One in three Americans aren’t getting enough sleep — are you one of them? Click through to check out some of the most surprising consequences of sleep deprivation. How many hours do you get each night? Let us know in the comments section.
1. You’re Feeling Weepy.
Have you ever felt like you might burst into tears at the drop of a hat after you pulled an all-nighter? Researchers at UC-Berkeley have linked sleepless nights to our inability to reason and handle perceived threats. That minor squabble with a friend or sappy movie on TV may not seem so terrible on a day when we’re well-rested.
2. You Just Can’t Focus.
From plane crashes to oil spills, some of the worst disasters in recent memory have been attributed, at least in part, to fatigue. Similarly, one study has suggested that medical interns on the night shift were two times as likely to misinterpret test results from patients. Sure, most of us don’t have the lives of innocent people in our hands on a daily basis (well, outside of our cars.. more on that later), but sleep deprivation can have serious consequences on our everyday lives. Sleepiness can impact your brain’s ability to focus and stay alert, thus making it more difficult to understand and process new information.
3. You Always Feel Sick.
Everyone in your family has avoided the cold this winter, but you’ve had the sniffles since Thanksgiving. What gives? Take a look at your sleep habits. If you’re not getting enough shut eye, your immune system is not working as well as it could be, thus making you more susceptible to catching viruses or bacterial infections. And it doesn’t just make you more likely to catch a cold, it can also make it harder for you to recover.
4. You’re Never Hungry.. Or You’re Always Hungry.
Everyone is different, even when it comes to how sleep deprivation impacts our appetites — and neither of them are healthy. A lack of sleep throws our internal clock , and our hunger hormones, off balance. For some of us, this means that we eat more than we normally would, and for others it means we don’t want to eat at all.
5. Your Skin is Dry.
Sleep is a time for your body to repair itself — including creating new skin cells. That, plus all of the essential vitamins, water, and nutrients that your skin needs to stay healthy, can cause your skin to dry out.
6. You’re Sloppy.
Spill your coffee on the newspaper this morning? Sleeplessness can impact your motor skills and ability to react quickly to things around you. Maybe you’re not just a klutz, perhaps you need more sleep!
7. You’re Forgetting Everything.
Can’t remember what you ate for breakfast? You may need a few more hours of shut eye. Sleep impacts how your brain stores information, including, yep, where you left your glasses. And it’s not just your short-term memory: sleep deprivation has been shown to have negative consequences of student’s test scores and grades.
By Katie Waldeck