Friday, February 26, 2021

Risks Of Sleep Deprivation


How many of you have stayed up late? I am talking way late into the early hours of the next morning. There are countless reasons why we do this. For some, it may be because of a sick child, while others just got home from work and have to relax. Whatever your reason, sleep loss can have damaging effects on your health if it is done too often. According to a study by Sleep in America, most Americans get fewer than the recommended eight hours of sleep. This can be harmful to health in many ways.

First, concentration and fatigue may be effected if you lose too much sleep. Our bodies are used to a light and dark cycle. In this electronic age, our phones, computers and tablets that we carry to bed with us often disturb our sleep. This is because these devices give off a blue light that awakens us and gives us an extra energy boost to stay up late. In order to break this habit, put these devices away an hour or two before bed. Try to find a hobby to replace them, like crochet or reading. Lately I have been drawing in a sketch book before bed, which I find really relaxing. It gets me to bed earlier and it is easier to get up in the morning.

Many may not consider diabetes to be linked to sleep loss, but scientists are giving this careful consideration. Diabetics often have out of control blood sugar levels, which put them at greater risk of losing sleep. With this in mind, it makes sense that scientists have found sleep deprivation to link to pre-diabetes. This is why it is crucial to get those eight hours a night. The loss of sleep resembles insulin resistance, which the body needs to produce energy. The body needs energy to function and without it, you are going to feel fatigue. Really, put this cycle to rest.

Also, keep in mind that while you sleep your brain is still busy at work. It is processing your day’s memories and everything that you have taken in. Some of this information ill formulate into a dream, which is only natural. Those who lose sleep usually do not dream, however, or they dream stress dreams. This is another important reason to get those eight hours of relaxing, peaceful slumber. Do not let your worries follow you to bed.

If you do not get eight hours of sleep, however, you may have trouble remembering information. You may have memory loss of vital memories that others remember crystal clear. Also, you are putting yourself at risk for such diseases as Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes and obesity. For those that get enough sleep, memories are strong and vibrant. They remember memories back to their childhood and can tell you what they were doing when a national event took place. Sleep is so important, so make it important in your life.

And finally, Estee Lauder is running a clinical trial that looks at sleep deprivation and skin health. They are studying how it affects premature skin aging, and how sleep deprivation may play a role in the body’s ability to recover after a sunburn. This is really fascinating. While studying pre-menopausal women between ages 30 and 49, they found those that lost sleep were most likely to be overweight. Alarming? Maybe, but let us consider this a wake up call and get more sleep. You deserve to feel like a millionaire in the morning.

Jennifer Olson
A mother of three, lover of children and keeping them (and us adults!) as healthy as can be. I have worked as a midwife and nurse for 12 years. Email:

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