According to Harvard, sleep is important because:
- Learning and memory: Sleep helps the brain commit new information to memory through a process called memory consolidation. In studies, people who’d slept after learning a task did better on tests later.
- Metabolism and weight: Chronic sleep deprivation may cause weight gain by affecting the way our bodies process and store carbohydrates, and by altering levels of hormones that affect our appetite. (WHAT?!)
- Safety: Sleep debt contributes to a greater tendency to fall asleep during the daytime. These lapses may cause falls and mistakes such as medical errors, air traffic mishaps, and road accidents.
- Mood: Sleep loss may result in irritability, impatience, inability to concentrate, and moodiness. Too little sleep can also leave you too tired to do the things you like to do.
- Cardiovascular health: Serious sleep disorders have been linked to hypertension (FFFUUUUU....), increased stress hormone levels, and irregular heartbeat.
- Disease: Sleep deprivation alters immune function, including the activity of the body’s killer cells. Keeping up with sleep may also help fight cancer.
Damn, sleep is important! I have noticed that I'm a horrid person when I don't get enough. I have a tendency to try to fall asleep while driving if I don't get enough sleep before hand (I pull over and nap).
I found a list from WebMd about the effects on the body from a lack of sleep. Here's the summary:
- Sleepiness causes accidents. Like I said above, the fact that I get so sleepy
- Sleep loss makes you stupid.
- Sleep deprivation can lead to serious health problems. One of the listed problems is high blood pressure. Are you for serious?!
- Lack of sleep kills sex drive.... I'll keep this in mind for when my bf gets back. XD
- Sleepiness is depressing. I'll say.
- Lack of sleep ages your skin. :(
- Sleepiness makes you forgetful.
- Losing sleep can make you gain weight. I really want to stop reading about that now. It says that a lack of sleep can lead to an increase in appetite, which I can relate to. During my 4am-noon shifts, my body needs more food to keep me awake. When I first started working this shifts, I couldn't stop eating. I've adjusted a bit better, but it still takes food to keep conscious.
- Lack of sleep may increase risk of death. Well isn't THAT happy.
- Sleep loss impairs judgement, especially about sleep. "Sleep-deprived people seem to be especially prone to poor judgment when it comes to assessing what lack of sleep is doing to them. In our increasingly fast-paced world, functioning on less sleep has become a kind of badge of honor. But sleep specialists say if you think you’re doing fine on less sleep, you’re probably wrong. And if you work in a profession where it’s important to be able to judge your level of functioning, this can be a big problem." I had to quote that because my sleepless mind just was not comprehending the title of the tenth point.
So there you have it folks. Sleep is extremely important. I am so excited to go to sleep after my shift and to one day never work these hours again.
<3 - CFC