Surprising effects of lack of Sleep


New Delhi: You know lack of sleep can make you grumpy and foggy. You may not know what it can do to your life, memory, health, looks, and even ability to lose weight. Lack of sleep could raise the risk of developing heart disease, particularly for those who work in shifts, a new study has suggested. According to researchers from Northwestern University in the US, if you work in shifts then your body's involuntary processes may breakdown which may lead to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. “In humans, as in all mammals, almost all physiological and behavioral processes, in particular the sleep-wake cycle, follow a circadian rhythm that is regulated by an internal clock located in the brain," said Daniela Grimaldi from Northwestern University. Researchers said insufficient sleep is particularly common in shift workers, who represent 15 per cent to 30 per cent of the working population in industrialized countries. Some effects of sleep loss are:

Sleepiness Causes Accidents:

Sleep Loss is also a big public safety hazard every day on the road. Drowsiness can slow reaction time as much as driving drunk. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that fatigues a cause in 100,000 auto crashes and 1,550 crash-related deaths a year in the U.S. The problem is greatest among people under 25 years old.

Studies show that sleep loss and poor-quality sleep also lead to accidents and injuries on the job. In one study, workers who complained about excessive daytime sleepiness had significantly more work accidents, particularly repeated work accidents. They also had more sick days per accident.

Sleep Loss Dumb You Down

Sleep plays a critical role in thinking and learning. Lack of sleep hurts these cognitive processes in many ways. First, it impairs attention, alertness, concentration, reasoning, and problem solving. This makes it more difficult to learn efficiently.

Second, during the night, various sleep cycles play a role in “consolidating” memories in the mind. If you don’t get enough sleep, you won’t be able to remember what you learned and experienced during the day.

 Sleep Deprivation Can Lead to Serious Health Problems

Sleep disorders and chronic sleep loss can put you at risk. According to some estimates, 90% of people with insomnia — a sleep disorder characterized by trouble falling and staying asleep — also have another health condition.