How does lack of sleep affect your health?

A good night’s sleep is the best way to ensure you wake up refreshed and ready to face the new day. But if you’re guilty of staying up late, you might not realise how much sleep you’re missing out on and how it could be affecting your health

So, how can sleep issues affect you?

Feeling drowsy while driving is a significant accident risk and 29% of people admit this happens to them at least once a month. 20% have nodded off while driving and 5% of these people had an accident in the past year because they dozed off.1

Even more concerning are the potential long-term consequences of sleep deprivation, such as the increased risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, high blood pressure, depression, sexual dysfunction and cognitive impairment.2

Sound like a reason for concern? It is. There are, however, facts that you can be aware of to help you understand sleep deprivation better. And aside from the potential for serious long-term effects, here are some things which result from a lack of sleep which you might notice sooner rather than later:

Loss of memory

That’s right – not getting enough ZZZ’s can gradually affect your memory. During deep sleep, your mind cements all the memories you’ve made during your waking hours, so if you want to make in-roads at your job or succeed at school, it’s best to ensure you’re getting a healthy night’s sleep.

Diet, appetite and weight.

If you’re wanting to get into good physical shape, start your health journey by getting enough sleep. Missing sleep, even in the short term, can affect your appetite. How? By making you crave comfort foods that are high in fat and sugar.1 Sleep deprivation can also increase your production of ‘hunger hormone’ ghrelin, which is linked to obesity and diabetes.

Reckless behaviour

Have you ever been so hungry that you’re almost past the point of hunger, and you’ve moved into a bewildered, odd state? Sleep deprivation can have a similar effect and cause you to make irrational, hasty decisions that may not be in your best interest

Not getting enough sleep?

If you feel like you’re not getting enough sleep, or if poor quality sleep leaves you nodding off during the day, it’s time to explore the issue further.

If you think you have a sleep condition, such as sleep apnea, it’s important to seek a proper diagnosis and get it treated.

Take a free sleep assessment here

This article is an abridged version of the original article published by ResMed. For citations and the full article, please click here.

Want to continue browsing our health-related articles? Select a blog category below.

Access expert medical care in minutes

View our Services