We can “get by” with about 5 hours of sleep per night right? After all, I know plenty of professional mum’s like myself who made it through the first few years after the birth of their child and have lived to tell the tale. Periods of sleep deprived nights often resulted in the feeling of serious fatigue and with a side dish of grumpiness. But I made it, we all did.
So what’s the problem?
In this article I’m going to share the top 5 worrying consequences of insomnia. Why is it important?
Because despite the “obvious consequences” that are caused by sleep deprivation; there could be other things at play currently going under the radar and unnoticed, that once uncovered, gives us the tools to live with more awareness, better health and greater levels of and fulfilment every day!
Worth a read right!
So here are my top 5 worrying consequences caused directly and indirectly by insomnia
1 Depression and rapid mood change
According to the sleep foundation, insomnia and depression have a bidirectional relationship. Meaning that they have such a close relationship, it’s likely that one can and does cause the other. In fact, they claim that 75% of people suffering with depression go through bouts of insomnia, 20% of people with depression have sleep apnea and about 15% have hypersomnia (recurrent episodes of excessive daytime sleepiness or prolonged night time sleep). This doesn’t mean that depression is simply caused by a lack of sleep but it shows that a severe lack of sleep could absolutely be a direct or indirect cause/factor.
Some studies have shown that just by experiencing one night of sleep deprivation you can become as insulin resistant as a type 2 diabetic. According to Dr Mark Mahowald, (director of the Minnesota Regional Sleep Disorders Center in Hennepin ) sleep deprivation can cause the body to react like it has insulin resistance- this means that the cells in your body fail to use the hormone correctly which can lead to consistent high blood sugar which can often lead to rapid weight gain.
3 Cravings and “hangriness”
However insulin isn’t the only hormone that can dramatically shift your hormones;
Leptin and ghrelin sound like a pair of hobbits don’t they, but are actually responsible for keeping you full and making you hungry. Research shows that sleep deprivation can shift the way these hormones release very often leading to an overall increase of hunger throughout the day, naturally making you crave sugar and fat.
Ever had a day of such heavy cravings that it would require the will power of a marine to stop you overeating? There’s a chance sleep deprivation could be the cause!
In short – sleep deprivation = hangry hangry woman!
4 Insomnia ages your brain!
A study in the journal of the American geriatrics followed a group of women of a 6 year period testing their memory and thinking skills throughout. The researchers found that those who regularly slept 5 hours or less per night performed far worse at the tasks presented vs those who slept 7-8 hours per night. In fact, the researchers estimated that the “under sleepers” were mentally 2 years older than the “good sleepers”.
I imagine that bad sleep is the nemesis to Benjamin button – for every year you age, your brain ages a bit faster! Who would of thought staying in bed could keep you younger, you don’t have to tell me twice.
5 Low sex drive
A study of over 4000 women and men found that “lack of sleep KILLS libido”. That’s right. Talk about taking away your zest. For women specifically, the researchers found a dramatic reduction and a severe increase in orgasm difficulty.
What’s the bottom line?
Bad sleep = bad sex (unless of course the bad sleep has been caused by great sex!)
In conclusion, it’s so easy in this busy world of multi-tasking everything for sleep to move down on our list of priorities. As well as that, it becomes even easier to sometimes use a lack of sleep like a “badge of honour”. So much so, that poor sleep becomes our new baseline and we just accept it. However in this article, you’ve been able to see that it’s not just our energy levels that can suffer as a result. Without the necessary ability to recover; our diet, memory, mental health and sex drive can all go downhill simply from a lack of this one thing.
But fear not!
Because there is something we can do about this! How many times have you “felt off” in a multitude of ways? Something just doesn’t feel right and you begin to look for the most complex solution.
“is it my relationship?”
“is it my career?”
“Am I still deep down upset about what Joanna said the other day?”
Sometimes it’s easy to overlook the simple answers. So my first go to whenever that “off feeling” begins to surface is always…”what has my sleep been like over the last few days?”.
For as we now all know, something as simple as sleep can affect more areas than we could have guessed!
Want to get great sleep?
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