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Sleep deprivation can affect negatively your life quality and it can prevent you from learning how to lucid dream.
The most common causes of sleeplessness vary between sleep disorders, stress, poor health, etc.
It’s something we’ve all experienced at some stage of our lives, but ongoing sleep problems are not to be taken lightly.
Most sufferers complain of exhaustion, forgetfulness, weight gain or moodiness, but it can be more than just an inconvenience.
Extended periods of sleep deprivation can be highly detrimental to our health, and even worse, negatively impact our natural life expectancy.
The brain and body do not function properly on too little sleep.
Sleep is essential for the body to restore itself and maintain a balance that leaves us capable of operating optimally in our day-to-day lives.
Here are 12 powerful reasons to ensure you get the ideal amount of quality sleep every night, and that sleep deprivation can be a nasty piece of work.
1. Reduced Life Expectancy
Studies indicate that 7 hours of sleep is the perfect amount for the average adult.
In a study of 10 000 test subjects, candidates who slept less than 6 hours a night were exposed to a 12% increased mortality rate.
A separate study revealed that a lack of sleep doubled the risk of death from heart disease.
These findings pointed to a lack of sleep increasing levels of inflammation in the body and increased the production of the stress hormone, cortisol.
This imbalance leads to excessive stress on the system, which is a precursor to illness and disease.
2. Poor Decision Making
Poor sleep causes poor judgment.
Your assessment of circumstances and events are not always accurate, leaving you less capable of making sound choices.
This can be particularly problematic in dangerous work environments where safety is a concern.
Thinking you’re coping on less sleep is also a misleading notion; you cannot, and will not be operating optimally.
We make low level and high level decisions every single day of our lives and these choices can have a lasting impact on our future.
Regardless of the reason for your sleep deprivation, sleep disorders, stress or physical discomfort, a sound decision is getting to the route of the problem as soon as possible.
Check out WellWorthLiving for some sound sleep tips.
3. Depression & Moodiness
Sleep deprivation aggravates the symptoms of depression.
Even if you are not prone to depression, you will undoubtedly feel less than your best, if not down-right grumpy and irritable in your waking hours.
Studies reveal that individuals suffering from insomnia, or sleeping under 6 hours a night, were more prone to high levels of anxiety and depression.
4. Weight Gain
A lack of sleep is linked to an increase in appetite which can lead to weight gain.
Sleep loss stimulates the appetite as the body overproduces Ghrelin which is a hormone that signals the brain that you are hungry. This also stimulates cravings for food high in carbohydrates and fat.
Insulin, cortisol and human growth hormone (HGH) also respond to a lack of sleep by storing fat. We cover this in detail in the next section.
A 2004 study indicated that individuals you slept less than 6 hours a night we 30% more likely to become obese.
5. Ages your Appearance
It’s easy to spot someone who hasn’t slept by their pale, sallow skin and puffy, dark-ringed eyes.
Ongoing sleep deprivation can cause long term damage to your skin leaving it wrinkled and less
youthful. This is because a lack of sleep decreases moisture levels in your skin and lowers the pH levels that create that natural, healthy glow.
Additionally, as the body goes into stress from insufficient sleep, it releases the cortisol which breaks down collagen in the skin.
Low collagen levels mean your skin loses elasticity and high cortisol levels promote fat storage and weight gain.
Other hormone functions affected by a lack of sleep are melatonin as well as the thyroid gland.
Both systems impact on hair growth, so ongoing sleep deprivation can cause excessive hair loss.
6. Hormone Imbalances
4 important hormone functions affected by too little sleep are insulin, ghrelin/leptin, cortisol, and growth hormone. All of these hormones negatively impact on your ability to maintain and lose weight.
The body interprets a lack of sleep as an emergency situation, and so it naturally adjusts for optimum survival.
But in situations like insomnia, sleep apnea and anxiety, the hormone response to not sleeping causes problems.
Insulin: If you get too little sleep, your body becomes temporarily insulin resistant. Too much insulin causes you to store more fat which results in weight gain.
Ghrelin & Leptin: These two hormones work hand in hand. Ghrelin is the “hungry” hormone.
If you get adequate sleep, you produce more Leptin which suppresses hunger. The less you sleep, the more Ghrelin is produced and the hungrier you get.
Cortisol: If your body is stressed and in danger, it naturally produces cortisol to provide additional energy to fight the problem you’re facing.
