We’ve all had those times where work, stress, kids and a number of other factors have caused us to lose sleep. That’s normal.
But when it continues for long periods of time, a lack of sleep can result in severe consequences for your health, making you more susceptible to serious medical conditions and diseases.
Though you may be more familiar with the sleep deprivation effects that can lead to obesity, heart disease and high blood pressure, these aren’t the worst of it.
Want kids? Want sex? Want money? These are all factors that can suffer from a lack of sleep. Read on for eight reasons why a good night’s sleep can boost your health (some of them may come as a surprise):
1. Better Reflexes and Thinking
Ever wonder why all those studies show that tired driving is just as dangerous as drunk driving? Not only are you at risk of falling asleep, but when you are tired your reaction time is delayed. You are slower at analyzing situations and reacting quickly. Your ability to make decisions safely can impact you and the others around you.
2. Sleep Prevents Diabetes
According to studies performed by the CDC, a person who sleeps less than five hours a night has an increased risk of developing diabetes. When you lose sleep constantly, the way your body processes glucose changes substantially. This change often leads to Type 2 diabetes.
3. Boost Your Immunity
Do you seem to always catch that nasty flu virus or cold floating around? Do you get run down easily? Your immune system relies heavily on getting a full eight hours of sleep.
4. More Sleep Equals More Sex
It’s been said that more sex allows for a better sleep, but did you know the more sleep you get the higher your sex drive? Research shows that people who don’t get a full night’s sleep are at risk in the bedroom. These studies show that both men and women who are sleep deprived are more likely to have lower libidos.
5. Sleep Deprivation Causes Weight Gain
You’ve been trying everything to lose weight. You cut out sugars and carbs. You’ve limited your alcohol intake. You haven’t skipped your daily exercise in months. But somehow, those pounds still won’t come off—a lack of sleep could be the likely culprit. It’s time to stop watching those late night infomercials, get rid of the diet pills, and commit to a full night’s sleep. Studies show that people who sleep less than eight hours a day are likely to gain more weight and have a higher risk of becoming obese than those who get more than eight hours.
6. Sleep Helps Prevent Depression
Turns out that people who don’t put eight hours of mattress time in each night also have a higher rate of anxiety and depression. You know the drill: if you wake up in a bad mood, you are irritable all day.
7. Lower Your Heart Risk
Research shows that sleeping less than 5 hours a day increases the risk of heart attacks by as much as 45 percent. By committing to 8 hours of sleep, not only will you decrease your blood pressure (and the number of pills you take), you will lower your heart rate and decrease the amount of inflammation.
8. Trying to Have a Baby?
Some studies suggest that some infertility issues are closely related to a lack of sleep.
And hey ladies, this advice isn’t just for the men! Losing sleep can cause a reduction in the secretion of reproductive hormones for both genders.