The reasons why we need to get a good night’s sleep are well grounded in science. All the same, we keep on working late into the night or ignoring the lifestyle changes we need to start conquering the 3am monkey mind. As if you needed reminding, here are the reasons why you really need to start tackling your sleep patterns.
It Affects your Mood
Even one night of missed sleep means that you are likely to be grumpy, lacking in humour and otherwise not your usual self. Miss sleep regularly and people will begin to forget what we’re really like. Sleep problems are an issue for you and for your family, friends and colleagues.
It Limits your Patience
All of us have experienced this at some time or other. If you’re regularly teaching students when you haven’t slept you simply won’t have the time and energy for their needs that you want. You’re also more likely to make poor decisions that will make your job harder later.
It Makes You Die Younger
I can only think that “five hours a night” people ignore this in the same way that teenagers ignore the facts on smoking. We think we’re invincible when we’re young. The long hours spent at the computer or waking up at three in the morning with our mind racing doesn’t always register as a problem. As we get older then then relishing or ignoring sleeplessness can become alarming. Unfortunately, people do die of overwork.
It Makes You Binge Eat
You’re more likely to make unhealthy food choices when you haven’t slept well. Your body craves junk food and fats when you’re tired. Scientists obesity now believe that lack of sleep plays a large part in youngsters’ weight problems. Your metabolism will also be adversely affected by sleep deprivation.
It Can Make You Clumsier
Not only will a lack of sleep affect your hand eye co-ordination, it impinges on a whole range of cognitive functions. You’re likely to experience reduced emotional intelligence, poorer numeracy and language skills and reduced analytical thinking.
It Can Give You High Blood Pressure
Far from allowing it to become a badge of honour, we need to wake up to the fact (no pun intended) that sleeplessness is serious stuff. If employers start prioritising staff wellbeing, and sleep is a huge part of this then money spent on sick pay is going to decrease.
It Can Make You Depressed
For all the reasons mentioned above, lack of sleep is going to have a negative effect on your mental health. Depression is the major illness I’ve picked out here (and it is a huge issue in many Western cultures) but stress and anxiety are also not helped by lack of sleep.
I’ve only listed some of the effects of sleep deprivation here. We can’t afford to ignore it and yet so many of us still do.

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