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8 consequences for health and well-being

The consequences of sleep a bit can be several. From the damage to productivity to the negative effects on the physical and mental health of the person.

It is essential that you pay attention to number of hours of sleep per dayas well as the quality of sleep, so that you can make positive changes to your habits, if necessary, in order to put an end to sleepless nights.

Sleep is extremely important for your well-being and for you to be able to perform well in your day-to-day work.

The importance of sleep for health and well-being

There are 24 hours in a day, and it is essential that some of those hours are spent sleeping. When you sleep, you are disconnecting your body from worries and reaching the deepest state of relaxation.

We all need those daily rest hours to replenish the energies spent during the day. We are talking not only about physical energy, but also about mental energy.

We know that it is not easy to deal with work worries or even with some obstacles that life can bring you, however, it is extremely important that you understand sleep as a physiological need (as well as food and breathing, for example ).

Sleeping little is a problem that affects more and more people in Portugal. In a survey carried out by the Portuguese Society of Pneumology (SPP) and the Portuguese Society of Occupational Medicine (SPMT), to a sample of 653 Portuguese aged 25 years or over, it was possible to conclude that almost half of adults over 25 years sleeps less than 6 hours a day.

As we can see, this is a considerable number and it is therefore important for all of us to be aware of the consequences of not getting enough sleep.

8 consequences of not getting enough sleep

It is a fact that sleeping too little can have very negative consequences for your physical and mental health.

But what are the recommended daily hours of sleep? According to American Academy of Sleep Medicine, at least 7 hours of sleep a day are advised for an adult. However, this number can change when the person in question is a young adult, changing to 9 hours of sleep a day.

When, for some reason, people do not sleep the hours they should, often for consecutive days, it is essential that they change some habits and routines so that they can stabilize their sleep again.

Otherwise, some of the consequences of poor sleep may begin to manifest. We have made a list of various physical and mental consequences that can occur, take note.

Sometimes we can’t sleep because we feel anxious for some reason. However, when this anxiety moves from an occasional situation to a routine, it is a sign that you are entering a vicious cycle.

When you can’t sleep, it’s natural to feel anxious and this anxiety will also be observed throughout your day (ie at work and at home). As you haven’t slept, the tendency is to get even more anxious during the day. When this happens, you should make an appointment with your doctor so that you can understand what makes you feel this way, and in order to solve the problem as quickly as possible.


Diversion of attention and memory loss

It’s normal that when you sleep little for several weeks in a row, you start to feel your performance affected throughout the day. That is, then difficulties appear in being properly concentrated and you may even have some memory loss.

The brain consolidates memories during sleep. Memory is built in a specific sequence of the sleep cycle – in the slow wave phase (deep sleep) and in the REM phase, the one in which we dream. By not sleeping enough hours, memories are not consolidated as well and this makes the person more likely to forget things.

This is one of the consequences that you should be very aware of, because in addition to being highly harmful at work and at home, it can also pose a danger to your physical health (when you are driving, for example).


Increases the risk of accidents

Sleep deprivation is a factor in many road accidents, as well as some of the biggest disasters in world history, particularly in the history of aviation. For example, air traffic controllers must take precise shifts to ensure maximum attention.

Sleeping too little has very negative results on the road. Drowsiness can reduce reaction time to such an extent that it becomes equivalent to driving under the influence of alcohol.

woman with insomnia

When we don’t sleep, or when we sleep little, our brain loses control over our emotions, and at the same time our reactions are sometimes totally unexpected.

Small situations that you wouldn’t pay any attention to on a normal day, could be reason for a big stress In your head. Emotional upset due to lack of rest can be highly damaging to your professional and personal relationships.

Too little sleep and sleep disturbances can lead to symptoms of depression. A study proves that there is a strong link between poor sleep and depression.

Insomnia, the most common sleep disorder, is the closest thing to depression. In fact, insomnia is often one of the first signs of depression. These two problems feed off each other, with lack of sleep exacerbating symptoms of depression and depression can result in difficulty falling asleep.


Higher risk of contracting diseases

People who sleep little, in the long term, are more likely to have chronic insomnia, as well as other types of conditions such as diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular diseases (heart failure, stroke, high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels, arrhythmias ) and intestinal problems. Lack of sleep affects the proper functioning of your body, and it is essential that you change your routines in order to prevent this type of situation.

As we all know, getting little sleep changes our physical appearance. Many people are left with pale skin and swollen eyes after sleepless nights. If this is chronic, the skin becomes dull, wrinkles and dark circles appear.

When you sleep little, the body releases more stress hormones (cortisol). Producing too much cortisol causes it to inhibit collagen, a protein responsible for keeping skin smooth and elastic.

When it comes to a prolonged situation, it is natural that you begin to be unable to hide the signs of tiredness that are mainly manifested on the face.

woman sleeping too much

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Sleep deprivation is linked to an increased appetite and possibly obesity. Studies report that people who sleep less than six hours a day have about 30% more likely to become obese than people who sleep between seven and nine hours a day.

The lack of hours of sleep also stimulates the appetite, promoting the desire to consume foods rich in fat and carbohydrates.

As you can see, the consequences of not getting enough sleep are many and it is very important that as soon as you start to feel some of these signs appear, you visit your doctor. Nowadays, there are already several solutions that you can use to be able to resume your peaceful nights sleep.

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