Let’s be honest: most of us don’t get the recommended eight hours of sleep that we’re supposed to. Most of us lead very busy lives with work, family and social lives. But guess what: if you don’t snooze, you lose – there’s a reason why it’s called “beauty sleep,” and it’s not necessarily just about outer appearances! In a study published last year, it showed that with just one week of sleeping less than six hours a night resulted in changes to more than 700 genes. Alissa Scheller, a writer for The Huffington Post, created an infographic that revealed that ugly truth about skimping on sleep, beginning with the first night.
According to Scheller’s research, after just one night of not getting enough shut-eye, here are some gruesome facts when you don’t get 8 hours of sleep a night:
- You’re hungrier and apt to eat more.
- You’re more likely to have an accident. It’s been said that driving while sleep-deprived is just as bad as driving under the influence. Sleep deprivation also just makes you more clumsy in general – whether you’re behind the wheel or not.
- You’re more likely to catch a cold. The Mayo Clinic explains: “During sleep, your immune system releases proteins called cytokines, some of which help promote sleep. Certain cytokines need to increase when you have an infection or inflammation, or when you’re under stress. Sleep deprivation may decrease production of these protective cytokines. In addition, infection-fighting antibodies and cells are reduced during periods when you don’t get enough sleep.”
- You lose brain tissue.
- You’re more likely to get emotional. Ladies, I know this one all-too-well.
- You’re less focused and have memory problems.
Those are just for one night – chances are, we probably don’t sleep enough more than just one night. After a while, sleep deprivation catches up and the truth gets even uglier:
- Your stroke risk quadruples.
- Your obesity risk jumps.
- Your risk of some cancers may increase.
- Your diabetes risk goes up.
- Your heart disease risk increases.
- Your sperm count decreases.
- Your risk of death goes up.
Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images