Most individuals understand that a lack of sleep can cause a person to have a miserable day with a foggy brain and yelling at employees or family. But there are also some other problems that sleep can cause:
• Memory problems;
• Sex life problems;
• Health problems;
• Problems with looks;
Being deprived of sleep is believed to be a factor in several accidents that we all have heard of:
• Massive Exxon Valdez oil spill;
• Three Mile Island nuclear accident;
• Nuclear meltdown at Chernobyl.
Highways and roads
Loss of sleep is the major problem on our highways and roads causing drowsiness and reaction time to be as bad as drunk driving. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration believes that fatigue is the major cause in 100,000 car accidents and 1,550 deaths caused by auto accidents in a year in the United States especially in drivers that are under 25 years old. If you have paid car insurance lately with a teen listed as a driver – you understand.
On the job accidents
There have been studies showing that loss of sleep and also sleep that is poor in quality leads to injuries on the job. Those workers who have excessive daytime sleepiness do have more work accidents, repeated work accidents and also take more sick days with these accidents. Sleep problems depress clear thinking and the ability to have problems retaining any learning. It impairs:
• Problem solving.
All of these make it much more difficult to learn efficiently hurting the grades of students in school especially college.
During one of these nights when sleep cycles are interrupted the “consolidating” of memories in the mind are disturbed. It is like having taken a roll of photographs that are not developed correctly. You won’t be able to remember what pictures you took. (This is the reason digital photography has become so popular – actually that is only a joke).
Chronic loss of sleep and sleep disorders can affect your health developing problems with:
• Heart attacks;
• Heart disease;
• Heart failure;
• Heartbeats that are irregular;
• High blood pressure;
Research shows that chronic sleep problems are often the reason that people die during the night. Some estimates show that 90 percent of insomniacs characterized by trouble getting to sleep and staying asleep which is also another health problem.
Doctors who are sleep specialists believe that sleep-deprived women and men report low libido and loss of interest in sex.
For those men with sleep apnea which is a problem with the respiratory system is also a factor in the sex area. One study that was published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism in 2002 report many men with sleep apnea also have low testosterone levels. In nearly half of the men suffering from severe sleep apnea also secrete abnormally low levels of testosterone during the night.
Some studies have estimated one year of working the night shift can age the human body 3 years.
Also sleep problems cause depression. In a Sleep in America poll, individuals who were diagnosed with anxiety or depression were most likely to sleep less than 6 hours a night.
Weight gain or loss
Sleep even can cause loss of weight – the more sleep a person gets the more weight they will lose. Lack of sleep seems to relate to an increase in appetite and hunger leading to obesity. In a study done in 2004 those individuals sleeping less than 6 hours a day were around 30 percent or more likely to have a problem with obesity than individuals sleeping 7 to 9 hours.
Leptin and ghrelin
Focusing on weight it is believed that the link between sleep and peptides that regulate appetite and sleep time is associated with decreases in leptin and elevations in ghrelin.
There are also other problems caused by lack of sleep. Many physicians believe that sleep patterns begin in childhood so parents need to work with their children to develop good sleep etiquette early in life.
Many people do not know the major health problems that lack of sleep can cause. Lack of sleep can cause everything from heart problems to diabetes. Sleep also can affect your weight.