It works by burning muscle tissue for more energy. It becomes problematic if this “fight or flight” hormone is being overproduced due to mental stress which inevitably keeps you awake.
Human Growth Hormone: HGH decreases the rate at which your body uses carbohydrates and increases the rate at which it uses fats. Poor sleep reduces the production of HGH and causes you to store fat.
7. Weakened Immune System
Sleep deprivation weakens your immune system. High amounts of cortisol are produced in response to the stress on the body.
This triggers irregularities in the body’s hormone production and its ability to fight disease.
The body produces bacteria and virus-fighting substances called cytokines, while you sleep. So individuals who sleep poorly are more susceptible to disease and infection.
Poor sleepers also take significantly longer to recover from illnesses compared to individuals who sleep well.
8. Poor Sleep Leads to Accidents
Sleep deprivation slows reaction times and is as much a culprit for death on the road as drunk driving.
Poor sleep has also been proven to cause more accidents and injuries in the work environment due to poor concentration, impaired balance and slow reaction times.
9. Low Sex Drive
Sleep deprived individuals have low energy levels making even basic tasks exhausting. This has a direct link to sex drive.
Libidos in both men and women are affected as a lack of sleep disrupts hormone balances.
Reduced levels of testosterone production in men and decreases levels of estrogen in women can reduce sexual desire.
10. Health Disorders
Inflammatory diseases like arthritis as well as heart disease, heart attacks, irregular heartbeat, high blood pressure, strokes, and diabetes are all diseases linked to sleep deprivation.
Cortisol levels that remain elevated for extensive amounts of time can trigger a collection of health problems including cancer, gastrointestinal complications, and fertility issues.
Get to a doctor who can run tests and resolve the problem as soon as possible.
SLEEP DEPRIVATION AND LUCID DREAMING: Where Is The Connection?
11. Inability to Lucid Dream
The truth is that lucid dreaming is not possible if you are sleep deprived.
Lucid dreaming is a dream state in which you are aware that you are dreaming.
Furthermore, it is possible to learn how to control your dream world and create amazing dream experiences!
Lucid dreaming has many benefits, including problem solving, stopping nightmares, emotional healing and connecting with your inner self.
You will need quality sleep to enjoy this nighttime processing.
12. Memory Problems
Memory is essential aspect, when it comes to lucid dreaming.
Sleeplessness is key culprits that cause memory loss and forgetfulness.
Quality sleep helps you to absorb the information that you take in during the day. Furthermore, it will help you to do all the necessery activities, that will help you to lucid dream, such as:
Learning anything, especially lucid dreaming, becomes increasingly difficult on little sleep.
Sleep helps you process and “file” data learned during the day and with too little sleep, this information can be lost and forgotten.
13. Concentration Issues
A lack of sleep affects the way you think. Cognitive processes are impaired and this will weaken your ability to problem solve, reason or make clear decisions.
Difficulty concentrating can disrupt daily activities, leaving you confused, dull and unable to complete even simple tasks.
This could definitely affect your attempts to lucid dream.
For instance, an important aspect of learning how to control your dreams is:
Gaining more awareness, both in your dream world and wake world can be done by practicing meditation.
So, if you have concentration issues, due to sleep deprivation, then you will probably have hard time to relax and to stay concentrated, while practicing mindfulness.
How to avoid sleep deprivation: Final tips
Overall, sleep plays as important a role as diet and exercise in our daily routine.
For a holistic approach to your overall health, it is important to not neglect any of these areas.
Find ways to manage your worries.
If you know yourself to be a more highly strung or stressed individual, find ways to manage the stress with meditation of exercise which will help spend cortisol buildup.
Avoid stimulants like sugar and caffeine.
If that’s not workable in your current situation, find ways to reduce your anxiety by:
– delegation responsibilities
– getting help from friends
– ask for help from your family
– step back from commitments that are too consuming
Light sleepers can focus on their environment and create a sleep zone that is peaceful and cocoon-like.
Ensure you are comfortable, eliminate noise and light disturbances.
Try to take some natural supplements, such as:
– B6, calcium, and magnesium which help promote relaxation.
Still not seeing the light?
Seek out a professional. Sleep clinics specialize in getting to the root of the problem and providing you with a custom sleep program that suits your individual circumstances.
And don’t forget that sharing is caring!
Feel free to comment below and share your own way of fighting with sleep deprivation.