We all know that sleep is important for young kids to help promote their healthy growth and development, but many adults fail to understand the consequences of poor sleep for themselves.
In this article, we’ll run you through five ways that insufficient sleep can negatively impact your life. Some of them are fairly obvious, while others are less clear to understand from the outset.
Insufficient Sleep Reduces Life Expectancy
Studies have found there to be a link between poor sleep and life expectancy, with people who consistently fail to get sufficient sleep living for a considerably shorter period of time than those who get the recommended seven to eight hours of sleep per night.
For example, one study found that sleeping less than five hours per night on average could decrease your life expectancy by 15 percent, which equates to shaving around 10 years off of the average life expectancy in the US.
Insufficient Sleep Creates Safety Risks
Not getting enough sleep on a particular night will almost certainly leave you feeling fatigued the next day. This will make it difficult for you to concentrate and will make you less vigilant.
Not only does this make you less productive, but it also puts you and others at a potential safety risk (if you are driving a car or operating machinery, for example.)
Insufficient Sleep Puts Strain on Relationships
Another consequence of poor sleep is your mood taking a hit and you sometimes becoming very irritable. This can impact your social and work life in many ways, and potentially put a strain on your relationships with loved ones.
Poor sleep can also impact your personality in other ways, such as making you less social and outgoing, in addition to making you potentially feel isolated from your loved ones and the rest of the world.
Insufficient Sleep Weakens Your Immune System
Countless studies have found there to be a link between poor sleep and a weakened immune system. So, failing to get enough sleep over the years can leave you vulnerable to various illnesses, including the common cold and more serious, chronic diseases.
Insufficient Sleep Can Equal Gaining Weight
Getting insufficient sleep makes you prone to gaining weight. There are numerous potential explanations for this, such as poor sleep reducing your motivation to exercise and resulting in hormonal imbalances in your body.
Gaining unwanted pounds can quickly lead to you becoming overweight and obese, which in turn puts you at a heightened risk of developing various illnesses, such as heart disease and type two diabetes.
Improving Your Sleep Naturally
If these 5 consequences of poor sleep concern you, there are many things you can try that may improve your sleep. Improving your exercise routine, diet and nighttime habits are all important. Improving even one of these life skills can dramatically improve your sleep. We recommend you stay away from prescription sleep medication as they can do more harm than good but there are natural sleep aids that can help you sleep without the negative side effects that come with prescription medications like Ambien.
A Quick Summary
- Sleep is important to our wellbeing, both on a physical and mental level.
- Doctors recommend adults get around eight hours of sleep each and every night – and there are several consequences of poor sleep.
- For example, poor sleep can make you prone to gaining weight and becoming obese, which in turn puts you at a greater risk of developing certain diseases.
- Poor sleep can also put a strain on your relationships with loved ones, as you may become very irritable and moody, or you may feel isolated from the rest of the world and become less social.
- Getting insufficient sleep can negatively affect your immune system and potentially create safety risks, if you’re driving or operating heavy machinery for example, as you may struggle to focus and may become less vigilant.