We all understand how essential getting a full night’s rest is to feel good, but a proper sleep is fundamental in nearly every part of life.
For one thing, poor sleep is linked to weight gain. This has been speculated to be caused by hormonal changes and lower motivation to exercise caused by inadequate sleep. It makes sense that those who are still tired wouldn’t muster up the willpower to expend even more energy. Poor sleep leads to higher levels of ghrelin, the hormone that stimulates appetite, and lower levels of leptin, the appetite suppressing hormone. The sleep-deprived tend to eat more calories to compensate.
Good sleep is vitally important for cognition, concentration, and overall productivity during the day. Inadequate sleep is known to impair your brain as severely as alcohol intoxication. Similarly it enhances speed, reaction time, and accuracy in exercise and general physical activity.
Then there are the more severe risks associated with not getting enough rest. Rates of chronic diseases like heart disease, stroke, and Type 2 diabetes have been shown to be higher in the sleep deprived. 90% of people with depression have reported to suffer from sleeping disorders. Immune function improves with more sleep, so those of us who get colds need to ensure we’re getting our eight hours. Inflammation and cell damage is more likely without rest, increasing risk of long-term inflammation in the digestive tract like Crohn’s disease.
The most relatable negative effect of not sleeping well is that it impairs our ability to pick up on social cues. Studies have shown that the sleep deprived proved ineffective in recognizing facial expressions of anger and happiness.