At Adjustable Beds, we are well aware that a lack of sleep can seriously affect a person’s health. Not only has it been well-documented that failing to get the recommended 7 - 8 hours of quality slumber each night is likely to increase the chances of everything from hypertension and obesity through to diabetes and stroke, but new research has also shown that the cognitive effects of lack of sleep are not only short-term. Whilst anyone who has failed to get a decent night’s sleep will know that the next day is often a mire of confusion and forgetfulness, the long-term effects on the brain can be even more shocking, with scientists now suggesting that not getting enough sleep can lead the brain to shrink and can also speed up the onset of dementia.
From reduced attention span to irritability, there are many well-known effects of failing to get a good night’s rest. However, there are also myriad other effects of sleep-deprivation that individuals may not realise are down to their sleeping habits. Below, we look at a few of the stranger effects of not getting the right amount of shut-eye.
1. You may not realise you are tired
It may sound complete fabrication, but those who are not getting enough sleep often do not even realise they are tired. After a few nights, their bodies simply get used to dealing with the lack of sleep and in turn individuals may believe that they are functioning like their old selves. However, lack of sleep will continue to affect cognitive functions and impair judgement, and even those who have got used to surviving on far less sleep than they need will find that their ability to function has been seriously compromised. Whilst we may believe we are back to our old selves once we get used to not sleeping properly, in reality we simply get used to functioning poorly.
2. Bye bye sex drive
Those who do not sleep well also tend to exhibit less interest in sex. Whether lack of focus, increased feelings of stress or depleted energy levels are to blame, the simple fact of the matter is that those who want a healthy sex life will want to get plenty of rest every single night.
3. It ages you
In the short-term, a lack of sleep will leave us looking far from our best but, in the long-term, not getting 7 or 8 hours each night could lead to far worse aesthetic repercussions. Hormones released when one is tired are likely to break down collagen in the skin, reducing smoothness and destroying elasticity.
4. It reduces empathy
If you are not getting enough sleep, there is a chance you will care less for your fellow man. Lack of sleep may also lead to an inability to accurately gauge the emotions of those around you. Whether this is due to a reduction in concentration or comes down to a focus on self-preservation is not all that clear, but either way, the fact remains that you are likely to be less empathetic if you do not get enough sleep.
5. Money is no concern
A recent study showed that those who had failed to get enough sleep at night were likely to be far less interested in money. The research focussed on the effects of gambling, with those who were tired caring far less about losses than those who had reached their full quota of sleep.
A lack of sleep will not just affect our bodies, but also how we behave, subtly changing our personalities, often without us even knowing. As such, getting the right amount of sleep will be vital and in turn ensuring that one has the right bed and the right sleeping environment could have a huge impact on both body and soul.