While you may think that you can get by on only a few hours of sleep each night, that’s unfortunately, not the case. Sure, skimping on sleep once in a while isn’t something to be overly concerned about. However, when it becomes a consistent habit, your physical and emotional well-being may suffer some consequences.
Here's a breakdown of what happens to your body when you don’t get enough sleep each night:
Compromised Mental Clarity
When it comes to your ability to remember things and concentrate, sleep is imperative. It’s during the deep stages of sleep where memories are formed and stored, so when you skimp on sleep, your ability to remember even the easiest of things may suffer. In addition, it’s much more difficult trying to learn something new when your body is running on empty.
Sacrificing sleep can take a toll on your mental health. Life is stressful enough without trying to juggle the demands of work and family without adequate sleep. Getting enough sleep also helps with regulation of emotions, so you might find yourself more irritable, stressed, or otherwise out-of-sorts.
Your Physical Appearance Suffers
Since your body releases higher levels of cortisol (stress hormone) when sleep deprived, you may develop signs of premature aging in the form of wrinkles and skin dullness. Additionally, heightened cortisol prompts the body to store more fat and use muscle as energy. Collagen production also slows down, making skin become thinner and less firm. Beauty sleep is, quite literally, very important in maintaining your physical appearance.
In addition to feeling poorly and potentially not looking your best, not getting enough sleep can halt your weight loss efforts. In fact, you may even gain weight. Lack of adequate rest may make you feel hungrier than usual, particularly for foods that are high in fat and carbohydrates.
If you’re sleeping consistently less than six hours a night, you may be at higher risk of developing hypertension (high blood pressure) and cardiovascular disease.
When to Seek Treatment
If you find yourself habitually skipping out on sleep, whether from stress, insomnia, or even if you think you don't need to sleep as much as others, we are here to help. At KMC Sleep Center, your sleep health is our top priority. We want to help you get the rest you deserve. Contact us today and we'll help you sleep like a baby tomorrow.