes ago, or the details of yesterday’s lessons in school, you should look into fixing your sleeping cycle.
Various studies have found that the amount of sleep that people get has a major impact on memory. According to their findings, those that were sleep-deprived showed acquisition, consolidation, and recall mechanisms that were profoundly subpar. They were slower in terms of processing new information and had difficulty retaining information and accessing information that has been stored. They also showed trouble keeping their focus on tasks at hand and were easily distracted.
A lack of sleep can alter your mood in major ways. After only getting two or three hours of sleep, you may wake up feeling grouchy, and be short-tempered and irritable. Your stress levels may also rise, and leave you feeling powerless and vulnerable.
In one study, subjects that were made to sleep only four and a half hours a night for seven days shared that they felt higher levels of sadness, anger, stress, and mental exhaustion. And, when they were made to sleep enough hours, they reported great improvements in their mood.
Sleep deprivation not only can mess up your mood, but it can also make you a lot more agitated and anxious, making it even harder for you to fall asleep.
Tips to Sleep Better
For the sake of your overall health and wellbeing, you should strive to get enough sleep. Below are some tips on how you can enjoy deep and uninterrupted slumber at night:
Avoid caffeine hours before bedtime
You should not drink coffee or consume other caffeinated beverages and snacks if you want to be able to fall asleep when you want to. Because caffeine is a stimulant, it can make sleeping difficult and delay your body clock.
Keep your gadgets away
If you like checking your social media accounts right before going to bed, you should stop doing that now if you want to improve your sleeping habits. Using your phone, laptop, or some other device only stimulates your brain more, making it much harder for you to sleep,
Maintain a consistent sleep schedule
Try to go to bed and wake up at the same time daily. That way, your body clock can be set up to a routine that optimizes your sleep. If everything goes well and you are able to enjoy sufficient sleep every day, you may not need an alarm clock to awaken you every morning.
Do not eat heavy meals at night
Eating a lot of food at dinnertime, especially an hour or two before your bedtime, may cause heartburn or stomach trouble that can keep you up at night and deprive you of sleep.