I can’t even begin to tell you the amount of countless nights I’ve spent as a kid with my mom nagging me to death about my lack of sleep. I never took her seriously. When going to college, I took full advantage of my mother’s absence to sleep how and when I wanted. Sleep was never on my agenda, I’d just shoot myself up with a high dose of caffeine and be on my way to work to studying. It’s no surprise that after college, this same attitude towards sleep continued. The attitude was, the harder and longer you worked, the more productive you were. “You can sleep all you want when you’re dead, no need to waste time sleeping now.”
No one likes to discover that they’re being severely affected by a lack of sleep side effects. This can also be known as sleep deprivation. A lot of people even accept this serious issue as if it were a normal part of life. However, there are serious physical effects of living day to day with a lack of sufficient sleep. What are the dangerous effects, you ask? Let’s look at these lack of sleep side effects.
Most likely you’re reading this article because you suffer from lack of sleep side effects or are afraid of having these symptoms in the future. Some things in this list of side effects are already affecting you. But as your sleep deprivation continues or get’s worst, so too do the symptoms. Some of these side effects that you don’t have, you might have as time progresses.
Lack of sleep side effects you need to know
One of the most immediate side effects you’ll notice, if you haven’t already, is impaired alertness. Honestly, it’s like being drunk. According to the National Sleep Foundation, drowsy-driving accidents cause 1,550 deaths, 71,000 injuries, and $12.5 billion in property damages and loss in productivity every year. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports 1 million accidents are caused by inattention every year. Two of the highest risk factors for inattentiveness behind the wheel are sleep deprivation and fatigue. Sleep deprived drivers aren’t just putting themselves at risk by getting behind the wheel; they’re putting their passengers as well as other drivers at risk. They are also a threat to pedestrians.
People who drive for a living have an even higher risk of being in an accident while driving. Approximately 47 percent of all truck drivers report that they’ve fallen asleep at the wheel at least once during their driving careers.
Now here’s a list of even more side effects from sleep deprivation:
1) Sheer exhaustion
This isn’t your random “its been a really long day” type of tired. This is a complete and utter feeling of exhaustion, meaning you want to do absolutely nothing all day long, forever. It’s as if you could fall asleep forever.
It does not matter how insignificant the task may seem – walking to the kitchen to eat, getting the mail, making a copy at work, picking up the phone, or even getting up to go to the bathroom – you just don’t want to do it and feel drained and sleepier even thinking about doing it. Finding a rock to crawl under would be great, but that would mean you’d have to actually crawl – which is another activity you just don’t want to do.
Quick Note: This is the most common physical effect of a lack of sleep and sleeplessness there is – and it’s usually one of the first, if not THE FIRST, to hit. You’re well aware of how tired you usually get after a long day, so this type of SUPER TIRED should be fairly easy to spot.
2) Impaired coordination
It’s one thing to have not-so-great hand-eye coordination or even a slower than normal reaction time, but this is a level of clumsiness you’ve never felt before. It’s as though you’ve been shot up full of pain killers and are now operating in slow motion. It’s like you’re a sluggish zombie.
Note: This can get dangerous. If your job requires a high attention level and split second decision making, then you’re not going to be a highly regarded asset for very long. Even if you have a fairly easy and “lazy” job, you still have to drive to get there, right? How smoothly do you think you’re going to be able to drive with such impaired motor skills? Your chances of being in an accident have just increased exponentially.
3) Blurred/ “Off” vision
No, you are not blind, but you may find yourself having a difficult time seeing things. It’s not uncommon to experience a little haziness from time to time when you are seriously sleep deprived. However, if you experience this effect of insomnia and sleep deprivation in ADDITION to any other effects, you’ll be nearly incapable of doing anything without a handicap.
4) General discomfort
You won’t be in pain or anything, you’ll just feel wholly uncomfortable. And it doesn’t matter if you are in the worlds most softest pair of pajamas lying on the worlds fluffiest bed either, you are still going to feel unrelaxed and, for lack of a better word, “icky”. You just don’t feel very fresh or in a good mood.
5) Lots of health problems
A severe lack of sleep can and WILL lead to future health problems. How so? As a result from a lack of sleep, your immune system will be much weaker. Your body needs rest to function properly and stave off infections that attack your body daily. If you’re suffering from severe sleep deprivation and insomnia, well, it’s safe to say you’re not getting that vital rest and are definitely lacking sleep. You’re going to get sick easily and recover much slower than usual.
People who continue to lack proper sleep also increase their chances for heart disease and stroke as a result of not letting their arteries and organs recover. Other health lack of sleep side effects is weight gain from lack of sleep. With a decline in sleep, so too is the ability of the body to metabolize sugar, turning sugar into fat.
These are the most dangerous, and VERY REAL, physical effects of sleep deprivation. Although they won’t all spring up at the first sign of lack of sleep, you can pretty much bet that they will appear if the sleeplessness continues. Don’t let this happen!
It may be hard to believe that something as simple as having a lack of sleep could affect you physically and emotionally, but it does seriously affect you and the consequences can be negative to your well being. Take the necessary steps immediately to get the rest you need so you can avoid these life DESTROYING physical side effects of having a lack of sleep. Do not let your body go sleep deprived.