Why Sleep Deprivation is Harmful and How You Can Fix It

Sleep is a necessity; it is as critical to life as breathing, and it affects every aspect of your life- from your productivity to your health and mood.

While most of us assume that sleep hours cut into our productive hours, we’re actually more productive when we get sufficient sleep!

So while it may seem counterintuitive, your productivity will increase when you sleep better, because you’ll have more energy and be able to think more clearly while working more efficiently.

This is why you need to get enough sleep. Here are just a few of the effects of sleep deprivation that can negatively impact your life.

1. Sleep loss deters brain function

Sleep is like fuel for your neurons- the less sleep you get, the slower your thinking and learning processes are going to work.
Firstly, lack of sleep affects your ability to retain information by attacking your attentiveness and alertness. A lack of REM sleep (deep sleep), won’t allow your brain to convert your short-term memory into long-term memory, making you less useful at work or in school.

2. Sleep deprivation can be harmful to the health of your skin

People who have a couple of bad nights of sleep in a row can experience sagging under their eyes or lack of luster in their skin. But if you’re consistently getting less than six hours of sleep a night, dark circles and sag in the overall skin of the face can become permanent.

This is because sleep is the prime time for the body to get to work on repairing damaged cells and renewing old ones.

If you don’t get enough sleep, this can’t happen as effectively, and those old and damaged skin cells will start taking their toll on your appearance.

While you’re losing sleep, you’re actually increasing your chances of gaining weight

When your body isn’t getting enough sleep, it resorts to finding other sources of energy, such as food.

And not only are you craving food, you’re craving food that is high in fat and sugar because your body knows that is what it needs to keep itself going.

1. It Weakens the Immune System

A less immediately obvious side effect of sleep deprivation is the fact that your body won’t be able to muster its normal defenses. The immune system produces various substances—like cytokines and antibodies—to help keep foreign presences like troubling bacteria or viruses away.

These substances need to be renewed like any other part of the body and their production also needs to increase when an invader is detected. Both of these functions are slowed in cases of sleep deprivation. A lack of quality sleep means that you will find yourself falling prey more often to colds and minor infections and that any existing illnesses will take longer to heal.

2. Causes mood swings

Mood swings are one of the most apparent effects of sleep deprivation: Irritability and a general feeling of just being not yourself are common complaints when overtired.

As it turns out, mood and sleep are very closely linked. The cause-and-effect relationship between the two goes both ways. While a lack of sleep results in changes in our mood, our mood likewise has an impact on our ability to get a good night’s rest. Thus we end up in a cycle of exhaustion and increasing negative mood.

How to deal with the effects of sleep deprivation
1. Adjust your lifestyle

Difficulty sleeping can often be traced back to an unhealthy lifestyle. Eating a well-balanced diet and getting enough exercise everyday are two of the best ways to avoid waking up at night.

While exercising during the day can help the body maintain natural biological rhythms and raise the quality of sleep, it should not be practiced less than 4 hours prior to sleep time. Restorative sleep is essential and daytime sleep for shift workers can also improve in quality with regular exercise.

2. Find the proper mattress

At Whisper, we’re not just in the business of selling mattresses and bedding accessories, we’re in the business of helping people live healthier and happier lives. If you’ve been looking to fix your sleep deprivation or just need a new mattress, we will make sure you choose the best mattress for a better sleep.

Foam mattresses are effective tools for helping you get to sleep faster and rest longer. They work by layering different types of foam to help you combat sleep deprivation and insomnia.

For example, people who experience insomnia from sleeping in rooms with high temperature and dry air can enjoy our open cell foam mattress to help reduce the heat trapped in the mattress.

This promotes air circulation and is heat wicking for a cooler sleep. These features can take care of some of the secondary factors that can contribute to sleep deprivation and insomnia. Remember that sleep health is so important to our general health and you’d be surprised how much each of these factors can affect your ability to get a good night’s sleep.

3. Avoid cell phones and electronic devices before you sleep

The biggest way we sabotage our chances of good sleep is with our mobile phone. We hurt our ability to sleep well by looking at our screens and leaving our phones charging on our bedside table. The combination of synthetic light before bed and notifications while we sleep stimulates our mind, preventing us from dropping into deep sleep cycles. One of the best ways to sleep more soundly is by staying off electronics before bed. Try switching from a screen to a book, board game, bath, relaxing meditation, or any way that relaxes you without being plugged in. And if you have to have your phone close to you while you sleep, our Whisper Mattress blocks all harmful electromagnetic waves, keeping you safe and sound asleep.