Sleep can be an elusive commodity at times or we simply get used to getting away with very little sleep. However, research shows that lack of sleep can have significant effects on our wellbeing – and particularly so on the brain.
The nature and extent of effects resulting from sleep starvation can be quite significant. They range from emotional responses such as anger to confusion, slurry speech and risky decision making, mental health issues as well as physical brain damage.
We have found an amazing Infographic that shows these effects in detail.
The Benefits Of A Good Night’s Sleep
Research shows that most people need between 6-8 hours of sleep – very much dependent on individual requirements. However, it seems that only about 30% of us get sufficient sleep on a regular basis.
And yet, sleep is essential for our well being.
During times of sleep, heart rate and blood pressure drop, the digestive system gets a break, human growth hormones are produced, the immune system is activated, etc. Our body gets a true rest and a chance to put things back into balance. Good sleep even promotes weight loss.
Do You Get Sufficient Sleep?
Do you get enough sleep? There are many reasons that can keep us from falling or keeping asleep, including a busy life style, anxiety and stress, too much coffee and screen time – or simply being a night owl.
It seems that 7 hours of sleep each night increase our overall survival chances, while if we sleep on average less than 6 hours of sleep each night, our mortality increases.
What Lack Of Sleep Does To Your Brain
Lack of sleep has a surprising number of adverse effects on the body and the mind.
First and foremost, it causes tiredness and decreased concentration – often putting us at greater risk from accidents and other mishaps. We become less resilient to stress and pressure.
More insidiously, science documents that T-cells – key fighters in immune system arsenal – go down. At the same time, inflammatory chemicals rise, with corresponding adverse effects on health conditions as heart disease and arthritis, and our ability to fight off colds and the flu.
And then there are the effects on the brain.
Mic.com has put together a great infographic that shows the effects of sleep deprivation on different parts of the brain. It makes for fascinating reading: