Whether you are not getting enough sleep due to overwork, overplay, or any number of unknown reasons, lack of sleep can wreak havoc on your health and life in general. Here are just a few of the ways it can affect you.
Driving while sleepy is one of the most serious causes of car accidents. Studies have shown that you are just as likely to cause a car accident with a lack of sleep as you are if you are drunk. About one in three drivers are sleep-deprived, which can be a danger to other drivers and themselves by causing collisions and accidents. In order to avoid such car accidents, make sure that you are fully awake before getting in the car to drive. If you need to go somewhere but aren’t awake enough, consider an alternate form of transportation such as a bus or a rideshare service to get to your destination.
Do you ever feel drowsy at work? The three-o'clock slump is no urban myth. Coffee breaks are historically a chance for employees to stretch their legs and grab a pick-me-up like coffee or something to eat so they will make it through the rest of the workday. If you are only getting a few hours of sleep at night and are falling asleep at work, the results can vary from the embarrassment of falling asleep at your desk to falling off a roof and being hurt or worse. People who work split shifts have a high degree of sleep disorders due to not being able to relax and fall asleep when work is finally over. Poor work performance is a common problem in people who suffer from lack of sleep.
When you don’t get enough sleep, your body’s immunity to illness is negatively affected. When you sleep, your body produces certain proteins called cytokines that help your body with inflammation or infection. When sleep is limited, your body can’t produce as many of these proteins, so it is left more vulnerable when exposed to viruses. If you’re already sick, lack of sleep can also make it harder for your body to recover for the same reason.
Regardless of the reason, when your sleep is disrupted on a regular basis, it can cause serious health issues like diabetes, heart disease, and depression. Most adults need a minimum of seven hours of sleep each night in order to perform their best at work and be alert and happy throughout the day. Make sure that you do all you can to get at least this amount of sleep each night so you can live a happier and more productive life.